The Atlanta Falcons newest running back, Todd Gurley, recently announced that he would be wearing number 21.
Todd Gurley is a man that has a lot to prove to the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Falcons fans and to himself. Can he return to his 2017 Offensive Player of the Year form? Will his body allow him to play a full NFL schedule? Is there anything still left in the tank? Is he just a shell of his former self?
These are questions that are on everyone’s mind and will eventually be answered throughout the upcoming NFL season. Right now, all we can do as fans is speculate. One thing we do know however is that Gurley more than likely knows the history of the number 21 in Atlanta. He knows about the men who previously wore that number and he wants to leave a lasting mark on the organization as they did.
Previous notable guys to wear number 21 include the always boisterous DeAngelo Hall, who had a respectable career with the Atlanta Falcons, finishing with 17 interceptions in four seasons with the team. Desmond Trufant, who was just recently let go, is another corner that donned the 21 jerseys. Like Hall, Trufant also had a successful career with the Atlanta Falcons, providing years of quality service before injuries and age eventually caught up to him.
Eric Metcalf and Lynn Cain both had productive careers with the Atlanta Falcons while donning the 21 jerseys. Cain rushed for over 900 yards and eight touchdowns in 1980, helping to propel the team to a 12-4 record. Metcalf had a total of 1,788 yards and 14 touchdowns in two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons while also serving as the primary return man. Both guys proved to be valuable assets to the team while representing the number 21.
The most notable guy to wear the 21 jerseys is “Primetime” Deion Sanders. We all know about Sanders. He is in the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor and is a legend in the city of Atlanta. He had a huge personality and skill set that made him a star and is still recognized today as one of the biggest and most popular athletes of the 1990s.
Todd Gurley will be the latest Atlanta Falcon to don the 21 jerseys as he will look to duplicate the success of those who came before him. The Gurley experiment will be very interesting to see play out and only time will tell if he still has what it takes to be a star in the NFL. What we do know is that he is going into the upcoming season with the right mindset and a lot of confidence that he will take the Atlanta Falcons far.
Hopefully, the history of the number 21 on his back will give him a boost of confidence that he can still be among the league’s best-running backs because the Atlanta Falcons will need him to be in top shape if they want to make the playoffs this season in a stacked NFC.