Skip to main content

Pass-rushing Dean led 49ers to two Super Bowl wins

Class of 2008

On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Class of 2008 will be **formally inducted** into the Hall. Earlier this year, they **were measured for their bust** and jacket sizes. They will be presented with their busts at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

» Bios:Dean | Green | Monk | Thomas | Tippett | Zimmerman
» Video:Dean | Green | Monk | Thomas | Tippett | Zimmerman

Fred Dean was one of the most feared pass rushers in NFL history, but certainly not one of the biggest. Dean was able to use his quickness to get to quarterbacks, often in great numbers.

Dean started his career with the Chargers after being selected in the second round of the 1975 draft. He played linebacker at Louisiana Tech, but was moved to defensive end during his rookie season -- to great results. Dean recorded seven unofficial sacks during his rookie year in 1975 (sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982). He had his best season in San Diego in 1978, recording 15.5 sacks. Dean was a member of back-to-back division winners in San Diego in 1979 and 1980, when he recorded nearly 20 sacks in two seasons.

Dean was dealt to the 49ers in 1981 and became the defensive lynchpin for the first two of San Francisco's five Super Bowl teams. Dean had 12 sacks in 11 games for the 49ers in '81, being selected as the NFC's defensive player of the year. He became one of the first pass-rushing specialists in NFL history, as head coach Bill Walsh used him in passing situations to great effect. Dean flourished in the role, posting a career-high 17.5 sacks in 1983. Dean set an NFL record with six sacks against the Saints that season.

Dean was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and twice honored as an All-Pro.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.