Ahhh, the Falcons..... So much misery, coupled with talented players and high expectations in spurts. We have just enjoyed the greatest era of falcons football. The matt Ryan era featured more playoff births and wins than any other. To be fair, Ryan was given more time than every other Quarterback. Like it or not, it is hard to argue that his lengthy window was not earned very early on.
I love many Falcons players. Here i will address at least one falcon I dearly miss at every position on offense. I will refer to each player as the version of himself that was the best.
QB: Matty Ice, Michael Vick
I love Matt Ryan. It was hard for me to forgive Vick for the dog abuse, but I have forgiven him now. Vick was the most exciting, electrifying, exceedingly eccentric QB to ever play the game. If we take Michael Vick's current brain and insert it into his 2001 body the possibilities are endless. Matt Ryan was on fire as a rookie, and we all thought there were so many great things to come. He showed leadership and resilience throughout... While being saddled with all different talent deficiencies possible in different combinations each season. At the end of the day, at least two chances were there. He never got us a chip. How did that happen?
RB: Michael Turner, Michael Turner, and Michael Turner
Did I mention Michael Turner? If you see anyone at the Benz wearing a Turner Jersey, that will be me. I love Turner more than words can describe. He is my favorite falcon ever and an overall bad lass. His thighs were bigger than my cranium and looked like tree Trunks. He ran over people without a care in the world for five beautiful skull crushing years. THAT was Falcons football. Mike Smith-Michael Turner ground and pound with play action over the top to God Roddy White, giant Tony Gonzalez, and later budding star Julio Jones? Again, looking at that group on paper screams playoff wins.
WR: Roddy White, Julio Jones, Eric Weems, Harry Douglas, Taylor Gabriel
White and Jones were monsters. Weems is another bad lass who is just an overall football Rambo who was not afraid of contact. Roddy White had better availability than Julio Jones in terms of the respective end of their careers. White could always be counted on to post up in the end zone with his big body. For a long time he burned defenders on post routes with his speed as well. Arthur smith has put together a roster full of WRs trying to be Roddy Whites rather than Julio Jones clones. Time will tell if this is the right approach. I do like the return to physicality. I loved Roddy's trash talk. Douglas was an extremely good WR 3 who would have been a 1 or 2 had he played with another team early on. He was constantly clutch and relied upon heavily, even garnering a 1000 yard season. He did have a big drop in the playoffs at the tail end of his run with Atlanta. Taylor Gabriel was a screen pass nightmare and overall twitchy athletic agile spark plug who was DESPERATELY missed upon his departure.
TE: Crumpler, Tony G
As previously mentioned, Tony G is exactly what anyone would want in a tight end. A wonderful personality matched with a huge athletic body boasting deceptive speed. His many years in the NFL culminated in a player able to knife through defenses seemingly at will. Crumpler is overshadowed by Tony, but without Gonzales in the picture Crumpler would be the greatest falcon TE in history.
T: Tyson Clabo, Jeremy Trueblood, Ryan Schrader
All three of these men were beasts at the height of their respective play. Trueblood and Schraeder graded better as run blockers early on, with the two (especially Ryan) excelling in pass protection later.
G: Chris Chester, Andy Levitre, Harvey Dahl
I may have butchered the spelling of Harvey Dahl. Levitre and Chester well outperformed expectations blocking for MR2 and company. The mike Smith era also had great guard play with one of those guards being Harvey Dahl.
C: Todd McClure, Alex Mack
Two monsters, period. Why McClure was forced into retirement remains a mystery to this day. He had PLENTY left in the tank.
FB: Ovie Mugheilli
One of if not the best FB to ever play for the falcons, mugheilli was a baller who was one of the most heavily involved FB in the game in his heyday.
Honarable mentions: Anderson, Dwight, Tevin Coleman, Brian Finneran
I never watched Anderson or Dwight play live. However, I have seen the highlights. Anderson has my favorite quote of any falcon player ever. I will not quote him exactly; but in essence he proclaimed himself royalty who was destined from birth to be an NFL running back and a king, and that he did not worry about anything in football because of that.