Former Washington offensive lineman Ron Saul has passed away at the age of 73. He was a guard for Washington from 1976 tthrough 1982.
“On behalf of Dan and Tanya Snyder and the entire Washington Football Team, we send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Ron Saul,” the team said in a released statement.
Saul was originally drafted in the fifth round by the Houston Oilers in 1970. In total, he played in 142 games in his 12-year NFL career, and started 113 of them.
In six years in Washington, he had been a very serviceable guard, starting nearly every game for five straight seasons.
1981 was the year that Joe Jacoby, Mark May, and Russ Grimm all arrived to Washington’s offensive line corps. Ostensibly the birth of The Hogs, though they would not be called such until the following season. There were eighteen offensive linemen at Training Camp that year. Still, Saul battled hard and kept his job.
In 1982, Saul injured his knee. Again. In fact over his career, he had seven knee operations – five on his right knee and two on his left. This was the last one though. He was placed on injured reserve and would not play again. He was there with the team, and The Hogs for the entire Super Bowl run though.
In college, he was an all-American and three-year letter winner at Michigan State. He was the team’s most valuable player in 1969, and the last Spartan to win the Governor of Michigan Award.
Ron and his twin brother Rich Saul, became the first brothers to earn first-team Academic All-America honors in the same year (1969). His teammates nicknamed him Hercules for his extraordinary strength.
Rich Saul would also play in the NFL from 1970 through 1981, all with the Los Angeles Rams. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 64.
“I remember playing against Dallas and Bob Lilly in one game. They drained my knee just before the game, shot it with Novocain or Zylocaine, taped it, and drained it again at half-time. They used to have to carry us off the field to get us out of the game. You couldn’t take yourself out of the game.” – Ron Saul
He was a throwback kind of player. A real tough guy.
May he rest in peace.
Our condolences to the Saul family.