Who's the ultimate Falcon? And who's the ultimate anti-Falcon? That's what we're going to find out with our summer project: the Scale of Falconliness. We'll rate former Falcons on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most Falconly. The rule: minimum of three seasons with the Falcons for coaches, five seasons for players.
We've had some fine defensive ends, including one should-be Hall of Famer, but defensive tackle is easily the most unimpressive position in Falcons history. Rod Coleman and Jonathan Babineaux rank as our only elite players at the spot, though they aren't eligible this time around.
Still, there have been two worthy Falcons DTs. Help us out on this one, seasoned Falcoholics.
Mike Lewis, DT (1971 - 1980)
- Nine years with the team, tied for 18th all time and fourth among defensive linemen.
- 120 games, 23rd all time. Only missed five games during his time in Atlanta.
- One of only three Falcons to score multiple safeties, and the only lineman besides Claude Humphrey. Sadly, this is our only evidence of Lewis' pass-rushing abilities -- besides that Grits Blitz video we keep linking to, which shows #69 racking up at least two vigorous sacks in one season -- due to the lack of defensive stats for his era.
- This book from the early '70s called Atlanta Falcons: Violence and Victory has a full-page photo of him elbowing the Jets' Joe Namath in the back of the head for no football-specific reason. Sure, fine, this should probably go on the other side.
- The fulcrum of the best statistical defense in NFL history, Lewis was known as smart and technically sound. His six-foot-four frame made him an obstacle against the run and pass.
- Never injured himself on a jet ski.
- Played a year for the Packers during which he apparently accumulated no statistics or renown of any kind.
- Oh, sure, sure, elbowing Joe Namath on purpose is a terrible act.
Current standings after the jump: