As we head over the hill, #40 brings us several players who had some fantastic names...but not much else. There is one player who stands above the rest at #40, however, and if you watch SportSouth, you might've seen him this week.
Brian Jordan only spent three years in the NFL - all with the Falcons - but his impact was felt all three years. Jordan was originally drafted by the Bills in the 7th round of the 1989 NFL Draft, however he was cut by the team during training camp. The Falcons scooped him up the same year and he played for three seasons at strong safety, compiling five interceptions and four sacks. In 1991, he was a Pro Bowl alternate at safety for the NFC.
He was also drafted in 1988 by the St. Louis Cardinals and played minor league baseball in their organization while also playing for the Falcons. However, in 1992 Jordan was essentially bought out of football by the Cardinals, where he eventually ascended to the major leagues and had a very successful career with the Cardinals, the Braves, and the Rangers.
If you like, you can check out his baseball stats here.
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
This was the best picture I'm legally allowed to use. The one that showed his face was with him like cut off on the side. It didn't look good.
With that said, let's take a look at some of the other people to wear #40.
Bob Jones was a career special teamer for the Falcons in 1975 and '76. He played four years in the league, two with Cincy and two with us. He didn't accrue any meaningful stats, though PFR gave him a 12 career AV. Alrighty then.
As luck would have it, there was a second Bob Jones to play for us in 1969...or perhaps he was the first. In any case, PFR doesn't recognize the second Bob Jones's time with us, though NFL.com does. The second Bob Jones (first? How about...older) Bob Jones wore #43 so he isn't applicable to this post anyway.
Gipson was a 2nd round pick and played for the Falcons in 1969 and 1970. His career was not particularly noteworthy either; he only played four seasons in the league. He did, however, have a few interesting stats. With the Falcons, he scored a touchdown in his rookie year despite carrying the ball only 62 times. In 1970, he had three receiving touchdowns on just 16 receptions! He also fumbled the ball eight times his rookie year. Ouch.
At one point, he had a plethora of rushing records at the University of Houston. Most of them have since been broken, but he set the bar high. Gipson's post-football career didn't go so well. He had issues with alcoholism and spent some time in prison for controlled substance possession. Unfortunately, Gipson died in 1985 from a heart attack. He was 38.
Ron Smith may have had the most successful career of all the players to wear the Falcon 40, though most of the damage was dealt in other locations. Smith was an electric returner in the '60s and '70s and was the first true return man in Falcons history. He joined the team in 1966 and spent two seasons with the team while accruing nearly 2,500 all-purpose yards.
Over his 10 year career, Smith played for five different teams. He was a Pro Bowler with the Bears in 1972.
Ah yes, Mike Cox.
Sorry, no pictures allowed.
Nothing of note here, though some fascinating names wore #40
- Leander Knight
- Ron Lamb
- Thor Merrow
- Jeff Paulk
- Nick Turnbull
Discuss your memories of Brian Jordan and the other #40's here!