Ring of Honor
The Atlanta Falcons organization doesn’t officially retire jersey numbers, but considers certain players’ jerseys worthy of being
honored. The Falcons Ring of Honor, which is featured in the rafters of the Georgia Dome, honors individual players and not jerseys.
ATLANTA FALCONS YEARBOOK 2019
2004 INAUGURAL CLASS
A third-round pick, Andrews was among the NFL’s
elite runners when a shocking knee injury prematurely
ended his career. He became just the 318 second
running back in NFL history to have two 2,000-
yard (combined yards) seasons (the only other player
prior to Williams was O.J. Simpson). When he had his
first 2,000-yard year, he joined just four other backs
who had done so (Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Wilbert
Montgomery and Simpson). In his first five seasons
in the NFL (1979-83), Andrews outgained every other
back in the entire NFL. The bullish Andrews had 8,382 total yards in those five years (an
average of 1,677 per year) to lead all NFL runners. Andrews set 19 Falcons club records that
began in his very first NFL game in 1979 when he ran for 167 yards in a game at New Orleans
where he totaled 189 yards. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983 and
made the NFL All-Rookie team in 1979. He retired in 1987.
The No. 1 overall draft pick in 1975, he was named
the NFL’s Rookie of the Year after throwing for 1,662
yards and 15 touchdowns. He set every team record
in passing, which included 23,468 career yards and
154 touchdown passes in 123 games. He produced
three seasons of 3,000 yards or more passing, 12
games of more than 300 yards passing and two
seasons of 30 or more touchdown passes. Bartkowski
collected over 50 victories as a starting
quarterback for the Falcons and guided the team to
their first playoff victory in franchise history over the Philadelphia Eagles in 1978.
The first-ever player drafted by the Atlanta Falcons
for the inaugural 1966 season, Nobis quickly became
the first-ever Falcons player to be voted to the Pro Bowl
after being selected as a rookie. The stellar middle linebacker
was named the NFL Rookie of the Year for his
efforts. “Mr. Falcon” led the team in tackles in nine of
his 11 seasons, while earning five trips to the Pro Bowl. In
a poll conducted in 1970 by ABC to pick the best athlete
of the decade of the 1960s, running back O.J. Simpson
was number one and Tommy Nobis was number two in
the entire country. He had an astronomical 294 total combined tackles as a rookie, still the team’s
club record. Nobis also intercepted 11 passes during his pro career, returning two for touchdowns.
His uniform, No. 60, has been worn by only him during the team’s existence. He retired in 1976.
Jessie came to the Falcons as an undrafted free
agent in 1987 and retired in August of 2001 as one
of the all-time greatest players in franchise history.
Nicknamed, “The Hammer”, for his bone- jarring
tackles, Tuggle is the club’s all-time leader in total
tackles with 2,065 and enjoyed 12 straight 100-tackle
seasons. He led the team in tackles in a season
10 times and amassed 20 or more tackles in a single
game on four occasions with a personal- best of
24 stops. His 14 seasons played, 189 career starts and
209 total games played are third-most ever in Falcons history. Tuggle’s five Pro Bowl appearances
(1992, 1995, 1995, 1997, 1998) stand tied for the third-most ever by a Falcons player.
The Falcons honored No. 58 with “Jessie Tuggle Day” during halftime of the Falcons game vs.
the Detroit Lions on December 22, 2002.
Jeff Van Note
Holds Falcons team marks for most seasons played
(18) and most consecutive games played (155). He is
second in the team record books with 246 games played
and 225 games started. Van Note originally came to the
Falcons as a linebacker from Kentucky, but was moved
to center by head coach Norm Van Brocklin and eventually
earned the starting job at center in 1970. He earned the
first of his six Pro Bowl berths in 1974. Van Note is tied with
Claude Humphrey for most Pro Bowl appearances by a
Falcons player with six. He retired in 1986.