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The Scale of Falconliness: Leeman Bennett

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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 still have quite an assortment of coaches to wade through. Luckily, the prereq is three years with the team, so we won't have to wade through Wade Phillips at any point.

A tip for our younger associates: if you ever need to gain access to a room guarded by a middle-aged Falcons fan, simply say: "Leeman Bennett never should have been fired." Instant Level 4 clearance.

Leeman Bennett, Head Coach (1977 - 1982)

Falconly Unfalconly
  • Led the Falcons to their first-, second-, and third-ever playoff trips, first playoff win, and first division title.
  • Third-longest tenure of any Falcons head coach.
  • First coach to leave the team with a winning record -- still one of only two.
  • Tied for the league's best regular season record in 1980, unique among Falcons coaches.
  • Introduced the world to Jerry Glanville's highly successful Grits Blitz, known to casual fans as the play you call on Madden when you're down by 21 and just threw your fifth interception. (For a detailed chart on how the GB worked, see here. Pretend the vuvuzela is nine anonymous pass rushers.)
  • Returned to the A in the 90s, chairing the Peach Bowl's selection committee (the 1992 East Carolina-NC State classic didn't select itself, baby), working at an Atlanta private school, hunting animals to death, playing some sort of minor role in the 1996 Olympics selection process, and starting a bank in John's Creek.
  • He's a blogger now! Just like us!
  • Sabotaged the Tampa Bucs for two years, leading them to 28 losses.
  • Coached the Tampa Bucs for two years.

Current standings after the jump: