Welcome back. We’ve covered the primary positions and now it’s on to the secondary. What about the special teams, you ask? I haven’t forgot them. You’ll get your kicker and punter fix. As we all know, special teams is a third of the game or some other crap the coach tells you to make you feel better for not being a starter on your high school team, but I digress.
This is the spot where the hate mail gets written. No Deion Sanders? This guys nuts. First of all, my therapist doesn’t like me to use that word and second of all, hear me out. This list is based on the best FALCONS players of all time. And while Neon Deion gets love, he played eight seasons AFTER leaving the Falcons. He is as much a Cowboy as he is a Falcon. You may now proceed with the hate mail.
Lawrence is the Falcons’ all-time interception leader with 39 and recovered 13 fumbles in his career. He was a First-Team All-Pro in 1977 but that’s not the reason he’s on this list. Between 1975 and 1979, no player had more interceptions (34) than Mr. Lawrence. Not even the great Mel Blount.
When Lawrence retired, Butler came into the league. He played 12 seasons and intercepted 27 passes, including one he returned for a touchdown.
Honorable Mention: Deion Sanders, Ken Reaves, Ray Buchanan, DeAngelo Hall, Allen Rossum
Case played 11 seasons with the Falcons playing every secondary position. He finished his career 3rd on the Falcons career interception list and 2nd on their career tackles list. In his Pro Bowl season in 1988, he led the NFL in picks with 10.
Brown is second on the Falcons interception list with 31 and played seven seasons with the Falcons during the 1970’s.
Honorable Mention: Elbert Shelley, Eugene Robinson
It’s a bit of a no-brainer here. Andersen is the Falcons’ all-time leading scorer and kicked the Falcons to their only Super Bowl appearance.
I’ve never seen John James play, but he is the Falcons’ leader in punt yards so that’s enough for me. Come on, he’s a punter. That’s great analysis considering.
Honorable Mention: No one else really matters.
Well there you have it. The greatest defensive players in Atlanta falcons history bookended with the greatest offensive players in Atlanta Falcons history. Did I leave anybody out? Did I include someone who shouldn’t have been? Heap your praise in the comments below or prepare your flame-thrower and nuke my choices. The comments section is an equal opportunity employer.
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All images courtesy of NFL.com unless noted.