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Falcons Uniform History: The immortal Jessie Tuggle

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One of the true Falcons franchise greats is also easily the best player ever to wear #58.

The best #58 in Falcons history is also one of the best players to don the uniform. The immortal Jessie Tuggle walks away with this one.

The five-time Pro Bowler was an undrafted free agent who followed up a relatively quiet rookie season with 13 excellent years in Atlanta. Tuggle finished his career with six interceptions, a preposterous 1,640 tackles, 21 sacks, 10 fumbled recoveries and six defensive touchdowns. He was unquestionably one of the best linebackers ever to play here, and lest you younger fans suspect he got those numbers by being a pile jumper, recall that his nickname was "The Hammer," and they didn't call him that because of his enduring love for the music of Stanley Kirk Burrel. By virtually any standard, Tuggle is a franchise great.

Tuggle's lineage lives on in Atlanta with his son, Grady Jarrett, who joins the team as a highly touted defensive tackle that will hopefully have half the career his old man enjoyed.

It's a shame for the other contenders here that this number so obviously belongs to Tuggle, because Don Hansen and Joel Williams were damn fine players. Hansen spent seven years in Atlanta as a starting linebacker in the late 60's and early 70's, frequently forcing turnovers and locking down middle linebacker. Williams played outside linebacker for eight years split between a pair of stints with the Falcons, putting up some solid stats and starting quite a few games.

A salute to Tuggle, then.