As the Falcons uniform history series continues, we continue to heavily cover the offensive and defensive linemen portion of our franchise history. In our previous Falcoholic number #63, we've reflected on the amazing impact we saw from Justin Blalock in his tenure during his career in Atlanta, and a few linemen who made an impact over a handful of seasons.
As we start discussing the number 64, we have a familiar offensive lineman from the Run and Shoot Days that currently graces local sports radio and NFL Network during the season, a guard that was considered by some fans to be very underrated. only to be traded to the San Diego Chargers in his tenure as a Falcon, and the remainder of the list is....well, let's just get started.
Center Jamie Dukes (1986-1993)
Many of the new Falcons fans and NFL Network lovers are very familiar with Dukes, who makes appearances on different shows throughout the NFL season such as NFL AM, NFL Game Day, and NFL Total Access. Locally, you can hear Dukes on his own segment called the Rick and Jamie show with NBA TV analyst Rick Campbell on WZGC-FM (Atlanta 92.9 The Game). However, Dukes was also one of our most notable starters on the offensive line during the Run and Shoot days in Atlanta.
Despite a strong showing in his college days at Florida State, Dukes went undrafted in 1986, but signed with the Atlanta Falcons before the season. Dukes would start four games during his rookie season, and after starting in none of the games during the strike-shortened 1987 season, Dukes would earn five starts as a left guard in 1988. In 1989, Jamie Dukes earned the starting center position for the Atlanta Falcons and would start until his final season in a Falcons uniform in 1993.
After the 1993 season, Dukes would sign two one-year contracts with the Green Bay Packers in 1994, starting in eight games and ended his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals, starting six games at center in 1995. Dukes has achieved more success in his days as a NFL Network contributor and radio personality; however, he was the anchor of the Falcons offensive line for a few seasons, and that's better than many numbers could dream of.
Left Guard Bob Hallen (1998-2001)
Before entering the NFL, Hallen was a four year starter at Kent State University. where he started 44 consecutive games. He was a first-team All-Mid-American Conference choice in 1997 after switching to right tackle after three seasons at center. After a pretty successful Senior Bowl in 1998, he was drafted in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft. In his second season, Hallen would earn the starting left guard position on the Falcons offensive line.
Hallen was considered to be a great talent and strong as an ox, with that praise coming from former teammate and Falcons legend Jamal Anderson when I was discussing his days as a Falcon. Alas, many fans would have loved to see a more assertive side of Hallen during his NFL career as well. After only starting five games at left guard in 2000, Hallen would return as a starter for most of the 2001 season. Unfortunately, back which he first injured in the 2001 season while playing for us would force him to miss a few games. After the 2001 season, Hallen was traded to the San Diego Chargers, like Dukes all those years before him. Hallen started 11 games during his first season in San Diego; however, on-going injuries haunted him the remainder of his career and would retire during the 2006 pre-season from the Cleveland Browns.
Left Guard Andy Maurer (1970-1973)
Maurer was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 3rd round from the University of Oregon in the 1970 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he would start nine games for the Falcons at left guard and would earn the full time starting position. Maurer would anchor the left guard position on Atlanta's offensive line in the 1971, 72, and 73 seasons only missing a few starts during his tenure. After 1973, Maurer would play for two teams, the New Orleans Saints, where he didn't receive any game action and finished the year starting six of the final eight games as a Minnesota Viking. He would go play in Super Bowl IX as a member of the Vikings and Super Bowl XII as a member of the Broncos.
After researching the 11 players who wore #64 during their time in a Falcons uniform, the winner is Jamie Dukes. Dukes provided eight seasons for the Falcons, making him the longest-tenured player to wear the number in Atlanta. Dukes was a notable offensive lineman for Jerry Glanville during our high flying Run and Shoot offense from the early 90's. Although Hallen and Maurer provided a small impact to our offensive line during their careers, Dukes was clearly the top candidate for the best player to ever grace this number during the last fifty seasons of Atlanta Falcons football.
Here's the other players who wore the number as well:
Tom Harmon . . . . . . . . . . . . 1967
Pat Howell . . . . . . . . . . . 1979-83
Joe Pellegrini . . . . . . . . 1984-86
Jeff Pahukoa . . . . . . . . . 1995-96
Martin Bibla . . . . . . . . 2002-04
P.J. Alexander . . . . . . . . . . . 2006
Pat McCoy . . . . . . . . . . . 2007-08
Jonathan Scott . . . . . . . . . . . 2014