Watch: With 76 days to the Falcons Opener, Remembering DE Mike Gann

Tom Pollin

Monday marks 76 days until the Falcons kick off the 2019 season in Minnesota against the Vikings. To celebrate we’re going to look back on the best player to wear No. 76 in Atlanta Falcons history, defensive end Mike Gann.

Gann was the Falcons selection in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft, they selected guard Bill Fralic in the first round. Unfortunately for Gann, like Fralic, he played in an era of terrible Falcons teams. The thing is, if defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan had his way Gann would have played his rookie season for the 1985 Chicago Bears. They selected William “Refrigerator” Perry in the first round instead.

Gann was never selected to play in a Pro Bowl but he held down the left defensive end spot while only missing four games for the Falcons for the first six seasons of his career. Over that time Gann registered 20.5 sacks. In 1986, in a 33-13 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals he dropped quarterback Neil Lomax in the end zone for a safety. He also scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries in those years.

In 1991, Gann was injured in Week 5 and missed the remainder of the season. In 1992, he came back and started the first 13 games of the season before having to deal with testicular cancer. Fortunately for Gann it was caught early. He underwent surgery, then came back and played the first eight games of the 1993 season before injuries sent him back to the sidelines and ended his career.

Gann finished his career with 23.5 sacks, 11 fumble recoveries returned for 90 yards and also added an interception to his stat line in 1991.

Overall, Gann was a hard-working defensive lineman who put together a solid, if relatively unspectacular career for the Falcons during a down period in franchise history.