There have been a number of players who have worn the #61 on their back for the Falcons over the years. Most are mere blips on the radar, though a few do standout. Tackle Brent Adams wore the number between 1975 and 1977 while rotational defensive tackle Ellis Johnson wore it during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Others have wore #61 over the years, but there are a few that are notable. Picking the "best" of this ragtag group is akin to running to the platform for your second place prize.
Our current center is notable because he has the potential to eventually be the clear choice for this list. He's still only 26 years old and when he's played, he's shown a good report with Matt Ryan. Though he's spent most of his years as a rotational offensive lineman, he's worked his way up to starting center though the ACL tear from last season now looms over him. If he can bounce back this year and excel in the ZBS as many think he will, he could cement his position with the team for the long-term.
Sandeman was a journeyman for his first several years in the league. He finally settled down when he joined the Falcons in 1968 and would go on to play for the team through the 1973 season, starting 42 games at left tackle.
While researching Scully, google insisted on giving me information on John Sculley the former CEO of Pepsi and Apple who is famous for having essentially kicked Steve Jobs out of Apple. Not the same guy, but thanks anyways search engine overlords.
John Scully (no "e") played guard for the Falcons from 1981 to 1990, which is the longest stretch for any player to wear the number 61 for the team. In that time, he played in 112 games, starting 82 of them. He would play both right and left guard in his tenure with the team and he only ever played for the Falcons.
Tobeck has the second longest tenure for any Falcons player who wore the #61, having worn it for 6 years and playing in 84 games while starting 72 of them. He played both left guard and center for the team from 1994 to 1999 and was on the team that went to the Super Bowl. Tobeck would move on to play with the Seahawks where he would earn a Pro-Bowl nod during the 2005 season.
Though I do believe Hawley has the potential to top this list one day, Scully gets the nod as the best player to have worn #61 for the Falcons. His extended tenure with the team and 82 total starts edges out Tobeck. What are your thoughts on this list?