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Alum Lynn Cain Appreciates Falcons On, Off Field

Newer generations of Falcons fans may not remember Lynn Cain, but those that have been around a little longer recall Cain was part of a two-headed backfield in 1980 when the Falcons went 12-4 and made a run into the playoffs. 

It was just the third winning season in franchise history in 1980, and Cain was a big reason for it. He was the more elusive of the two back system the Falcons used, combining the skills and talents of Cain with Falcons Ring of Honor member William Andrews.

That season, Cain rushed for 914 yards and his eight rushing touchdowns led the team. It wasn't the first time Cain shared a backfield with an equally-successful running back.

In college at the University of Southern California he was a member of the 1979 National Championship team and worked out of the backfield with Heisman Trophy winner Charles White.

When Cain finished college he was a fourth-round draft pick of the Falcons in 1979 and played in Atlanta until 1984 before finishing up his career with one final season with the Rams, then of Los Angeles. While with the Falcons he rushed for 2,263 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Cain was in Atlanta recently at the Falcons' Career Symposium and said when his career came to an end, he had to learn to apply the skills he gained from a lifetime of football to new avenues.

"Most people are fired in the NFL," Cain said. "You're let go and it's 'What do I do now?' Even in the business world people are fired and they ask that same question. It's just a matter of using your skill set which you've learned and apply it to something new."

His post-playing career saw him try out a number of different opportunities, including a job in sales, something he'd never done before, but once again his background in sports helped him see how he could do it.

"I played sports all my life so I always sold myself," Cain said. "I always told (coaches) that I could do it. I don't see anything any different."

In 2002, Cain and his wife moved from Atlanta back to Los Angeles to be closer to his family. The move back out west ushered in a new phase of his life involving coaching. Since that time he's coached at nearly every level possible, from high school to all divisions in college and arena football. He's taught physical education and he has been a head football coach in high school.

Most recently Cain ended a stint coaching the junior college he attended before transferring to USC, East Lost Angeles College. He wrapped up that job this year and is looking for the next opportunity, one reason why he was in Atlanta for the career symposium.

Cain still follows the Falcons despite being completely across the country. Although he worked under the team's original ownership, the Smith family, he appreciates the efforts by the Falcons to keep alumni linked to the program. He was in town for the Tampa game this year to end the season and he still makes sure to watch the Falcons every Sunday whenever he can.

Cain sees what the Falcons do in the community now under team owner and chairman Arthur Blank and for their former players and sees a franchise he's proud to have played for.

"I'm one of those guys that played a while ago under the old ownership, but they're working with immediate former players and older guys like me" Cain said. "I see them providing an opportunity for guys to begin looking at what they want to do with their lives outside of football. Then they're providing the opportunity to make contacts with corporations and companies and go sell themselves. You can't ask for anything more from a team than to take care of their players and win football games and the Falcons certainly do that."

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