Welcome to Forgotten Falcons, a 2019 offseason series where we remember some quality players who have been largely forgotten by the fanbase over the years. Today, we’ll kick things off with former right tackle Todd Weiner.
Time in Atlanta: 2002-2008
Stats: 96 starts, 1 reception, 0 yards
Why you should remember him
Let’s start with the thing you should know about Todd Weiner, ahead of everything else: His middle name is Dewberry.
That out of the way, here’s what else you should know about Dewberry: He was a very good tackle whose contributions to this Falcons team have been too quickly forgotten. He effectively protected Michael Vick, kept the QB grab bag in 2007 safe, and served as an effective bridge to the future for the 2008 Falcons, with their shiny new quarterback Matt Ryan.
Weiner came over in 2002, when the Vick era was really revving up and it was obvious the Falcons would need a capable blindside protector. Vick’s legendary ability to escape pressure made him thrilling to watch and as dangerous as any quarterback has ever been on the move, but it also meant that the offensive line needed to at least kind of hold up to give him time to work his magic. For the five seasons he spent as Vick’s right tackle (remember, Vick was a lefty), Weiner did that job capably, and helped to pave the way for some very effective rushing attacks.
Weiner’s best season in Atlanta was probably that first one, when he started 15 games and did a tremendous job paving the way for the 2,368 yards DVD and company picked up on the ground and helping to give Vick actual time in the pocket. He was still an effective player in 2008, albeit more limited than he once was, and he retired after the season. For those seven years, though, he was better-than-average at worst for a team that largely spent the next half-decade scraping by at the tackle position.
Off the field, Weiner was a generous guy, one who was nominated as the team’s 2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year and gave time and hundreds of thousands of dollars to charitable organizations and faith-based organizations throughout his career.
The Falcons are in a bit of a transition period at right tackle at the moment, with the team potentially giving Ryan Schraeder a shot to bounce back (that’d be nice), turning it over to Ty Sambrailo (um), or drafting a new right tackle of the future. We’ll hope whoever ends up manning the position can play as well as Todd Weiner once did.