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The Scale of Falconliness, Inside Linebackers Week: Jessie Tuggle

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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.

If the Spirit leads you to vote 9, that's between you and the Spirit. But don't vote Hammer a 9 just because you know who's on deck for Thursday. Vote with your heart.

Jessie Tuggle, Inside Linebacker (1987 - 2000)

Falconly Unfalconly
  • 14 years as a Falcon, 209 games played -- both third all-time and first among non-offensive-linemen. Until his last season, missed only three games.
  • Five Pro Bowls, tied for second among all Falcons.
  • 1997 Falcons Player of the Year.
  • More tackles than any other Falcon of the recorded-tackles era. 694 more, in fact, but recorded tackles from the early '90s need to be taken with a grain of stat salt. More sacks and forced fumbles than any Falcons non-lineman, and at least those stats are hard to screw up. Three more defensive touchdowns than any other Falcon -- second all-time among all NFL players in fumble return touchdowns. Three different sites claim he holds the NFL record for most tackles in a decade, but I don't know about all that. Holds the top five single-season tackle totals in Falcons history, if you're into that kind of thing.
  • #58: retired. Inaugural Ring of Honor member. Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 1998 NFC Champion, 1991 .
  • In 2000, the Packers offered him a larger contract than the Falcons did, but he chose to retire in Atlanta. (See, this is why I put stuff like "Played for the Packers for one year" in the right column on all these things.)
  • Born in Griffin, Georgia. College Hall of Famer at Valdosta State -- in fact, he's the best athlete in the history of Valdosta, Georgia, which was named the winningest sports town in America by ESPN (see Hammer presenting/accepting the trophy made up by the Mothership for whatever this contest was all about).
  • Lives in Duluth, Georgia. I think. Still hangs around Valdosta for stuff like this and the Branch for stuff like this. Does Atlanta charity stuff. Attended Friday Night Lights a few weeks ago with Ball Hawk and me. That last sentence was worded deceptively.
  • Not afraid to make drastic fashion sacrifices in service of Falcondom.
  • Debate his Falconliness all you'd like, but you cannot dispute his Atlantaliness. Here he is conducting the pinnacle of all Atlanta activities: complaining about Atlanta traffic to the AJC.
  • His son Justin briefly started at quarterback for Boston College, which may remind you of somebody.
  • One year ago, The Falcoholic community voted him the greatest Falcon of all time, which makes this entire thing look kind of redundant, but it's not, and if you have five minutes I can explain why.

Current standings after the jump: