Where Are They Now

Where Are They Now: Ron Faurot

Catch Up with the Former Jets Edge Rusher from Arkansas

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With a first-round pick in the 1984 NFL Draft they had acquired from New Orleans in a trade for veteran quarterback Richard Todd, the Jets chose University of Arkansas defensive end Ron Faurot.

An All-American who led the Razorbacks with seven sacks and 61 tackles during his senior season, Faurot arrived in New York and fit in well with his new teammates.

"I was obviously excited to be drafted in the first round," he said. "I bonded with some of the other rookies, Kyle Clifton, and some of those guys. Joe Klecko was real nice. Lance Mehl and some of those guys on defense, were the leaders. They were all real nice and made me feel welcome."

Playing on the line along with veterans Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons, Barry Bennett, and Klecko, the rookie made nine starts at right defensive end.

"Being on the field, it's just something you've watched on TV your whole life," Faurot said. "To be out there living it was just a great feeling. That was just something I'll never forget. And in the end, when you do something good and make a play and they go crazy, it's so much fun. That's what it's all about."

The following season, then-head coach Joe Walton made the decision to move Faurot to a position he hadn't played before.

"Well, that was kind of the beginning of the end for me there because we were a 4-3 defense and they switched to a 3-4," Faurot said. "They brought in a new defensive coordinator (Bud Carson) and decided to experiment with me at outside linebacker.

"I believe Coach Walton was the one that told me about trying me at that position and see how it goes. They told me to drop weight, and so I had to go through drills and just basically ran all my weight off. I went from 275 down to 255."

Obviously more svelte, Faurot made the move and was a starter at the new position. But after just five games, he discovered what it may have felt like to be a quarterback who had just gotten blindsided.

"Coach Walton called me in on the off day. I thought they're going to move me to tackle or something. I didn't really know what to expect," Faurot said. "They said they were going to put me on the waivers. That just shocked me. And it shocked everybody else that I talked to, my teammates.

"I went from being a starter to on the waiver wire. It didn't really make sense. But, anyway, I don't know whose decision it was. It was kind of weird.

"I did everything they told me to do to, lose weight, extra running to try to keep my speed up. I guess they thought it went well enough that I started the season at outside linebacker. And then just to drop me on the waiver wire as an unproven outside linebacker and an underweight defensive end, it kind of left me in a tough position."

After clearing waivers, Faurot talked with a few teams and signed with the Chargers. However, while practicing with San Diego before playing in a game, he found himself in another tough position after tearing the ACL in his right knee.

"I had hurt my left knee in college, got it repaired, and played with it for three or four years. It never had been a problem," Faurot said. "An ACL (surgery procedure) back then meant you were out a year, if not longer. So I sat out the whole '86 season and tried to play again in '87."

Unsuccessful, he was released by the Chargers and looked to sign with a team elsewhere around the league.

"I couldn't get past the doctors," Faurot said. "Every team I went to, the doctor said my knees were too risky. I never could get back on with anybody, so it was a short career. But, yeah, I'm lucky to make as far as I did. I know that. Unfortunately, that's the way some guys do end their careers, with an injury."

When one door closes…

Moving back to where he grew up, Hurst, Texas, Faurot got into a new field, and in 1989, opened Broncos Sports Bar & Grill.

"My old college buddy, Billy Ray Smith, wanted to open it with me even though he was still playing. So we were trying to come up with a name. I called him B.R. and my first name is Ron, so it was B.R. and Ron's company. He was a Charger, and he dang sure didn't like the Broncos, so I'm surprised he went for that. You know, looking back on it, we probably should have named it something else," Faurot laughed.

"I had thought about getting into coaching because I love sports and I love football. I talked to a lot of my ex-coaches, and I already had children, and they said, your family life really suffers as a coach because they spend so much time on the road or in the office. And having this place, I have three kids, they're all grown up now, but I was able to go to all their games. I never missed one."

Faurot continued. "Fortunately, we've done well enough in business to survive 33 years, which is very unusual. And it's fun because we're talking sports with customers. Everybody wants to come up and see what I think about this and that, and I enjoy that.

"It's pretty big. We are about 6,300 square feet. We're open for lunch and dinner, and our kitchen's normally open till midnight or later. I've got a great group of cooks that do a good job. Some employees have been with me 19 to 23 years. They're like family.

"It's turned into a real special place in the area because we've got regulars and they're lifelong friends of ours almost now. People have met here and gotten married. They were young when they were coming here, and now their kids are coming here. It's just another generation."

Faurot and his wife, Michelle's next two generations include three adult children: Jennine, Jake, and Josh; and three granddaughters with a grandson on his way.

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