UPDATE – Here’s the video.
FLOWERY BRANCH – Is the Hammer mightier than the Bat?
The New Orleans Saints had their little bat day last week. The Falcons countered with a visit from “The Hammer.”
Former Falcons great Jessie “The Hammer” Tuggle made an appearance on the linebackers’ internet show named “The D-Block” which airs on the team’s website.
Tuggles shared some stories about his days with the Falcons and had some laughs.
“I was impressed that they wanted me to come up here,” said Tuggle, who went to five Pro Bowls and was on the Falcons’ lone Super Bowl squad. “When you sit with a bunch of young guys who really watched me play when I was a player and they were so much younger, I can appreciate it because I know what they are going through preparing themselves for this game this weekend. When you play against a team like the New Orleans Saints, it’s always going to be a tough hard fought game. It was always that way throughout my career.”
After losing to the then-winless St. Louis Rams, Saints coach Sean Payton passed around bats to his team. He said on the teleconference call with the Atlanta media this week that the message was that the Saints needed to be physical against Tampa Bay.
The internet show is hosted by veteran linebacker Michael Peterson. The other linebackers – and wide receiver Eric Weems — sit around on stools and get a few laughs at the end of the week. Weems is an honorary member of D-Block because of his hard-nosed special teams play.
Defensive end John Abraham also made an appearance. Peterson dubbed him “Speed Limit” because he’s No. 55 and plays faster than the speed limit.
All of the linebackers signed a hammer and presented it to Tuggle.
“I can remember that in 1991, I finished with 22 tackles against the Saints,” Tuggle said. “The guys asked me about that and I said, ‘you know what, that’s when you know you left it all out on the football field.’ Whether if you win, lose or draw. That’s what the atmosphere is going to bring for this weekend. I think it’s pretty cool to come back and share some of my stories with the current players.”
Tuggle was an undrafted free agent from Valdosta State.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.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog