The Atlanta Falcons today announced that former Falcon greats QB Steve Bartkowski, RB Warrick Dunn, LB Tommy Nobis, C Jeff Van Note, and LB Jessie Tuggle will serve as honorary captains during Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m., at the Georgia Dome, where Atlanta is 8-1 this season and 34-8 since 2008 including playoffs.
Bartkowski was selected by the Falcons with the first overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft. He won Rookie of the Year honors and went on to set every team record in terms of passing, including 23,468 career yards and 154 touchdown passes. Bartkowski was elected to the Falcons Ring of Honor in the inaugural class in 2004.
Dunn spent six seasons with the Falcons from 2002-07. He rushed for 5,981 yards on 1,413 carries with 30 touchdowns and ranks fourth on the club’s all-time rushing yardage list. Dunn won the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2004 for his contributions to the community. He is currently a limited partner of the Falcons.
Nobis was the first player drafted in Atlanta Falcons history prior to the inaugural 1966 season. He was the first player in team history to be named to the Pro Bowl, earning the honor after his rookie season when he also was named NFL Rookie of the Year. Nobis, who is often referred to as “Mr. Falcon”, was elected to the Falcons Ring of Honor in the inaugural class in 2004.
Van Note, who spent a club record 18 seasons with the Falcons, earned six Pro Bowl trips, which ties him with Claude Humphrey for most Pro Bowls in Falcons history. He played in 246 total games. His 155 consecutive games played are a team record. Van Note was named to the Ring of Honor in 2006.
Tuggle joined the Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State and went on to become one of the most impactful players in franchise history. “The Hammer” recorded a club record 2,065 tackles throughout his 14-year career. He made five Pro Bowl appearances and he was elected to the Ring of Honor as a member of the inaugural class in 2004.