Atlanta Falcons Football’ Greatest Players and Memorable Moments. The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the National Football League (NFL) and compete in the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. Established in 1966, the Falcons have built a rich history in the NFL, featuring both successes and challenges throughout their existence.
Early Years: The Falcons joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1966. In their early years, they struggled to find success on the field, as is common for expansion teams. However, they managed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in 1978, where they reached the NFC Wild Card round.
1980s and 1990s: The Falcons experienced an upswing in the 1980s and 1990s, boasting several notable players during this period. In the 1980s, the team featured standout players like quarterback Steve Bartkowski and running back William Andrews. Bartkowski was a Pro Bowl quarterback, while Andrews was a dynamic rusher who gained over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons (1981-1983).
The 1990s were marked by the arrival of a player who would become one of the most iconic Falcons of all time: running back Jamal Anderson. In 1998, Anderson had an incredible season, rushing for 1,846 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the Falcons to a remarkable Super Bowl run. Coached by Dan Reeves, the team made it to Super Bowl XXXIII but ultimately fell to the Denver Broncos.
Michael Vick Era: One of the most electrifying and controversial periods in Falcons history came during the early 2000s when quarterback Michael Vick joined the team. Vick’s unparalleled athleticism and playing style revolutionized the quarterback position. He became a dual-threat sensation, capable of making highlight-reel plays with his arm and legs.
The Falcons, under Vick’s leadership, achieved success, making multiple playoff appearances and even winning a thrilling NFC Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers in 2002. However, Vick’s career took a downturn due to legal troubles, including his involvement in a dogfighting scandal. This led to his suspension and eventual departure from the Falcons in 2007.
The Matt Ryan Era and Super Bowl LI: In 2008, the Falcons drafted quarterback Matt Ryan, setting the stage for a new era of Falcons football. Nicknamed “Matty Ice,” Ryan quickly established himself as one of the league’s premier quarterbacks. Under his leadership, the team achieved consistent success in the regular season and returned to the playoffs multiple times.
The pinnacle of Matt Ryan’s career with the Falcons came during the 2016 season when he led the team to Super Bowl LI. The Falcons enjoyed a remarkable run that year, featuring a high-powered offense and a tenacious defense. In the Super Bowl, they faced the New England Patriots and held a commanding 28-3 lead in the third quarter. However, the Patriots staged an incredible comeback to tie the game, eventually winning in overtime, leaving the Falcons heartbroken.
Recent Years: In the years following their Super Bowl appearance, the Falcons have faced various challenges, including coaching changes and roster adjustments. Despite some struggles, the team has remained competitive and continues to develop new talents while building around their star players like Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones (as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021).
The Falcons play their home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a state-of-the-art venue located in downtown Atlanta. The team has a passionate fan base that supports them through thick and thin, making the city a hub for football enthusiasm in the southeastern United States.
As the NFL continues to evolve, the Atlanta Falcons look forward to making more strides and bringing further success to their loyal fan base.
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, here is a list of some notable players who were part of the Atlanta Falcons organization. Please note that player rosters can change frequently due to trades, signings, and releases, so the current roster may differ from the one provided below:
- Matt Ryan – Quarterback
- Julio Jones – Wide Receiver (Jones was traded to the Tennessee Titans in June 2021)
- Roddy White – Wide Receiver
- Michael Vick – Quarterback
- Deion Sanders – Cornerback
- Tony Gonzalez – Tight End
- Warrick Dunn – Running Back
- William Andrews – Running Back
- Steve Bartkowski – Quarterback
- Jamal Anderson – Running Back
- Terance Mathis – Wide Receiver
- Jessie Tuggle – Linebacker
- Morten Andersen – Kicker
- Tommy Nobis – Linebacker
- Matt Bryant – Kicker
- Keith Brooking – Linebacker
- Mike Kenn – Offensive Tackle
- John Abraham – Defensive End
This is not an exhaustive list, and the Falcons have had many other talented players throughout their history. Additionally, the roster may have changed since my last update in September 2021, so I recommend checking the team’s official website or the NFL website for the most up-to-date roster information.
About the Matt Ryan NFL player
Matt Ryan, often referred to as “Matty Ice,” is an accomplished American football quarterback who has made a significant impact on the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. He was born on May 17, 1985, in Exton, Pennsylvania.
College Career: Before entering the NFL, Matt Ryan played college football at Boston College. He quickly established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation during his time with the Eagles. In 2007, his senior year, Ryan led Boston College to an impressive 11-3 record and an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. His exceptional performances on the field earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the ACC Player of the Year and the Manning Award.
NFL Career: Matt Ryan was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He was immediately thrust into the starting quarterback role and has been the face of the franchise ever since.
Ryan’s poise, accuracy, and leadership skills were evident from the start, and he quickly proved himself as a reliable and consistent quarterback. In his rookie season, he threw for over 3,400 yards and 16 touchdowns, earning him the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Throughout his NFL career, Matt Ryan has been known for his strong arm and ability to read defenses effectively. He has been a model of consistency, routinely passing for over 4,000 yards in a season and being a key factor in the Falcons’ offensive success. Ryan’s remarkable work ethic and dedication have made him a beloved figure among fans and respected by his peers.
Notable Achievements: One of the highlights of Matt Ryan’s career came during the 2016 season. He led the Falcons to an impressive 11-5 record and a spot in Super Bowl LI. Ryan’s outstanding performance throughout the season earned him the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, making him only the second player in Falcons history to receive the prestigious honor.
In that same season, the Falcons’ high-powered offense, orchestrated by Ryan, captured the NFC Championship, setting up a showdown with the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Although the Falcons ultimately lost in a dramatic fashion, Ryan’s exceptional season solidified his place as one of the premier quarterbacks in the league.
