When Falcons fans think of brutal, hard-nosed, physical players throughout the team's history, Scott Case's name usually comes to mind immediately. Case was an old-school safety who constantly put his body on the line to deliver punishing blows to receivers. They knew crossing the middle with him in the secondary was always a risk. Case earned a Pro Bowl nod in 1988 after leading the league with 10 interceptions — the most of his 11-year career in Atlanta. The alumni favorite is still living in the Atlanta area, running an underground utility company with Tom Pridemore, another former Falcon, in Gainesville, Ga.
Jay Adams: During your playing days, you were a versatile member of the secondary, playing multiple positions. What allowed you to be able to switch back and forth?
Scott Case: Well, I don't know. In high school, I was a running back and then I went to college (Oklahoma) and I was a defensive back and safety in college. I also played corner in college, so growing up, I just had the ability and the chance to play all those different positions and I got used to playing them. I was drafted (2nd round, 32 overall by the Falcons in 1984) as a safety by the Falcons and about my fourth year, they came to me and wanted to know if I'd be willing to move to corner, and I was — whatever for the team. It was kind of a unique deal. You don't see a lot of guys playing both of those positions anymore. It's more of a specialized deal now. I wish I was playing not because I think there's a lot of teams looking for a guy that can play both of those positions like that.
JA: Leading the league in interceptions in 1988 must have been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career. When you look back on it, how difficult was that feat to accomplish?
SC: I think a lot of things have to fall into place. I think you have to play well, obviously, and there's a lot of things that go along with that. There's some luck involved. It wasn't just me, but that was a great accomplishment. To get 10 interceptions in one year is a feat not many guys get to have, so it was very cool that year. Very cool.
JA: You won a Super Bowl with Dallas in 1995. Being a member of a Super Bowl team, what does it truly take to reach that level of play and how difficult is it to earn a Lombardi Trophy?
SC: It's unbelievably difficult. It really is. I was able to play 12 years and played with a lot of really, really talented guys — Hall-of-Fame-type guys. Even with the Falcons, we had a lot of really good players. I think, really, the difference ends up being your superstar guys. When I went to Dallas, Troy (Aikman), Michael (Irvin) and Emmitt (Smith), those guys were the leaders on the team. They were really lead-by-example guys. Not a lot of rah-rah stuff, but they were always the last guys on the field practicing. When you see the superstar guys doing that, it's real easy to fall into place and when you get 53 guys that are heading in the same direction, that's a pretty potent deal. I've always felt that it really has a lot to do with the mix of guys. Take the Giants this year, for instance. I don't know that they were necessarily the most talented team, but they sure played good as a team.
JA: What do you see the status of the current Falcons and what do you think of the current roster?
SC: I think Coach Smith and Mr. Dimitroff have come to town and things have certainly changed — I think that's pretty obvious. The culture around there seems to be a lot different to me. It's kind of like what I said before about players — you have to have the right kind of players, and I think that's kind of a moving target. Those two guys can always go to the combines and the drafts and free agency or whatever and they're always trying to find the right kind of guys, and you hear that a lot, but I think that's very important. I think they've done a really good job of that. Of course, we're right there in the playoffs and it's just a little bit more to get to that next level. It's not much, because there's a lot of good teams that would like to be in the Falcons' shoes right now, being in the playoffs this many years and all of that. Of course, as a former player, I'd love to see them go to the Super Bowl and win one for the city.
JA: Being a secondary player who was known for hard hits and physical play, what do you think of players like William Moore and Dunta Robinson — two Falcons who exhibit that same aspect, despite many changes in how the game is played at those secondary positions since you suited up?
SC: Well, I really like Moore. I really, really like him. I think he's my kind of guy. I like the way he flies around and sticks his nose up in there. I probably couldn't play today — I'd be paying (the league) to play, but that was how I played and I didn't see any other way. I see a little of that in Moore. I really do. William Moore, to me, is going to be an unbelievable safety. I really think that and I've told people that around here. I think he's the right kind of guy. Dunta, he's got a lot to live up to. He's got a big contract and all of that and there's some pressure that comes with that. I don't know that he's lived up to that just yet, but you certainly hope that he does. But he's the same kind of guy (as Moore). You don't see a lot of corners that will really want to get physical. It seems like anymore they just want to be cover guys, but he has separated himself in that case. He is a physical corner.