Derrick Jensen, who won two Super Bowls as a player for the Raiders and then helped build another Super Bowl winner as a scout with the Seahawks, has died after a five-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. He was 60.
A third-round draft pick in 1978, Jensen played his entire nine-year career with the Raiders, playing running back, fullback and tight end as well as serving as the Raiders’ special teams captain for most of his career. His most memorable play came in Super Bowl XVIII, when he blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.
“Derrick epitomized the perfect Raider and he will always hold a place in Silver and Black lore,” Raiders Owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “He will be missed dearly by the Raiders family and our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.”
After retiring as a player Jensen took a job as a scout with the Seahawks and stayed there for 22 years, retiring only when he got his ALS diagnosis.
“He’s a huge part of the Seahawks organization,” Seattle General Manager John Schneider said. “He was just a classic. There are those guys who are the hidden characters of the National Football League, and he was one of those guys among all the scouts throughout the league. Everybody legitimately loved being at a school with him, scouting with him, going to grab a beer with him, whatever.”
A study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that NFL players are four times more likely than American men as a whole to die of ALS.
Jensen’s wife Amanda died in a car accident in 2009. He is survived by his 19-year-old son, Davis.
Photo vis Seahawks.com.