Hey Falcoholics, I’m back with another edition of The Falcoholic’s Throwback Thursday series. This weekly segment highlights a former Atlanta Falcons player and discusses their life and what they did for the franchise.
Whether you’ve been a fan since the inaugural season, or just became a fan recently, this series will give insight on players from the past. This week we will be focusing on center Todd McClure.
Ryan Todd McClure was born on February 16, 1977 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. McClure attended Central High School with his two brothers. His father was his head coach for two seasons at Central, where Todd played both defensive end and tight end.
For college, Todd McClure stayed local and attended Louisiana State University, commonly known as LSU. Todd quickly became one of the top centers in the country, and he was named to the first-team All-SEC and an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.
With the 237th overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected McClure. His great career however didn’t start out great, as on the third day of training camp, Todd tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season.
During the 2000 season, the Falcons moved starting center Calvin Collins to guard, which allowed Todd to step in and start. From 2000 until his retirement in 2012, Todd would miss only one game. One of his more memorable moments came in postseason of the 2004 season, when he anchored the Falcons offensive line which helped the team have 327 rushing yards in a win over the St. Louis Rams. It was the fourth-highest total for postseason rushing yards in NFL history.
Todd McClure’s final victory as a Falcon came during the 2012 playoffs, when the Seattle Seahawks visited Atlanta. The Falcons went on to lose in the NFC Championship, which would ultimately be McClure’s final NFL game. In a questionable move, the Falcons decided newly drafted Peter Konz would be the Falcons starting center going forward, and Todd McClure retired from the NFL. During his retirement press conference, owner Arthur Blank stated that Todd McClure would soon join the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor, which has yet to happen.
It’s difficult to get descriptive about a position like center, but Todd McClure is certainly one of the best offensive lineman in Atlanta Falcons history thanks to his toughness, technique, and proven ability to help open holes for some great runners. Nicknamed “Mud Duck,” McClure being drafted in the 7th round and then going on to anchor the Falcons offensive line for over a decade makes him one of the franchises best draft selections.
Let me know in the comments below some of your favorite Todd McClure memories. As always, you can find me on Twitter @EvanBirchfield. Additionally, make sure to follow @The_Falcoholic on Instagram for up-to-date news and information. Thanks for reading, Falcoholics.