FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The No. 60 has been worn by only one man in the history of the Atlanta Falcons. On Monday night against the Buccaneers, every Falcons player will have a No. 60 sticker on the back of their helmet.
That number, of course, belonged to Mr. Falcon, himself, Tommy Nobis. The star linebacker, who was the franchise's very first draft selection and a member of the Falcons' inaugural Ring of Honor class, passed away on Tuesday evening.
"You probably saw on the helmets today a decal with No. 60 for Tommy Nobis," Falcons coach Dan Quinn told the media after Saturday's practice. "You'll see that sticker on the helmets of the guys this weekend for this game."
One of the most exciting and dominant players of his era, Nobis instantly became a fan favorite for the Falcons and helped make a name for the new expansion team when he registered a single-season franchise record 296 tackles as a rookie.
"The two things that I didn't know that I found out just this week was [his 296 tackles in 14 games] and then as remarkable was what I found out about his senior year [when he played both linebacker and offensive lineman at Texas]," Quinn said of Nobis. "I knew a lot of people played both ways, but to be the best at both, and I told the team, it spoke to the competitiveness. There might be a lot of guys in high school like 'Yeah, I was a fullback and a linebacker. I was a fullback, but I really played linebacker.' He was a linebacker and an offensive lineman."