|Date of birth:July 6, 1946|
|Place of birth: Hawthorne, California|
|College: San Diego State|
|NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13|
|Debuted in 1969|
|Last played in 1981|
Career highlights and awards
NFL and Team Records
Career NFL statistics
|College Football Hall of Fame|
John Frederick "Fred" Dryer (born July 6, 1946 in Hawthorne, California) is an American actor and former football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). Dryer played 13 years in the NFL, playing 176 games, starting 166, and recording 104 career sacks with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. Dryer is the only NFL player to score two safeties in one game.
Following his retirement from football, Dryer had a successful career as a film and television actor, notably starring in the series Hunter. His height (6'6" or 1.98 m) and physique were useful for his action roles.
The son of Charles F. Dryer and Genevieve Nell Clark, Dryer began his football career at Lawndale High School in Lawndale, California, and then attended El Camino Junior College before transferring to San Diego State University (SDSU).
Dryer was inducted to the El Camino C.C. Athletic Hall Of Fame in 1988, as a charter member and was the Athlete of the Year for his 1966 performance on the football field. Dryer was also a 1966 Junior College All-American
During Dryer's junior and senior seasons, in which he lettered both seasons, at San Diego State, the Aztecs had a combined record of 19-1-1. They were the College Division National Champions in both seasons. In 1967 they topped both the Associated Press and United Press International polls as #1. In 1968 San Diego State was voted the champions by UPI and North Dakota State topped the AP poll and thus the two schools shared the College-Division title. Dryer was voted the outstanding defensive lineman on the team and as such was the recipient of the Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy. One of Dryer's teammates was Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the first four films of the Rocky series. In 1967 the Aztecs allowed 12.9 points a game on defense, which is still ninth in SDSU history. In 1967 and 1968 the Aztec run defense allowed just 80.1 and 100.1 yards per game, still fourth and fifth, respectively in school annals after nearly forty years.
Dryer was named to the Little All-America team in 1968 since at the time the school was 1-AA. Dryer played in the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco, the Hula Bowl in Honolulu and the College All-Star Game in Chicago where the college stars played the world champion New York Jets.
Dryer was a vegetarian for 10 years. In 1988, Dryer was inducted into the San Diego State University Aztec Hall of Fame. In 1997 Dryer received college football's ultimate honor in being voted to the College Football Hall of Fame and is one of only three SDSU Aztecs in the collegiate Hall of Fame. When voted into the San Diego Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Dryer joined athletes such as Ted Williams, Dan Fouts, Dave Winfield, and Tony Gwynn in receiving the preeminent recognition for a San Diego athlete.
Dryer was drafted in the first round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and won a starting job as a rookie. He was the starting right defensive end from 1969 through 1971. He led the team in quarterback sacks each of those three seasons with 8½ in 1969, 12 in 1970 and 8½ in 1971. He was among the defensive leaders in other categories as well. In 1969 he tallied 58 tackles (39 solo), six passes deflected and forced two fumbles and recovered two. The next season Dryer was an alternate to the Pro Bowl but could not play due to a bruised hip. He was Second-team All-NFC after recording 69 tackles (53 solo) four pass deflections, three forced fumbles, while recovering two to go along with his 12 sacks. In 1971 he again led the team with 8½ sacks, and totaled 62 tackles (33 solo). Dryer also deflected two passes, forced two more fumbles and recovered two for the third consecutive season.
Dryer was traded to the New England Patriots in February 1972 for three draft choices (a first, second, and sixth), then on draft day of that year he was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams for a first round draft pick and backup defensive end Rick Cash. In his first year with the Rams he backed up left defensive end Jack Youngblood making only four starts but playing in every game despite a broken hand and broken nose. His primary role in 1972 was to come in on likely passing downs and rush the passer. He had 40 tackles (17 solo) and 4½ sacks.
In 1973, Dryer started all 14 games on the right side and became the only NFL player ever to have two safeties in the same game by dumping opposing passers in the end zone twice in the fourth quarter. He ended the season with 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and recovered 3 fumbles (all three were second on the top-ranked Rams defense). After the season he was a Second-team All-NFC pick by Pro Football Weekly. He finished the season with 39 tackles (21 solo) s passed knocked down, three forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered.
