Atlanta Falcons: All-Time Team

19 of 23

Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of gold fifty yard line numbers after a game between the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens defeated the Falcons 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Inside Linebacker: Jessie Tuggle (1987-2000)

From an undrafted free agent out of Division II Valdosta State, Jessie Tuggle became one of the greatest faces of the franchise by playing great middle linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s.

The Hammer made five Pro Bowls in the 1990s and was part of all three playoff teams of that decade, including the 1998 Dirty Birds that went all the way to Super Bowl XXXIII. Tuggle had 1,640 career tackles and 164 career assists. He had 10 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries in 14 years with the Atlanta Falcons.

Tuggle had 21.0 career sacks and six career interceptions playing in Atlanta. For a new era of Atlanta Falcons fans, he was like the 1990s version of Tommy Nobis, doing everything in his power to wreak havoc a middle linebacker, regardless of personnel scheme.

Pairing Jessie Tuggle next to Tommy Nobis doesn’t even seem remotely fair. Who could run on this team when the Falcons stack the box with their great linebackers? Tuggle could co-captain the defense with Nobis, but would likely defer to Mr. Falcon.

Next: Outside Linebacker