Welcome back to Forgotten Falcons, an offseason series we first began way back in 2019. It’s an opportunity to remember some quality players who have been largely forgotten by the fanbase over the years. Today, we remember a defensive lineman who anchored the left side of the Falcons defensive line for nearly a decade: Mike Gann.
Time with the Falcons: 1985-1993
Statistics as a Falcon: 118 games (117 starts), 23.5 sacks, 11 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 2 touchdowns
If you weren’t old enough to suffer through Falcons football during the late 80s and early 90s, you may have never heard of Mike Gann. But he spent his entire 9 year career with the Falcons, and he was the very definition of solid.
The Falcons selected Gann with 45th overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. (Fun fact: Gann and Mike Golic were part of the same class at Notre Dame. Golic played linebacker, while Gann lined up at defensive end.) Gann was a starter in Atlanta from Day 1, starting 16 games at right end as a rookie, and racking up 4.5 sacks in the process.
The most memorable play of Gann’s rookie season came during a Week 7 game against the New Orlean Saints on October 20, 1985. Rick Bryan scooped up a fumble and lateraled the ball to Gann (all 270 pounds of him), who took it 42 yards to the house. The Falcons went on to win that game, 31-24.
The Falcons moved Gann to left end during his sophomore campaign, and he’d start there for the next 8 seasons. In 1988, Gann led the Falcons with 25 quarterback hurries. Gann retired as a Falcon after the 1993 season.
Gann is now in his mid-50s. He has owned and operated a granite company in Georgia for nearly 2 decades. Two of his kids went to UGA; a third attended West Point and played 2 years on the Army football team.
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