Jessie Tuggle

2004 Inductee

A native of Georgia, Tuggle came to the Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State in 1987. Nicknamed "The Hammer" for his bone-jarring tackles, Tuggle is the club's all-time leader in total tackles with 2,065, and he enjoyed 12 straight 100-tackle seasons. He took the top spot in the NFL with the most tackles in a single decade and amassed 20 or more tackles in a single-game on four occasions with a personal-best of 24 stops.

The small-framed, 5-foot-11, 230-pound powerhouse managed to steer 5-of-10 fumble recoveries into the end zone for touchdowns, a feat no other NFL player had ever accomplished, until he was surpassed by Jason Taylor (Miami) in 2009. Tuggle also tallied six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, notched 21 sacks and 37 pass deflections. He retired in August of 2001 as one of the all-time greatest players in franchise history.

His 14 seasons played, 189 career starts and 209 total games played are third-most in Falcons history. Tuggle's five Pro Bowl appearances (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998) stand tied for the third-most by a Falcons player. The Falcons honored No. 58 with "Jessie Tuggle Day" during halftime of the Falcons game vs. the Detroit Lions on Dec. 22, 2002. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Career Highlights
  • Five-time Pro Bowl selection (1992, 1994-95, 1997-98).
  • Record holder for the most tackles in the NFL from 1990-99 with 1,293.
  • Inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Falcons record holder for the most tackles in a season from 1989-1997.
  • Falcons record holder for most yards on fumble recoveries in career with 155 (10 recoveries).