Legacy and Impact: Matt Ryan’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons franchise cannot be overstated. He has broken numerous team records and has been a cornerstone of the team’s success for well over a decade. His leadership both on and off the field has been instrumental in the development of younger players and maintaining a competitive team culture.
Ryan’s accomplishments have also earned him widespread recognition, and he is often considered one of the league’s most respected and skilled quarterbacks. His dedication to the game and consistent performances have made him a fan favorite in Atlanta and have solidified his legacy as one of the greatest players in Falcons history.
As my knowledge is based on information available up until September 2021, I recommend checking more recent sources for any updates on Matt Ryan’s career beyond that point.
About the Julio Jones NFL player
Julio Jones is an exceptional American football wide receiver who has made a significant impact in the National Football League (NFL) during his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons. Born on February 3, 1989, in Foley, Alabama, Jones has garnered a reputation as one of the most talented and dominant receivers in the league.
College Career: Before entering the NFL, Julio Jones played college football at the University of Alabama. During his time with the Crimson Tide, he quickly established himself as a top receiving talent, showcasing his extraordinary athleticism, precise route-running, and ability to make acrobatic catches. Jones played a crucial role in helping Alabama win the 2009 BCS National Championship.
NFL Career: Julio Jones was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. From the moment he stepped onto the NFL field, Jones showcased his incredible skills, becoming an instant playmaker for the Falcons.
Throughout his career in Atlanta, Jones consistently displayed an impressive combination of size, speed, and hands, making him a nightmare for opposing defenses. He possesses exceptional leaping ability, body control, and an uncanny knack for catching difficult passes in tight coverage.
Jones quickly became one of quarterback Matt Ryan’s favorite targets, forming one of the most potent quarterback-wide receiver duos in the NFL. His presence on the field demanded extra attention from defenses, often leading to double-teams and defensive schemes designed specifically to contain him.
Notable Achievements: Julio Jones earned numerous accolades and awards throughout his NFL career. He has been selected to multiple Pro Bowl appearances, showcasing his status as one of the league’s premier wide receivers.
In 2015, Jones led the NFL in receiving yards, capturing the NFL receiving yards title for the first time. He achieved this feat again in 2018, solidifying his reputation as one of the most prolific receivers of his era.
Legacy and Impact: Julio Jones will be remembered as one of the greatest wide receivers in Atlanta Falcons history and one of the most talented players at his position in NFL history. His combination of speed, size, and catching ability made him a game-changer for the Falcons and one of the most feared offensive threats in the league.
Beyond his on-field contributions, Jones was known for his quiet and humble demeanor, earning respect from both teammates and opponents alike. He led by example, setting a high standard for work ethic and professionalism, making him a role model for younger players.
Trade to the Tennessee Titans: In June 2021, after an illustrious decade-long career with the Falcons, Julio Jones was traded to the Tennessee Titans. The trade signaled the end of an era in Atlanta, but it also presented an opportunity for Jones to continue making an impact in the NFL with a new team.
As of my last update in September 2021, Julio Jones’s legacy with the Tennessee Titans was yet to be fully written. Nevertheless, his contributions to the Falcons and the NFL as a whole have solidified his place among the all-time greats, leaving a lasting mark on the sport he loves. For the most current information about Julio Jones’s career and achievements, I recommend checking more recent sources.
About the Roddy White NFL player
Roddy White is a former American football wide receiver who had a remarkable career with the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League (NFL). He was born on November 2, 1981, in Charleston, South Carolina.
College Career: Before joining the NFL, Roddy White played college football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He quickly established himself as a standout receiver, showcasing his speed, agility, and catching ability during his time with the Blazers.
NFL Career: Roddy White was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, as the 27th overall pick. He quickly became a key player for the Falcons and emerged as one of the most reliable and productive wide receivers in the league.
White’s career with the Falcons was characterized by his exceptional route-running, precise hands, and ability to create separation from defenders. He developed a strong rapport with Falcons quarterbacks, including Michael Vick and later Matt Ryan, becoming a favorite target in the passing game.
Notable Achievements: Throughout his NFL career, Roddy White achieved numerous accolades and accomplishments. He earned four Pro Bowl selections (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) in recognition of his outstanding performances. White’s ability to consistently produce impressive statistics made him a consistent threat to opposing defenses.
In the 2008 NFL season, Roddy White led the league in receptions with 115 catches, showcasing his reliability as a receiver. Additionally, he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in six consecutive seasons (2007-2012), solidifying his status as one of the most productive receivers during that period.
Legacy and Impact: Roddy White’s contributions to the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL have left a lasting impact on the game. He became one of the all-time leading receivers in Falcons history, setting franchise records for career receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
White’s dedication and passion for the game were evident both on and off the field. He was known for his leadership, professionalism, and work ethic, setting an example for younger players in the league. Moreover, his philanthropic efforts and involvement in community initiatives further exemplified his character and commitment to making a positive impact beyond the game of football.
Retirement and Beyond: After an illustrious 11-year career with the Atlanta Falcons, Roddy White announced his retirement from professional football in April 2017. Following his retirement, he remained connected to the game and the Falcons organization, participating in community events and maintaining a presence within the football community.
Roddy White’s legacy as one of the most beloved and accomplished players in Falcons history remains intact. He will always be remembered for his exceptional contributions to the team and his impact on the game of football.
About the Michael Vick NFL player
Michael Vick is a former American football quarterback who revolutionized the game with his exceptional athleticism and unique playing style. Born on June 26, 1980, in Newport News, Virginia, Vick became one of the most electrifying players in the history of the National Football League (NFL).
College Career: Michael Vick’s football journey began at Virginia Tech, where he played college football for the Virginia Tech Hokies. During his time in college, Vick’s extraordinary talents were on full display. He possessed incredible speed, agility, and arm strength, making him a dual-threat quarterback like the NFL had rarely seen before. Vick’s exceptional performances earned him numerous accolades, and he was named an All-American during his sophomore year.
