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Nominate the best Falcons defenders and special teamers from 1981-1990

It’s an underrated, very strong defense over the course of the decade.

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions - November 24, 2005 Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Falcons offense from 1981-1990 promises to have some familiar names on it, with legends like Steve Bartkowski, Mike Kenn, Alfred Jenkins and William Andrews standing out. The defense does not have quite as many of those names, but it may quietly be much better than the offense.

This is a terrific defense thanks to its constituent parts, even if most of these names have been lost to history. I was surprised, again and again, by just how many great defensive linemen and linebackers were playing during this era, which made selecting a list challenging. The Falcons didn’t have much at cornerback throughout the 80s, but they did have some very good run-stoppers up front, a terrific safety tandem, and one of the best pass rushing defensive tackles in team history in Mike Lewis.

Give us your nominees and we’ll vote on these soon!

Falcons All-Decade Defense & Special Teams, 1981-1990

Defensive Ends: Mike Gann & Jeff Merrow

Defensive Tackle: Mike Lewis & Don Smith

Linebackers: Buddy Curry, Joel Williams & John Rade

Cornerbacks: Bobby Butler & Deion Sanders

Safeties: Scott Case & Tom Pridemore

Kicker: Mick Luckhurst

Punter: Rick Donnelly

Returner: Billy “White Shoes” Johnson