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There Was No Denying Jake Scott Early On

Posted by Stephen Czarda on July 12, 2013 – 2:50 pm

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[With 13 days until the start of training camp, we take a look back at the career of safety Jake Scott. Scott spent three seasons with the Washington Redskins and formed one of the greatest safety parings along with Ken Houston.]

While David Amerson and Phillip Thomas got the brunt of attention from draft “experts” for their ball-hawking talents (both led college football in interceptions the last two seasons), sixth round selection Bacarri Rambo deserves his fair share of the spotlight too.

Rambo recorded a University of Georgia record 16 interceptions in the hardest conference in college football. A feat that deserves an award of its own.

Georgia has seen the likes of Champ Bailey and Tim Jennings leave school to make a fantastic living terrorizing NFL defenses, but neither man was able to do what Rambo did—tie Jake Scott’s career interceptions mark.

Scott wasn’t too kind to the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, but after a late career move to our Nation’s Capital, he proved that making a great second impression is just as important as the first–especially to Redskins Nation.

Despite being born near one of Georgia’s flagship universities, Scott played high school ball at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington before going back to the Peach State with the Bulldogs.

In 1968, Jake Scott helped lead Georgia to an 8-1-2 record and a Sugar Bowl appearance against Arkansas. UGA, making its first appearance in the bowl in 24 years, was led by the consensus All-American and SEC Player of the Year on defense.

After graduation, Scott spent one season north of the boarder in the CFL before being selected in the seventh round (159th overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.

The safety was entering unknown territories upon his arrival. After playing on one of the best college football programs in the nation, Scott was joining a Miami team that had gone 15-39-2 through its four years of existence.

Pitting Scott with strong safety Dick Anderson, though, gave the Dolphins a lethal one-two punch in the secondary.

Opposing quarterbacks beware—a PSA signal callers should have abided to whenever Scott was on the field.

The duo combined for 13 interceptions in year one and the Dolphins first postseason appearance. Scott was also Miami’s primary punt returner recording 290 return yards, a franchise record at the time.

With Scott and a bevy of high draft picks, the Dolphins went from early loser to powerhouse dynasty seemingly overnight.

Miami record its best six-year run with Scott in town (1970-1975) as they won 67 regular season games, two Super Bowls and posted the only undefeated season in NFL history.

In 1976, Scott joined Hall of Fame head coach George Allen on a Redskins squad coming off four playoff seasons in five years. While Scott and Anderson formed a solid twosome for the Dolphins, he and Ken Houston were an entirely different story.

One opening day against the New York Giants, the safeties combined for three of the defense’s four interceptions and constantly corralled quarterback Craig Morton into timely mistakes.In a 31-7 victory over the expansion Seattle Seahawks the next week, Scott intercepted Jim Zorn twice. It was one of the greatest starts by any player in franchise history.

In their three years together, Scott and Houston hauled in a combined 22 interceptions and helped the Redskins garnish a league wide reputation of having a quick strike, opportunistic defense.

After recording his 49th career interception at the end of the 1978 season, Scott retired from the NFL at the age of 33.

Despite preventing a Super Bowl victory after the 1972 season, Scott became one of the Washington area’s favorite players at the end of the George Allen era.

Chime in with your favorite memory of No. 13’s impactful, albeit short, career with the Washington Redskins below. If you don’t—here’s to hoping Rambo can be the next Jake Scott. Multiple interceptions in Super Bowls and all.

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