NFL Career: In the 2001 NFL Draft, Michael Vick was selected as the first overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons. His arrival in the league generated immense excitement, as he was considered a game-changer with the potential to redefine the quarterback position.
Vick’s playing style was unlike any other quarterback in the NFL. He possessed the speed of a running back, often breaking away from defenders and taking off for long runs. His arm strength allowed him to launch deep passes with ease, making him a threat both through the air and on the ground.
During his tenure with the Falcons, Vick set several quarterback records, including the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season. His dynamic playmaking abilities earned him a reputation as one of the most exciting and unpredictable players in the league.
Legal Troubles and Comeback: In 2007, Michael Vick’s NFL career took a devastating turn when he faced legal troubles related to his involvement in a dogfighting ring. He was charged with several federal offenses and subsequently suspended by the NFL. Vick spent 21 months in federal prison, leaving his future in the league uncertain.
After his release from prison, Vick sought redemption and a second chance. In 2009, he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, making a remarkable comeback to the NFL. During his time with the Eagles, Vick had several memorable seasons, including a standout performance in 2010, where he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Legacy and Impact: Michael Vick’s impact on the game of football extended beyond his exceptional athleticism. His unique playing style and success as a dual-threat quarterback paved the way for future generations of mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. Vick’s influence could be seen in young players like Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Lamar Jackson, all of whom have redefined the quarterback position with their ability to both throw and run the ball effectively.
Despite the controversies that surrounded him, Vick dedicated himself to rehabilitation and became an advocate for animal welfare after his prison sentence. He worked to raise awareness about the consequences of dogfighting and promoted animal rights.
Michael Vick’s football career was undoubtedly filled with highs and lows, but his legacy will always be remembered as a player who transformed the game with his unparalleled athleticism and dynamic style of play.
About the Deion Sanders NFL player
Deion Sanders, also known as “Prime Time,” is a former American football player who left an indelible mark on the National Football League (NFL) with his extraordinary skills and charismatic personality. Born on August 9, 1967, in Fort Myers, Florida, Sanders is widely regarded as one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history.
College Career: Deion Sanders played college football at Florida State University, where he excelled as a multi-sport athlete. In addition to football, Sanders also participated in track and field and baseball during his college years. He showcased his speed and agility on the football field, earning All-American honors as a cornerback and becoming a standout punt returner.
NFL Career: In the 1989 NFL Draft, Deion Sanders was selected as the fifth overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons. From the outset of his professional career, Sanders established himself as a dynamic and game-changing player on defense and special teams.
As a cornerback, Sanders possessed rare athleticism and remarkable coverage skills. He had the speed to match up with any receiver, and his exceptional ball-hawking abilities made him a constant threat to intercept passes. Sanders was known for his flashy style, often celebrating after making big plays.
Deion Sanders also contributed significantly as a punt returner, earning the reputation as one of the most dangerous return specialists in NFL history. His elusiveness and breakaway speed allowed him to return punts for touchdowns, giving his team an added dimension on special teams.
During his career, Sanders played for several NFL teams, including the Atlanta Falcons (1989-1993), San Francisco 49ers (1994), Dallas Cowboys (1995-1999), Washington Redskins (2000), and Baltimore Ravens (2004-2005). He won two Super Bowl championships with the San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XXIX) and the Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XXX).
Legacy and Impact: Deion Sanders’ impact on the game of football extended beyond his on-field achievements. His flamboyant personality and engaging style of play made him a fan favorite and earned him the nickname “Prime Time.” Sanders was not only a superb athlete but also a showman, entertaining fans with his charismatic antics.
Beyond his athletic prowess, Sanders was a trailblazer for cornerbacks, proving that they could be elite playmakers on defense and have a significant impact on the game. He revolutionized the cornerback position, setting the standard for future generations of defensive backs with his versatility and coverage skills.
After retiring from football, Deion Sanders pursued a successful career in sports media and coaching. He became a prominent NFL analyst and commentator, sharing his insights and expertise with fans and viewers. Additionally, he has been involved in coaching at various levels, including serving as the head coach of Jackson State University’s football team.
Deion Sanders’ legacy in the NFL continues to be celebrated, and he is widely recognized as one of the greatest players to ever grace the football field. His impact on the game, both as a player and as a charismatic personality, ensures that his name will forever be etched in NFL history.
About the Tony Gonzalez NFL player
Tony Gonzalez is a former American football player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the National Football League (NFL). Born on February 27, 1976, in Torrance, California, Gonzalez had a remarkable career marked by his exceptional athleticism, consistency, and longevity.
College Career: Tony Gonzalez played college football at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). Although he primarily focused on basketball during his college years, Gonzalez also played football and showcased his potential as a standout tight end. His outstanding athletic ability and potential as a dual-sport athlete drew attention from both football and basketball scouts.
NFL Career: In the 1997 NFL Draft, Tony Gonzalez was selected as the 13th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. He quickly became a dominant force in the league, redefining the role of the tight end position. Known for his imposing size, great hands, and superb route-running skills, Gonzalez became a favorite target for quarterbacks and a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
Throughout his illustrious career, Gonzalez set numerous records and achieved several milestones. He was known for his incredible consistency, as he recorded 1,000 or more receiving yards in eight seasons, setting a record for the most 1,000-yard seasons by a tight end.
Gonzalez was a highly reliable receiver, catching nearly everything thrown his way, and he was especially effective in the red zone, where he scored many touchdowns. His outstanding performances earned him 14 Pro Bowl selections, the most ever for a tight end.
Legacy and Impact: Tony Gonzalez’s impact on the game of football went beyond his individual achievements. He played a key role in popularizing the tight end position as a valuable asset in the passing game. Before Gonzalez, tight ends were primarily seen as blockers, but he demonstrated that they could be major receiving threats, opening the door for future generations of dynamic tight ends.
