The Falcons gave Todd McClure an incredible gift with his Ring of Honor induction over the weekend, with a wildly entertaining overtime victory over the Panthers to give the team sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
McClure joins Tommy Nobis, Steve Bartkowski, Claude Humphrey, Jessie Tuggle, Roddy White, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Van Note, William Andrews, Deion Sanders, Gerald Riggs, and Mike Kenn among the Falcons inducted into the Ring of Honor with over 100 former players in attendance for the ceremony. Justin Blalock, who played alongside McClure for five seasons, was one of those players.
“I mean, you see the turnout today. Cats from when he played when he was younger, all the way to guys that were here until the end of his career,” Blalock said via the team’s website. “I tell people, [with] every successful team, you’re going to find a guy like him. They just happen to be on these great teams because they have all these tangibles. Smart, tough, and a true professional.”
He was originally a seventh-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft out of LSU (Geaux Tigers) and quickly became a fan favorite for his rugged style of play. McClure anchored the offensive line through some tumultuous years but also experienced some success, a part of six playoff seasons, including two NFC title games.
He started 195 games over 13 NFL seasons, setting a franchise record for 144 straight starts between 2001-2010. McClure provided stability as the organization transitioned from Michael Vick to Matt Ryan and was instrumental in opening running lanes for three 1,000-yard rushers over his career in Atlanta.
When he retired in 2013, Arthur Blank told members of the media that McClure would one day end up in the Falcons Ring of Honor, and his prediction has come to fruition. McClure will reside in the Ring of Honor forever now, where he belongs.
Photographer: Icon Sportswire