It's not a stretch to say that Jessie Tuggle is a beloved Atlanta Falcon, perhaps one of the most beloved ever. After 20-plus years as a fan of this team and almost seven years with this blog, I've seen hundreds of players wear the uniform, and Tuggle remains my favorite.
The Hammer was the kind of tackler the Falcons would love to have today, someone who patrolled the field and could take down anyone he came across. The team was right to retire his number, as he was one of the most productive players in team history and always a quiet professional.
I know there's plenty of love for Tuggle on this site, which is why I wanted to point you in the direction of this Pro Interviews chat with him. Give it a read for nuggets like this, about having his number retired:
That was pretty cool because to have your number retired means they really have to respect you as a person and a player. I feel they had that respect for me, for what I did for the game and left on the football field, but also for my character and who I am and what I represent. It was an honor to have my jersey retired, and also to retire the jersey of a guy who came in un-drafted.
Go check out the interview for a lot more. It's worth your time.