His work ethic, professionalism, and leadership on and off the field made him a respected figure among players and fans alike. Gonzalez was known for his humble demeanor and dedication to the game, and he became a mentor to younger players, sharing his knowledge and experience.
Retirement and Post-NFL Career: After a successful 17-year NFL career, Tony Gonzalez announced his retirement in 2013. Despite receiving offers to return to the game, he chose to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and media. He became a prominent analyst and commentator for the NFL on CBS, providing insightful analysis and expert commentary on football games.
In 2019, Gonzalez received one of the sport’s highest honors when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This recognition solidified his place among the all-time greats in NFL history.
Tony Gonzalez’s legacy as an exceptional athlete, role model, and ambassador for the sport of football remains intact. He continues to inspire future generations of football players and fans with his remarkable achievements and contributions to the game.
About the Warrick Dunn NFL player
Warrick Dunn is a former American football player known for his versatile and dynamic play on the field and his dedication to philanthropy off the field. Born on January 5, 1975, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dunn had an outstanding NFL career, leaving a lasting impact both as a player and as a humanitarian.
College Career: Warrick Dunn played college football at Florida State University, where he excelled as a running back. During his time with the Seminoles, he showcased his speed, agility, and vision, earning recognition as one of the top running backs in college football.
NFL Career: In the 1997 NFL Draft, Warrick Dunn was selected as the 12th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From the start of his NFL career, Dunn made an immediate impact, becoming the team’s primary running back and a key playmaker on offense.
Dunn’s running style was characterized by his quickness and elusiveness, making him difficult for defenders to tackle. He was also an accomplished receiver out of the backfield, making him a dual-threat offensive weapon for the Buccaneers.
In 2002, Warrick Dunn had the opportunity to play in his first Super Bowl when the Buccaneers faced the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. He played a crucial role in the team’s victory, contributing both as a runner and a receiver.
After his time with the Buccaneers, Dunn went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons from 2002 to 2007 and then returned to the Buccaneers for the 2008 season before retiring from the NFL.
Philanthropy and Community Impact: Beyond his accomplishments on the football field, Warrick Dunn became known for his commitment to giving back to the community. Early in his life, Dunn experienced personal tragedy when his mother, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Following her passing, Dunn was raised by his five younger siblings, and he became determined to make a difference in the lives of others facing similar circumstances.
In 1997, Dunn established the “Homes for the Holidays” program, through which he partnered with Habitat for Humanity to provide homes to single parents and their families. This initiative aimed to help families achieve the dream of homeownership and stability.
Throughout his NFL career and beyond, Warrick Dunn remained actively involved in charitable endeavors, providing financial assistance, educational opportunities, and support to underprivileged families. His commitment to philanthropy and community outreach earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2004.
Legacy: Warrick Dunn’s legacy in the NFL extends beyond his achievements as a player. He is remembered for his outstanding performance on the field, his dedication to helping others, and his impact as a role model both on and off the gridiron. His tireless efforts to improve the lives of those in need through his charitable work have left a lasting impression on the football community and beyond, making him a true inspiration for athletes and philanthropists alike.
About the William Andrews NFL player
William Andrews is a former American football player who had a notable career as a running back in the National Football League (NFL). Born on December 25, 1955, in Thomasville, Georgia, Andrews became known for his versatility, power, and exceptional skills as a running back during his time in the league.
College Career: William Andrews played college football at Auburn University, where he made a significant impact as a running back. He showcased his athleticism, speed, and ability to break tackles, earning recognition as one of the top running backs in college football.
NFL Career: In the 1979 NFL Draft, William Andrews was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round. He quickly established himself as a key player for the Falcons and became one of the most productive running backs in the league.
Andrews’ running style was characterized by his powerful and physical play, making him a difficult player to bring down. He was known for his ability to gain tough yards between the tackles and his adeptness at catching passes out of the backfield, making him a dual-threat weapon on offense.
During his NFL career, Andrews had three seasons with over 1,000 rushing yards, showcasing his consistency and durability as a running back. He was a vital part of the Falcons’ offense and was a key factor in their success during his tenure with the team.
Injuries and Comeback Attempt: Unfortunately, injuries took a toll on William Andrews’ career. In 1984, he suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him for the entire season. Despite the setback, Andrews worked hard to rehabilitate his knee and attempted a comeback in 1986. While he showed flashes of his previous form, he ultimately decided to retire from the NFL after the 1986 season.
Legacy and Impact: William Andrews’ impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL is remembered fondly by fans and football enthusiasts. He remains one of the most beloved players in Falcons history and is often considered one of the best running backs to ever wear the team’s uniform.
Andrews’ career cut short due to injuries left many wondering what additional heights he could have achieved if not for the setback. Nevertheless, he left an enduring legacy as a versatile and powerful running back who made a significant impact on the field during his playing days.
After his playing career, William Andrews remained involved in football and served as a coach and mentor to younger athletes. His contributions to the sport and his lasting impact on the Atlanta Falcons organization have solidified his place as one of the most respected figures in the team’s history.
About the Steve Bartkowski NFL player
Steve Bartkowski is a former American football quarterback who had a notable career in the National Football League (NFL), primarily playing for the Atlanta Falcons. Born on November 12, 1952, in Des Moines, Iowa, Bartkowski became known for his strong arm, accuracy, and leadership on the football field.
College Career: Steve Bartkowski played college football at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). During his time with the Golden Bears, Bartkowski showcased his exceptional passing abilities and led the team to impressive victories. He gained recognition as one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, setting the stage for his entry into the NFL.
NFL Career: In the 1975 NFL Draft, Steve Bartkowski was selected as the first overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons. He became the franchise’s first-ever No. 1 overall selection, signifying the high expectations placed on his shoulders.
Bartkowski quickly justified the Falcons’ investment, displaying his strong arm and accuracy as he became the team’s starting quarterback. He was known for his ability to throw deep passes with precision, and he developed a reputation as one of the league’s top deep-ball passers.
