Fred Dean – San Francisco 49’ers #74 and San Diego Chargers #71

San Francisco 49’ers #74 – San Diego Charges #71

Frederick Rudolph Dean was born on 24th February 1952, in Arcadia, Louisiana.

Dean was a standout performer in his days at Louisiana Tech University, playing defensive tackle for the Bulldogs.

San Diego Chargers selected Dean as the 33rd overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft.

He became an integral part of a very frugal Chargers defence, named by locals as the ‘Bruise Brothers’ as they conceded the fewest points in the AFC, as the Chargers went on to claim the division title in 1979 and 1980. In 1980, the Chargers defence led the NFL in sacks (60) with Dean claiming 10.5 of them despite missing the first two games.

In 1981, Fred was traded to the San Francisco 49’ers due to a contract dispute with the Chargers and the hole he created in their defence probably cost the Chargers far more than what they could have paid Dean to settle his dispute with them.

Dean took no time at all to settle into his new team and he recorded six sacks in his first game and despite being acquired halfway through the season, recorded thirteen sacks (plus one for the Chargers). He won the NFC Defensive Player of the Year award that year despite only playing in eleven games for the 49’ers, such was his impact – literally!

Fred also helped the 49’ers to win the Super Bowl in that first season with them, the first of two successes for him.

In 1983 Dean recorded 17 sacks – a career-high for Fred – to lead the NFC and recorded a then-NFL record of six in one game against the New Orleans Saints. This bettered his 1978 total of 15.5 with the Chargers. Fred Dean’s career sack total, with his unofficial numbers included, is 93.

Dean was also a key player on the 49ers 1984 team, mostly used as a situational pass rusher on the way to his second Super Bowl success in 1985’s showpiece game.

During his career, Fred won two Super Bowls, was four times selected for the Pro Bowl, has been inducted into both the San Francisco and Chargers Hall of Fame’s, the College Football Hall of Fame and in 2008, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2008 Hall of Fame inductee, Fred Dean