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The Scale of Falconliness, Special Teams Week: Billy "White Shoes" Johnson

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.

Instead of two-a-days, many NFL teams opt for one-and-a-special-teams-practice-a-days. Mike Smith doesn't play that. To make up for the lack of teams-exclusive practices at the Branch, it's time -- ahem -- to ... * kick off * ... Special Teams Week.

Let's secure some field position.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Punt Returner/Wide Receiver (1982 - 1987)

Falconly Unfalconly
  • SWAG. One could posit the Falcons are the NFL team with the danciest history, with Prime Time and the Dirty Bird being the most noteworthy, but all fall short of the glory of the Funky Chicken.
  • 1983 Comeback Player of the Year, back when they gave it to players besides Chad Pennington: in 1978, Houston Oilers All-Pro Billy Johnson suffered a knee. Throughout the five seasons from '78 to '82, he was able to play only a handful of games for the Oilers and Montreal Alouettes. As a sudden Falcon in '83, Johnson scored his first punt return touchdown since 1977 and led his team in receptions for the first time in his NFL career. He made the Pro Bowl.
  • His two best years as a receiver happened in Atlanta.
  • 1980s All-Decade Team -- since he played 78% of his '80s games as a Falcon, we'll claim 77% of this honor, as we are far too gracious.
  • NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team punt returner -- since he scored 12% of his career return touchdowns as a Falcon, we'll claim 13% of this honor, as it's technically 12.5% anyway and you're supposed to round up, not down.
  • That's a total of 90%!!
  • Sources claim he can often be spotted around Atlanta during the holidays dressed up as Santa and distributing toys to children, all the while refusing to self-promote.
  • Played less than half his career in Atlanta, with almost all of his most famous highlights and dance recitals being conducted in Oiler blue. Does the common fan even know Shoes played here?
  • Nobody cares about his two best years as a receiver.

Current standings after the jump: