Essentially two months until we will all see the Atlanta Falcons run out of the tunnel to take on their NFC South rival Carolina Panthers for their first regular season game.
Hopefully, these next two months will go quicker than the previous two months. Two months ago we were all diving deeper into the Atlanta Falcons' 2023 draft class as we were a couple of weeks removed from the draft—that all feels like a year ago.
The best players to wear each number in the 60s with 60 days until kickoff for the Atlanta Falcons
We are continuing the season-jersey countdown series as we are 60 days away from the start of the Atlanta Falcons' 2023 season. Here we are going to go over the best player to wear each jersey number in the 60s. There are a few names you might recall and two that you almost certainly know. Let's get right to it.
#69: Mike Lewis, DT (1971-1979)
Mike Lewis was a solid, but not great player for the Atlanta Falcons. He played in 120 games and had 25. He had a few solid seasons with five or more sacks from the interior.
#68: R.C. Thielemann, OG (1977-1984)
Raymond Charles Thielemann was a fantastic player for the Falcons after being a second-round pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. R.C. is a legend for this franchise as he played in 114 games and made back-to-back-to-back Pro Bowls, as well as being named first-team All-Pro in 1982. He went on to play four seasons with Washington to end his career and won a Super Bowl.
#67: Andy Levitre, OG (2015-2018)
This is not the most accomplished number for the Falcons as there were two choices here: Moe Gardner or Andy Levitre. I chose Levitre because of his help in establishing a strong offensive line for Kyle Shanahan and Matt Ryan which—in Levitre's second year—led them to a Super Bowl.
#66: Warren Bryant, RT (1977-1984)
Warren Bryant was able to help protect for the Falcons' first good quarterback, Steve Bartkowski. Bryant was a big right tackle who played in 99 games for the Atlanta Falcons after being drafted with the sixth-overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. Not a bad draft for the Falcons considering they also landed the aforementioned R.C. Thielemann.
#65: Don Smith, DL (1979-1984)
60s were apparently popular in the 70s and 80s—four of the five players thus far played during those two decades. Don Smith was a productive defensive lineman for the Falcons as he had 37.5 sacks and nine fumble recoveries in 87 games before moving on to play for the Bills and Jets.
#64: Jamie Dukes, IOL (1986-1993)
Many fans might remember Jamie Dukes' name, either from his playing career or his time with NFL Network. He was a consistent interior offensive lineman who primarily played center during his NFL career. He became a reliable piece for the Falcons as he never missed a game during his final five seasons with the team.
#63: Chris Lindstrom, OG (2019-Present)
While it might be a little premature to name Chris Lindstrom the captain of number 63 considering Justin Blalock was a good player who, to this point, played in 70 more games than Lindstrom, I think that Lindstrom deserves this honor considering what he has done in such a short amount of time. He is the leader of a great offensive line and is coming off of a season where he was arguably the best offensive lineman in the NFL. It also landed him in the Pro Bowl and he was named second-team All-Pro. Then there is his record-setting extension. Safe to say, we have only seen the beginning of Lindstrom's dominance.
#62: Todd McClure, C (2000-2012)
Todd McClure, the newest member of the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor and the owner of the best nickname in all of sports (Mud Duck), was a pillar for the team he played 13 seasons with. In 10 of his 13 seasons, he managed to play in every single game and has held to the franchise record in consecutive starts (144) which spanned from 2002 to 2010—although Jake Matthews is one game away from breaking his record.
#61: John Scully, IOL (1981-1990)
I'm sure John Scully is the first Scully you would think of in relation to sports...
Anyways, this Scully played all three interior offensive line positions through his 112 games with the Atlanta Falcons. While he never had a consistent starting streak like the 'Mud Duck', he was a versatile piece for nine seasons in Atlanta.
#60: Tommy Nobis, LB (1966-1976)
No one in the history of the Atlanta Falcons will ever have the legacy that Tommy Nobis does. I mean for heck's sake he is nicknamed 'Mr. Falcon.' He is also currently the biggest Pro Football Hall of Fame snub. He was simply incredible for the team that used their very first draft pick ever on him as he played 11 years (133 games) and had 12 interceptions for 182 yards and two interceptions, while also throwing in 9.5 sacks. If tackles were officially recorded back then, he would have off-the-chart numbers. Nobis also came close to winning Rookie of the Year in 1966 and made five Pro Bowls, a second-team All-Pro team, and a first-team All-Pro team. Get this man into the Hall of Fame!
Continue the series: