Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Top 50 Falcons: No. 14, Andre Rison


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is counting down the Top 50 players in Atlanta Falcons history during the franchise’s 50th anniversary season. No. 14 is wide receiver Andre Rison.

Years played for Falcons: Andre Rison played 12 years in the NFL five of which came with the Falcons in the early 1990’s. After being drafted by the Colts in 1989, Rison came to Atlanta in 1990 and made an immediate impact. He would be named to his first of five Pro Bowls in 1990 as well as being named to the All-Pro team that season.

Jersey No.: 80

His impact on the team: Rison gave the Falcons offense a dynamic receiver who was extremely reliable. Rison finished in the top five in the NFL in receptions in his first four seasons with Atlanta. In his 1990 All-Pro season, he finished second in the league in receptions and receiving touchdowns and third in receiving yards. In 1993, he would go on to lead the NFL in touchdown catches. Rison helped lead the 1991 Falcons team to a 10-6 regular season mark and trip to the playoffs. In five seasons with the Falcons, Rison hauled in 423 receptions for 5,633 yards and 56 of his 84 career touchdowns.

On ever playing again in the NFL: “There’s no doubt about that. I just came off the basketball court. But everybody doesn’t have a Brett Favre situation [where they’re allowed to play into their 40s]. There’s 100 players that could still be playing.” (AJC)

On whether seeing his old team up close made him want to return: “Unfortunately, the Smiths (team owners) didn’t do what they should’ve done - make me a forever Falcon. I don’t appreciate how my name has been handled with the Falcons. Sometimes I used to feel like I got the short end of the stick. But the fans I run into, the fans I do see, they give me a great feeling.”

Where he is now: Since retiring, Rison, 48, has stayed involved in the game of football. He was a high school football coach from 2006-2012 before going back to his alma mater Michigan State to help coach. He also runs Andre Rison Football Academy where he trains young wide receivers. Currently, Rison coaches his son, Hunter, who is a high school wide receiver being recruited by teams all over the country.

The countdown to the Top 50 players in Falcons history runs through the end of the season.

Top 50 Falcons Countdown

50: Chuck Smith

49: Michael Haynes

48: Jonathan Babineaux

47: John Zook

46: Ken Reaves

45: Lynn Cain

44: Justin Blalock

43: Bobby Butler

42: Tim Mazzetti

41: Buddy Curry

40: Scott Case

39: Jeff Merrow

38: Elbert Shelley

37: Matt Bryant

36: Alge Crumpler

35: Michael Turner

34: Ray Buchanan

33: Chris Hinton

32: Terance Mathis

31: Devin Hester

30: Don Smith

29: Greg Brezina

28: Chris Miller

27: John James

26: Bob Whitfield

25: Rolland Lawrence

24: Alfred Jenkins

23: Billy Johnson

22: Chris Chandler

21: Morten Andersen

20: John Abraham

19: George Kunz

18: Jamal Anderson

17: Keith Brooking

16: R.C. Thielemann

15: Tony Gonzalez

14: Andre Rison


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