Respect. D'Brickashaw Ferguson earned it throughout his career from opponents and teammates alike. When both Bart Scott and Matt Slauson were asked about Ferguson, they pointed to him being a great player whose professionalism stood out.
"He was a guy who was an elite player, but always a player you never had to worry about off the field," Scott said. "He was a guy who was going to be prepared, he was going to be in shape and he was going to do his job. And he wasn't going to be a distraction. He was going to make sure he tried to inspire and teach the young guys."
While "The Madbacker" was at teammate of Ferguson's between 2009 & '12, Slauson became a regular at LG for the Jets in 2010 and started the next 48 games next to the athletic LT.
"I was very sad to hear about D'Brickshaw's retirement. I played four years with him and he is a true professional on and off the field," said Slauson, who now is a member of the Chicago Bears. "It was an absolute pleasure getting to play next to him as he's an elite player. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors. He will be successful in whatever he chooses to do."
Ferguson, whose retirement news conference will be carried live on NYJets.com Thursday morning, started in 167 consecutive games for the Green & White. He never missed a game or a practice and he was on the field for nearly every Jets' offensive play (10,755 of 10,756) over 10 seasons.
"The best thing you can say about him is he came to work every day, showed up and wasn't a distraction," Scott said. "He was a class act and a model citizen, really what a player should be on and off the field."
Establishing a foundation in his name in 2007, Ferguson has continued to award academic scholarships, provide financial aid to churches and support food and clothing ministries. He was part of the Jets PLAY 60 Eat Right, Move More Program from its launch in 2006 through 2013 and was always a fixture at team community events like Taste of the Jets.
"I was able to be part of some charity work with him and Kirsten and the Covenant House of New Jersey," Scott said. "And things that he does there, spending time to raise money for the homeless youth in America - that's strong."
"The NFL is losing a great player but more importantly, a great man," added Slauson.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson Never Missed a Game in 10 Seasons, Making 167 Appearances for the Jets