Date of birth: May 27, 1954
Place of birth: Jackson, Mississippi
: College Jackson State
: NFL Draft 1976 / Round: 3 / Pick: 86
Debuted in 1976 for the Los Angeles Rams
Last played in 1995 for the St. Louis Rams
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowl selection ( 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990) 3× First-team
All-Pro selection ( 1987, 1988, 1989) 2× Second-team All-Pro selection (
1983, 1985) 4× First-team All-NFC selection (1983, 1986, 1987, 1989)
3× Second-team All-NFC selection (1985, 1988, 1990)
Bart Starr Man of the Year Award (1995)
St. Louis Rams #78 Retired NFL Record 20 seasons with 1 Team (tied with Darrell Green and Jason Hanson)
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Jackie Ray Slater (born May 27, 1954, in Jackson, Mississippi) is a retired NFL offensive tackle who played his entire 20-year career with the Rams organization, playing 19 seasons for the Rams in Los Angeles (1976–1994) and one season for the Rams in St. Louis in 1995.
Jackson State University. Slater was a letterman in football and was selected to the Southwestern Athletic Conference All-Star Game three times, and as a senior, he was a First-team All–Black America selection, and was named an All-American selection by the Pittsburgh Courier. After his senior season, he was invited to participate in the College All-Star Game.
Slater played in 259 games from 1976 to 1995, a then-record for
offensive lineman (broken by Bruce Matthews in the 1999 season). He was the first player to play 20 seasons for one team, and former Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green is the only other one to accomplish the feat. Much like Ed "Too Tall" Jones was with the Dallas Cowboys, Slater was unique in "bridging gaps" with different eras in the franchise. Slater was teammates with Merlin Olsen and Jack Youngblood earlier in his career and Jerome Bettis and Isaac Bruce at the end of his career.
Although used primarily as a backup and special teams player during his first three seasons, Slater became a starter in 1979 and that season the Rams went to
Super Bowl XIV. In 1980 he was a part of an offensive line that surrendered just 29 sacks and helped the Rams’ offense finish second in the NFL in total yards gained with 6,006. In 1983, he and the Rams offensive line demonstrated their versatility when they allowed a league-low 23 sacks while also paving the way for Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards. He appeared in the 1985 team promotional video "Ram It" as "Big Bad Jackie". He started the lead verse, where he admitted that although the team could not sing or dance well, they would do their best for the city.
In 2001, Slater was enshrined in the
Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was voted the National Football League Players Association NFC Offensive Lineman of the year four times—1983, 1986, 1987, and 1989. Slater was the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award winner after the 1995 season.
On February 16, 2006,
Oakland Raiders head coach Art Shell hired him to become a co-offensive lineman coach along with Irv Eatman. Slater was released by the Raiders for the 2007 season.
He is currently the offensive line coach at
Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Azusa Pacific is in its final year as an NAIA Independent and will transition to NCAA Division II in 2012.
Matthew, who played college football at UCLA, was drafted by the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL) in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and is a 2012 Pro Bowler, American football wide receiver, safety, gunner, and Special Teams captain for the New England Patriots. His son's nomination to the Pro Bowl makes the Slaters one of five active father-son families selected to at least one Pro Bowl apiece: Gill and Jairus Byrd; Archie; Eli, and Peyton Manning; Clay and Clay Matthews; and Kellen and Kellen Winslow are the others.