Thursday, June 09, 2011
Ex-teammate & Pro Football Hall a Famer Merlin Olsen, paid Jack Youngblood the ultimate compliment. He called Jack Youngblood "the perfect defensive end." Merlin Olsen had a profound effect on Jack Youngblood. It was Olsen who taught Youngblood what it meant to play in pain.
"I remember one time when a guy stepped on Merlin's hand with those nylon cleats," says Youngblood. "Ripped it wide open." He came back to the huddle holding it. I looked over, and I could see all the bones. I almost fainted. Merlin said, 'Aw it's all right.' "He held it together and stopped the bleeding a little bit. That was first down. He stayed out there two more plays before we went to the sidelines."
In 1975, Jack Youngblood played in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XIV, with a stress fracture in left leg. He played with a broken leg. Jack Youngblood pass-rushed future Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf off the line, tipped and intercepted a pass and returned a 65 yards for a touchdown. The Rams won that game.