During his time with the Falcons, Bartkowski enjoyed several successful seasons, setting numerous franchise records for passing yards and touchdowns. He was named to two Pro Bowls during his career (1980 and 1981), and in 1980, he led the Falcons to their first-ever playoff victory in franchise history.
Injuries and Later Career: Despite his success, injuries plagued Steve Bartkowski’s career, leading to some setbacks. Injuries limited his playing time in certain seasons, affecting his overall statistics and availability on the field. However, when healthy, Bartkowski remained a formidable presence under center.
After his time with the Falcons, Bartkowski spent a brief period with the Washington Redskins in 1985 before retiring from the NFL.
Legacy and Impact: Steve Bartkowski’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons organization and the NFL is remembered fondly by fans and football enthusiasts. He is often regarded as one of the most talented quarterbacks in Falcons history and played a significant role in shaping the team’s identity during his tenure.
His strong arm and ability to stretch the field with his deep passes were ahead of their time and laid the foundation for future generations of quarterbacks who adopted a similar style of play.
Beyond his contributions on the field, Bartkowski remains active in the Atlanta community, participating in various charitable and philanthropic endeavors. He has remained connected to the Falcons organization and continues to be a respected figure in the football community.
Overall, Steve Bartkowski’s legacy as a talented and impactful quarterback endures, making him a cherished figure in the history of the Atlanta Falcons franchise.
About the Jamal Anderson NFL player
Jamal Anderson is a former American football running back who achieved stardom during his time with the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League (NFL). Born on September 30, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, Anderson became known for his powerful running style, iconic touchdown dance, and memorable career with the Falcons.
College Career: Jamal Anderson played college football at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), where he displayed his exceptional skills as a running back. He was a standout player for the Bruins and earned recognition as one of the top running backs in the nation during his college years.
NFL Career: In the 1994 NFL Draft, Jamal Anderson was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round as the 201st overall pick. Despite being a late-round selection, Anderson quickly made an impact and solidified himself as the team’s starting running back.
Anderson’s playing style was characterized by his hard-nosed running, breaking tackles, and powerful stiff-arm moves. He became known for his signature “Dirty Bird” touchdown dance, which he performed after scoring touchdowns, capturing the hearts of Falcons fans and becoming a cultural phenomenon during the 1998 season.
The 1998 Season and Super Bowl Run: Jamal Anderson’s most memorable and impressive season came in 1998 when he had a remarkable year for the Falcons. He rushed for an astounding 1,846 yards and scored 14 touchdowns during the regular season, earning him a spot in the Pro Bowl and the prestigious All-Pro First Team honors.
During the playoffs, Anderson and the Falcons made a historic run, reaching Super Bowl XXXIII. In the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings, Anderson’s 27 carries for 113 yards helped the Falcons secure a thrilling victory in overtime. In the Super Bowl, the Falcons faced the Denver Broncos, but unfortunately, they fell short in their quest for a championship.
Injuries and Later Career: Following his sensational 1998 season, injuries took a toll on Jamal Anderson’s career. He suffered a knee injury during the 1999 season, which limited his playing time and affected his future performances.
Despite the injuries, Anderson remained with the Falcons until 2001 before officially retiring from the NFL.
Legacy and Impact: Jamal Anderson’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL is remembered fondly by fans and football enthusiasts. He remains one of the most beloved players in Falcons history, and his “Dirty Bird” celebration is still celebrated by fans to this day.
While injuries curtailed his career, Jamal Anderson’s contributions to the Falcons during his prime and his memorable 1998 season cemented his legacy as one of the team’s all-time greats at the running back position. His hard-running style and touchdown celebrations left a lasting impression on the football community and remain a part of Falcons lore.
About the Terance Mathis NFL player
Terance Mathis is a former American football wide receiver who had a successful career in the National Football League (NFL). Born on June 7, 1967, in Olympia, Washington, Mathis became known for his reliable hands, precise route-running, and impressive contributions on the field.
College Career: Terance Mathis played college football at the University of New Mexico. During his time with the Lobos, he showcased his exceptional receiving skills, becoming one of the top receivers in the college football ranks.
NFL Career: In the 1990 NFL Draft, Terance Mathis was selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round. He quickly emerged as a key player for the Jets, establishing himself as a reliable target for their quarterbacks. However, it was during his time with the Atlanta Falcons that Mathis truly shone and made a lasting impact on the NFL.
Mathis was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in 1994, and it was with the Falcons that he enjoyed the peak of his career. Paired with quarterback Chris Chandler, Mathis became one of the most productive and consistent wide receivers in the league.
During his tenure with the Falcons, Terance Mathis recorded several impressive seasons, routinely surpassing the 1,000-yard receiving mark. His exceptional route-running and sure hands made him a favorite target of Falcons quarterbacks, and he was a key component in the team’s offensive success.
Notable Achievements: In 1998, Terance Mathis had a standout season that further solidified his status as a premier wide receiver in the NFL. He recorded 111 receptions for 1,136 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors.
Mathis played a pivotal role in the Falcons’ historic 1998 season when they reached Super Bowl XXXIII. In the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings, Mathis caught a crucial touchdown pass, helping the Falcons secure a spot in the Super Bowl. Although the Falcons fell short in the Super Bowl, Mathis’s contributions throughout the season were recognized and celebrated by fans and peers.
Legacy and Impact: Terance Mathis’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL extends beyond his individual accomplishments. He remains one of the most respected and admired players in Falcons history, and his contributions to the team helped elevate them to new heights during the 1990s.
After his time with the Falcons, Mathis went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring from the NFL in 2002.
Post-NFL Career: Following his retirement from football, Terance Mathis has been involved in various ventures, including coaching and community service. He has remained connected to the sport he loves and has continued to make a positive impact through his work with young athletes and various charitable initiatives.