In 1974 he had 15 sacks, which co-led (with Youngblood) the NFL (unofficially, sacks were not officially recognized by the NFL until 1982) and was voted the Rams Outstanding Defensive Lineman and was named All-Pro and All-NFC. Statistically, he had another solid year versus the run, totaling 49 tackles (34 solo) and two forced fumbles.
Dryer scored his first NFL touchdown in 1975 on a 20-yard interception return against Philadelphia. After scoring his touchdown against the Eagles, Dryer promised that if he ever scored another, he would set his hair on fire in the end zone. Against the Eagles that day, he chose to celebrate by "rolling six", a touchdown celebration where the player scoring rolls the ball like an imaginary pair of dice with some of his teammates looking on. He ended 1975 with 12 sacks, behind only Jack Youngblood and was voted All-NFC. Additionally, Dryer played in the 1975 Pro Bowl, was a Second-team All-Pro selection as well. Statistically, Dryer was excellent against the run with 61 tackles (39 solo) and two passes deflection, two fumbles recovered to go along with the 20-yard TD interception.
Due to rule changes in NFL offensive line Dryer's play started to decline some. Always a small player, the new rules heavily favored larger players. Dryer coped with a 55-tackle, 5-sack season (33 solo). He did deflect two passes and for three fumbles in 1976 which were along the team leaders. In 1977 Dryer adopted a new diet and was winning praises from NFL sportwriters for the start he had. He recorded 35 tackles (28 solo) and 6 sacks. He also knocked down four passes, recovered three fumbles and caused one fumble. The next season, 1978 was much of the same. Dryer was the starting right defensive end on the NFL's #1 defense. Personally, he had 51 tackles (33 solo) and forced two fumbles, recovered three, blocked a kick and blocked one pass en route to a Ram record of 12-4.
He played in Super Bowl XIV when the Rams met the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 1979 season. That season he was honorable mention All-NFC after recording 49 tackles (31 solo) 10 sacks and three forced fumbles and recovered one. Against the New York Giants on October 28, 1979, Dryer recorded a career-high 5 sacks. In 1980 Dryer split the time at his right defensive end position with third-year player Reggie Doss. They combined for 67 tackles (Dryer 31, 20 solo) and 12 sacks (Dryer 5½, Doss 6½).
Dryer ended his career with 104 career sacks, although since he played prior to 1982 when sacks became an official statistic they are not credited in the NFL record books. Dryer played on a tough Los Angeles Ram defense that during the decade of the 1970s, allowed fewer points, fewer total yards, fewer rushing yards, and sacked more quarterbacks than any other defense during that time-frame.
In January, 1981, Dryer made the cover of Interview magazine, published by Andy Warhol from the late 1960s through the early 1990s and was considered the very essence of "magazine chic". The magazine was noted for the full face Warhol-designed covers that featured prominent newsmakers. Dryer was the first and (probably) only NFL player to make the cover amongst people like Cher, Sting, Truman Capote, John Travolta, Mick Jagger, and many other "A" list celebs and the avant-garde.
In 2003 the NFL Alumni presented Dryer with its Career Achievement Award which is presented to former NFL players "For Getting to the Top of His Field".
Fred Dryer's record-setting game on October 21, 1973, at Los Angeles was a 24-7 win over Green Bay.
Down 20-7 in the fourth quarter, the Packers found themselves deep in their own territory when Dryer came storming in from the right side of the defense and chased down Green Bay quarterback Scott Hunter, dropping him in the end zone for a safety. On the Packers' following possession near their own goal line, Dryer attacked again. He looped through the middle of the Packer's offensive line and dragged backup quarterback Jim Del Gaizo down for his second safety of the game, setting a new NFL record.
For his efforts, Dryer was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Week.
