Former 49ers star R.C. Owens dies

R.C. Owens, who is credited with helping change passing offenses in the NFL, died on Sunday. He was 78.

Owens, who was best known for snatching receptions out of the air from Y.A. Tittle while a member of the San Francisco 49ers, was known as “Oop” to many for creating the “Alley Oop” play in the 1950’s, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Owens, the first 1,000-yard receiver in 49ers history, was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame and was a community ambassador and beloved figure in the Bay Area. He also spent time with the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants.

“The 49ers family has suffered a great loss with the passing of R.C. Owens," 49ers owner and chairman John York said in a statement released by the club. "Long after his days as a player were over, his devotion to the organization remained strong. R.C. was an ever-present supporter of the 49ers Foundation and did great works with the community at large. The San Francisco 49ers and our faithful fans will forever be grateful for his contributions, and he will be sincerely missed."

Tittle used to joke that he didn’t play much part in Owens’ success.

"Do you know any teenagers?" Tittle said, according to the report. "Even they could throw that pass. You just throw it up in the air and hope."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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