Terance Mathis’s legacy as an exceptional wide receiver and a valuable member of the Atlanta Falcons organization endures, making him a cherished figure in the history of the team and an inspiration to aspiring athletes.
About the Jessie Tuggle NFL player
Jessie Tuggle is a former American football linebacker who is best known for his outstanding career with the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League (NFL). Born on April 1, 1965, in Spalding County, Georgia, Tuggle became a beloved figure among Falcons fans and is considered one of the greatest players in the franchise’s history.
College Career: Jessie Tuggle played college football at Valdosta State University, a Division II school in Georgia. Despite not being heavily recruited out of high school, Tuggle made the most of his opportunity at Valdosta State and quickly became a standout linebacker for the Blazers.
NFL Career: Despite going undrafted in the 1987 NFL Draft, Jessie Tuggle signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent. He quickly impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic, tenacity, and football instincts, earning a spot on the team’s roster as a linebacker.
Tuggle’s playing style was characterized by his fierce competitiveness, tackling ability, and exceptional football IQ. He was known for his toughness and never backing down from any opponent, regardless of their size or reputation. Tuggle’s leadership on the field made him a respected figure in the Falcons’ locker room, and he was soon named a team captain.
Throughout his illustrious career, Jessie Tuggle became the heart and soul of the Falcons’ defense. He was a tackling machine and consistently led the team in tackles season after season. Tuggle’s dedication to his craft and his impact on the field earned him widespread recognition as one of the premier linebackers of his era.
Notable Achievements: Jessie Tuggle’s consistent performances earned him five Pro Bowl selections (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998) and three All-Pro honors (1992, 1995, and 1998). He also received the NFC Defensive Player of the Year award in 1992.
Tuggle’s relentless pursuit of the ball carrier and ability to disrupt opposing offenses led him to amass impressive statistics throughout his career. He finished his NFL career with over 2,000 tackles, making him one of the most prolific tacklers in league history.
Legacy and Impact: Jessie Tuggle’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons organization and its fans is immeasurable. He spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Falcons, becoming one of the most beloved players in franchise history. Tuggle’s leadership on and off the field made him a fan favorite and a role model for aspiring young football players.
In 2007, Jessie Tuggle was inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor, cementing his place as one of the most celebrated players in team history. He remains a prominent figure in the Atlanta community and continues to be involved in various charitable activities.
Jessie Tuggle’s legacy as a dedicated and dominant linebacker remains intact, and he is remembered as a player who embodied the true spirit of the game of football. His contributions to the sport and the Falcons organization have left a lasting impression, and his name will forever be associated with the storied history of the Atlanta Falcons.
About the Morten Andersen NFL player
Morten Andersen, also known as “The Great Dane,” is a former Danish-American football player who achieved legendary status as a placekicker in the National Football League (NFL). Born on August 19, 1960, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Andersen is widely regarded as one of the greatest kickers in NFL history.
Early Career: Morten Andersen moved to the United States at a young age and developed a passion for American football. He attended Michigan State University, where he began honing his kicking skills. Despite not being selected in the NFL Draft, Andersen signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 1982.
NFL Career: Andersen’s illustrious NFL career spanned an incredible 25 seasons, making him the all-time leading scorer in NFL history at the time of his retirement. He spent the majority of his career with the New Orleans Saints (1982-1994, 2000-2006) and the Atlanta Falcons (1995-2000). He also had brief stints with the New York Giants (2001) and the Kansas City Chiefs (2002-2003).
Andersen’s remarkable longevity in the league was a testament to his exceptional accuracy, leg strength, and dedication to his craft. He was known for his consistent ability to convert field goals from varying distances, making him a valuable asset for any team he played for.
Notable Achievements: Morten Andersen earned numerous accolades and achievements during his NFL career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times (1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1995, and 2005) and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for both the 1980s and the 1990s.
In 1995, Andersen was part of the Atlanta Falcons team that made it to Super Bowl XXXIII. His strong kicking performances throughout the season played a crucial role in helping the Falcons reach the championship game.
On December 16, 2006, while playing for the Atlanta Falcons, Morten Andersen became the all-time leading scorer in NFL history, surpassing Gary Anderson’s record. He finished his career with an astonishing 2,544 points scored.
Legacy and Impact: Morten Andersen’s impact on the NFL and the sport of football is immeasurable. His remarkable career longevity, accuracy, and consistency as a kicker set a standard for future generations of players at his position.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the game, Morten Andersen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017. His induction solidified his place among the all-time greats in NFL history.
Beyond his on-field accomplishments, Andersen has remained involved in football, serving as a mentor and coach to young kickers, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring athletes.
Morten Andersen’s legacy as one of the most accomplished kickers in NFL history will forever be celebrated by fans and football enthusiasts worldwide. His journey from a young Danish immigrant to a football legend showcases the power of dedication, hard work, and perseverance in achieving greatness on the gridiron.
About the Tommy Nobis NFL player
Tommy Nobis, also known as “Mr. Falcon,” was a former American football player who had a legendary career as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). Born on September 20, 1943, in San Antonio, Texas, Nobis became an iconic figure for the Atlanta Falcons and is widely regarded as one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history.
College Career: Tommy Nobis played college football at the University of Texas at Austin, where he quickly became a standout linebacker for the Longhorns. He earned the nickname “Superman” during his college years due to his incredible strength, toughness, and ability to dominate on the field.
NFL Career: In the 1966 NFL Draft, Tommy Nobis was selected as the first overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the franchise’s inaugural year. He was the first draft pick in Falcons history, setting high expectations for his performance.
Nobis quickly lived up to the hype, becoming the heart and soul of the Falcons’ defense. He was a fierce and relentless player, known for his punishing tackles, exceptional football IQ, and leadership on and off the field.
Throughout his NFL career, Nobis earned a reputation as one of the most dominant linebackers of his era. He was a sure tackler and had a remarkable ability to read and react to plays, often putting himself in the right position to make key stops.
