WATCH: Remembering Atlanta Falcons No. 27 Tom Pridemore
The Atlanta Falcons will begin the 2019 regular season exactly 27 days from Monday. With that in mind, let's look back in franchise history at the most successful player to ever wear No. 27 for the Falcons -- free safety Tom Pridemore.
Arriving in Atlanta as a ninth-round pick -- 236th overall -- in the 1978 NFL Draft, Pridemore was one of the hardest hitting safeties during his playing days. He wasn't bad with the ball in his hand either.
He immediately started as a rookie, starting 14 games in 1978. He remained a regular starter until 1984.
During his eight-year career with the Falcons, Pridemore posted 21 interceptions, which is sixth-most in franchise history. His seven interceptions in 1981 remains fourth-most during an individual season for the Falcons, and in the same season, Pridemore recorded 221 interception return yards, which is a team record.
Pridemore posted a 101-yard interception return for a touchdown against quarterback Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in 1981. That's certainly the most memorable play in his career.
Unfortunately, Pridemore retired after the 1985 season before he turned 30. He spent his entire NFL career with the Falcons.