- LA - FG Ray 44
- LA - Jackson 46 pass from Hadl (Ray kick)
- GB - B. Smith 23 pass from Lane (Marcol kick)
- LA - FG Ray 40
- LA - L. Smith, 1 run (Ray kick)
- LA - Safety, Dryer tackled Hunter in end zone
- LA - Safety, Dryer tackled Del Gaizo in end zone
|Born||John Frederick Dryer|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, writer, director|
|Spouse(s)||Tracy Vaccaro (m. 1983–88)|
Prior to the start of his show business career, Dryer flexed his acting muscles when he helped cover Super Bowl IX for SPORT magazine. Fed up with the grandiose and self-important nature of the NFL's championship match, then-editor Dick Schaap hired Dryer and Rams teammate Lance Rentzel for this journalistic assignment. Donning costumes inspired by The Front Page, "Scoops Brannigan" (Dryer) and "Cubby O'Switzer" (Rentzel) peppered players and coaches from both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings with questions that ranged from clichéd to downright absurd. This became the inspiration for the eccentricities that surround Media Day at the Super Bowl. Dryer also briefly served as a color analyst on CBS's NFL coverage in 1981.
In the early 80's when producers/ creators Glen Charles, Les Charles and James Burrows were developing the soon-to-be hit sitcom, Cheers, Dryer, along with two other actors, was considered for the role of lead character, Sam Malone. Ted Danson ultimately won the role, but Dryer later appeared as sportscaster (and former Red Sox teammate of Sam's) Dave Richards in the episodes "Sam at Eleven", "Old Flames", "Love Thy Neighbor", and "'I' On Sports".
Dryer's best-known acting role came in the 1980s television crime drama Hunter, in which he costarred with Stepfanie Kramer. Dryer also starred in the action-thriller movie Death Before Dishonor as well as Mike Land in the TV series Land's End (21 episodes, 1995–1996). He portrayed legendary DC Comics military hero Sgt. Rock, during his appearance on Justice League. Dryer got married in May 1983 (divorced in 1988) to actress and Playboy centerfold Tracy Vaccaro, who also worked with him on Hunter and Land's End. Together, they have at least one daughter. Dryer still resides in Los Angeles and has his own production company (Fred Dryer Productions).
Fred Dryer is frequently mentioned in season two of Adult Swim's Frisky Dingo as presidential candidate Xander Crews's prospective running mate, and Xander's difficulty getting in touch with Dryer is a frequent theme in the season. There is also a collage of images of him in Simon's room, and Xander is shown painting him in his bedroom.
In January 2009 Fred Dryer can be seen in a more intense role for cable TV commercial for SMS research company, which obliquely makes reference to his NFL record of two safeties in a game from 1973. Fred Dryer is also now a spokesman for the law service Injury Solutions.
As of 2013 Dryer can be seen in the sitcom "The Exes" as Mr. Collins, an executive law firm partner.
He also stars in the drag racing film Snake and Mongoose, which depicts the rivalry between drivers Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen and their groundbreaking accomplishments in the world of drag racing. Dryer plays "Ed Donovan," McEwen’s engine builder, who coined the nickname “Mongoose.”
- "El Camino Community College Hall of Fame Program" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "J.C. Honor Roll". Long Beach Press-Telegram. 1966-12-08.
- NCAA Division II Football Champions
- 2008 San Diego State University Football Media Guide
- MG 2008 SDSU Media Guide. Page 143.
- 2006 San Diego State Media Guide
- "Helmet Hut.com". Helmet Hut.com. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Turney, John (January 22, 2001). "So close but...Will Hall of Fame vote be another narrow miss for Youngblood?". Pro Football Weekly website. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- "Penner, Mike. "Dick Schaap, 67; Sports Journalist" (obituary), ''Los Angeles Times'', Saturday, December 22, 2001". Articles.latimes.com. 2001-12-22. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Green, Jerry. "New Orleans Provides Wild Super Bowl Weeks," ''The Detroit News'', Sunday, January 1, 2006". The Detroit News. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Playmate News". Playboy (Playboy) 55: 143–144. November 2008.
- "KGB.com". Kgbkgb.com. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Injury Solutions.com