Notable Achievements: Despite playing on a Falcons team that struggled during his time, Tommy Nobis received widespread recognition for his individual achievements. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1966, further solidifying his status as a premier talent in the league.
Nobis was selected to the Pro Bowl five times (1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1972) and earned All-Pro honors twice (1967 and 1968). His impact on the Falcons’ defense was immeasurable, and his leadership made him a respected figure among his teammates and opponents alike.
Legacy and Impact: Tommy Nobis’ impact on the Atlanta Falcons organization and its fans transcends his individual accolades. He became the face of the franchise during its early years and served as an inspiration to the city of Atlanta as the team’s first true football star.
Nobis’ work ethic, passion for the game, and dedication to his team set a standard for future generations of Falcons players. He remained with the Falcons for his entire 11-year NFL career, retiring in 1976 as one of the most beloved figures in the team’s history.
Tragically, Tommy Nobis passed away on December 13, 2017, at the age of 74. His contributions to the game and his legacy as a fierce competitor and a respected sportsman will forever be cherished by Falcons fans and the football community.
In honor of his exceptional impact on the Atlanta Falcons, Tommy Nobis’ number 60 jersey was retired by the team, and he was posthumously inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor in 2018.
Tommy Nobis’ memory lives on as a true legend of the game, and he will always be remembered as “Mr. Falcon” – an embodiment of dedication, skill, and sportsmanship in the world of professional football.
About the Matt Bryant NFL player
Matt Bryant is a former American football placekicker who had an impressive and enduring career in the National Football League (NFL). Born on May 29, 1975, in Bridge City, Texas, Bryant became known for his accurate and clutch kicking abilities, earning him a reputation as one of the league’s most reliable kickers.
Early Career: Matt Bryant’s football journey was not without challenges. After playing college football at Baylor University, he faced adversity in his early attempts to make it to the NFL. He went undrafted in the 2002 NFL Draft and faced several setbacks and rejections before finally getting his opportunity to play professionally.
NFL Career: Matt Bryant’s NFL career began in 2002 when he signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants. However, he didn’t have the chance to establish himself as the team’s starting kicker and was released after a brief stint.
After a few years out of the league, Bryant got another opportunity in 2005 when he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was with the Buccaneers that he truly began to shine and establish himself as a reliable and consistent kicker.
During his time with the Buccaneers (2005-2008), Matt Bryant earned a reputation for being clutch, often making crucial field goals in pressure situations. His accuracy and ability to deliver in critical moments endeared him to the Tampa Bay fanbase.
In 2009, Bryant signed with the Atlanta Falcons, where he continued to excel as the team’s kicker for an impressive nine seasons (2009-2018). He became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, further cementing his status as one of the Falcons’ most beloved players during his tenure.
Notable Achievements: Throughout his NFL career, Matt Bryant received various accolades and honors. He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month multiple times and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016 after a season in which he converted 34 of 37 field goal attempts.
Bryant’s most memorable moment with the Falcons came during the 2016 NFC Championship Game when he made a crucial 51-yard field goal in overtime to send the team to Super Bowl LI.
Retirement: Matt Bryant announced his retirement from the NFL on May 29, 2020, after a remarkable 17-year career. His departure from the league was met with tributes from fans, teammates, and fellow players, recognizing his exceptional contributions to the game.
Legacy and Impact: Matt Bryant’s legacy in the NFL is that of a dependable and consistent kicker who rose above challenges to become one of the league’s most respected players at his position. His ability to make pressure-filled kicks and his dedication to his craft earned him admiration from fans and colleagues alike.
Beyond his on-field achievements, Bryant’s story serves as an inspiration to young players aspiring to make it to the NFL. His perseverance and determination to keep pushing forward, despite the obstacles he faced early in his career, set an example of resilience and hard work.
Matt Bryant’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL will be remembered for years to come. He will forever be recognized as one of the greatest kickers in the history of the league, leaving a lasting mark on the teams he played for and the fans who cheered him on.
About the Keith Brooking NFL player
Keith Brooking is a former American football player who had a highly successful career as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). Born on October 30, 1975, in Senoia, Georgia, Brooking became known for his tenacity, leadership, and exceptional abilities on the field.
College Career: Keith Brooking played college football at Georgia Tech, where he quickly made a name for himself as a standout linebacker. He was a force on the defensive side of the ball and earned several accolades during his college career.
NFL Career: In the 1998 NFL Draft, Keith Brooking was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the 12th overall pick in the first round. He immediately became a key player for the Falcons’ defense, earning a starting role as a rookie.
Throughout his 11-year tenure with the Falcons (1998-2008), Brooking was a model of consistency and excellence. He was known for his intense work ethic and dedication to the game, which made him a leader on and off the field. As the heart and soul of the Falcons’ defense, Brooking was the team’s leading tackler for several seasons and played a crucial role in their success.
Notable Achievements: During his NFL career, Keith Brooking earned five Pro Bowl selections (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006) and was named an All-Pro twice (2001 and 2002). He was widely regarded as one of the best linebackers in the league during his prime, earning respect from fans, peers, and coaches alike.
Brooking’s contributions to the Falcons’ defense were pivotal in helping the team reach the Super Bowl during the 1998 season. Although the Falcons fell short in the championship game against the Denver Broncos, Brooking’s performance throughout the season was instrumental in getting them to the big stage.
Later Career and Retirement: After his time with the Falcons, Keith Brooking played for the Dallas Cowboys (2009-2011) and the Denver Broncos (2012) before ultimately deciding to retire from the NFL.
Legacy and Impact: Keith Brooking’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL extended beyond his on-field achievements. He was not only a highly skilled linebacker but also a respected leader and a positive influence in the locker room.
Throughout his career, Brooking was known for his involvement in charitable endeavors and community service. He remained actively engaged in giving back to the communities he was a part of, leaving a lasting impact off the field as well.
Following his retirement, Keith Brooking has stayed connected to the sport of football. He has pursued a career in broadcasting and sports media, providing insightful analysis and commentary on NFL games and events.
Keith Brooking’s legacy as a talented linebacker and an exemplary leader remains cherished by Falcons fans and is celebrated across the football community. His contributions to the game and his dedication to making a positive impact on and off the field have left a lasting impression on the sport he loves.
About the Mike Kenn NFL player
Mike Kenn is a former American football player who had a highly successful career as an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL). Born on February 9, 1956, in Evanston, Illinois, Kenn became known for his exceptional skills as a pass protector and his longevity as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
College Career: Mike Kenn played college football at the University of Michigan, where he excelled as an offensive lineman. His impressive performances on the field caught the attention of NFL scouts, leading to his selection as the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL Career: Mike Kenn spent his entire 17-year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, playing from 1978 to 1994. During his time with the Falcons, he established himself as one of the premier left tackles in the league and one of the most durable players of his era.
Kenn’s playing style was characterized by his exceptional pass protection skills, athleticism, and intelligence on the field. He was a reliable and steady presence on the Falcons’ offensive line, providing crucial protection for the team’s quarterbacks and helping open running lanes for the running backs.
Throughout his career, Mike Kenn was known for his outstanding durability and toughness. He rarely missed games due to injury, demonstrating his ability to consistently perform at a high level.
Notable Achievements: Mike Kenn’s consistent and high-level play earned him recognition as one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. He was selected to the Pro Bowl five times (1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1991) and was named an All-Pro twice (1981 and 1983).
In addition to his individual accolades, Kenn was an integral part of the Falcons’ offense during his tenure with the team. He was a key contributor to the Falcons’ successes, and his pass protection skills were crucial in allowing the team’s offense to thrive.
Legacy and Impact: Mike Kenn’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL is highly esteemed. He remains one of the most beloved players in Falcons history and is often regarded as one of the franchise’s all-time greats.
His remarkable durability and consistent performance as a left tackle set a standard for excellence at his position. Kenn’s dedication to his craft and his longevity as a player exemplify the qualities of a true professional in the sport of football.
After retiring from football, Mike Kenn has remained connected to the game, staying involved in various football-related activities and community endeavors. His contributions to the sport and his lasting impact on the Atlanta Falcons organization have left a lasting impression, and he continues to be celebrated as a respected figure in the football community.
About the John Abraham NFL player
John Abraham is a former American football player who had an exceptional career as a defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). Born on May 6, 1978, in Timmonsville, South Carolina, Abraham became known for his prowess as a pass rusher and his ability to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
College Career: John Abraham played college football at the University of South Carolina, where he showcased his outstanding athleticism and pass-rushing skills. During his college career, he was a force on the defensive line and earned recognition as one of the top defensive prospects heading into the NFL Draft.
NFL Career: In the 2000 NFL Draft, John Abraham was selected by the New York Jets as the 13th overall pick in the first round. He quickly established himself as a dominant pass rusher, using his speed, agility, and strength to disrupt offenses and make impactful plays.
Abraham spent six seasons with the New York Jets (2000-2005), during which he became one of the league’s premier defensive players. He consistently recorded high sack totals and earned three Pro Bowl selections (2001, 2004, and 2005) during his time with the Jets.
In 2006, John Abraham was traded to the Atlanta Falcons, where he continued his exceptional play as a pass rusher. He quickly became the cornerstone of the Falcons’ defense and further solidified his reputation as one of the NFL’s most feared defensive ends.
During his tenure with the Falcons (2006-2012), Abraham continued to rack up impressive sack numbers and earned four more Pro Bowl selections (2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011). He was a vital part of the Falcons’ defensive unit, providing consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks and contributing to the team’s success.
Notable Achievements: Throughout his NFL career, John Abraham amassed numerous accolades and achievements. He finished his career with 133.5 career sacks, making him one of the all-time sack leaders in NFL history.
Abraham’s ability to consistently generate pressure and disrupt offenses earned him widespread respect from his peers and coaches. He was known for his relentless pursuit of the quarterback and his impact on the game, often drawing double-teams from opposing offensive lines.
Legacy and Impact: John Abraham’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL as a whole is undeniable. He remains one of the most dominant pass rushers to have played the game and left a lasting impression on the teams he represented.
After retiring from the NFL, Abraham transitioned to a coaching role, sharing his knowledge and expertise with younger athletes. He continues to be involved in the football community and remains a respected figure in the sport.
John Abraham’s legacy as a skilled and tenacious defensive end will always be cherished by Falcons fans and football enthusiasts. His contributions to the game and his remarkable achievements have solidified his place as one of the greatest defensive players of his era.
The Atlanta Falcons, based in Atlanta, Georgia, are a professional American football team competing in the National Football League (NFL). Established in 1966, the Falcons are one of the league’s most recognizable and beloved franchises. Over the years, the team has become synonymous with passionate fan support, memorable players, and exciting moments on the field.
This collection of articles delves into the history, key players, and significant moments that have shaped the Atlanta Falcons’ journey in the NFL. From legendary players like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Michael Vick to impactful figures like Tony Gonzalez and Deion Sanders, each article offers insights into the contributions and impact these individuals had on the team’s success.
We will explore the team’s memorable seasons, including their notable playoff runs, Super Bowl appearances, and iconic moments that have defined the Falcons’ identity over the years. Additionally, we will delve into the accomplishments of key players, shedding light on their remarkable performances that have left a lasting mark on the franchise.
As we journey through the articles, we will celebrate the rich history, successes, and challenges faced by the Atlanta Falcons, providing a comprehensive overview of one of the NFL’s most storied teams. Join us as we uncover the moments that have made the Falcons a team cherished by fans and respected by rivals across the football community.