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Top 50 Falcons: No. 26, Bob Whitfield

Bob Whitfield, Atlanta Falcons
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Top 50 Falcons: No. 26, Bob Whitfield
Bob Whitfield, Atlanta Falcons

Tackle Bob Whitfield protected the likes of Chris Miller, Bobby Hebert, Jeff George, Chris Chandler, Michael Vick and Doug Johnson. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is counting down the Top 50 players in Atlanta Falcons history during the franchise’s 50th anniversary season. No. 25 is left tackle Bob Whitfield.

Years played for Falcons: Drafted eighth overall in 1992 out of Stanford, where he was a two-time All-America and left after his junior season, Bob Whitfield became a mainstay along the Atlanta offensive line from 1992-2003. He made his lone Pro Bowl in 1998 and helped the Falcons reach the Super Bowl behind Jamal Anderson’s franchise-record1,846 yards rushing. Whitfield was a part of four Falcons offenses that ranked in the top 10 over his 12-year stay.

Jersey No.: 70

Bob Whitfield, Atlanta Falcons, Dan Reeves, Ray Buchanan

Players Ray Buchanan (left) and Bob Whitfield (center) dance the “dirty bird” with coach Dan Reeves in Woodruff Park at the finale of a city wide parade for the Super Bowl Falcons. (AJC)

His impact on the team: Whitfield appeared in 178 games and started 167 while with Atlanta. He protected the likes of Chris Miller, Bobby Hebert, Jeff George, Chris Chandler, Michael Vick and Doug Johnson during his tenure. He made three trips to the playoffs, coming in 1995, ‘98 and 2002, won one division title and played in the team’s still only Super Bowl appearance. He played one season in Jacksonville in 2004 and retired after two years with the New York Giants.

On giving advice to younger players: “Just play football. You don’t need all the extras. Once football is gone you realize all the stuff you shorted. All the hours you didn’t apply to football, you weren’t thinking about football. All those trips to Magic City when you could have been studying games. I made 15 years but still, I probably could have played a couple more.”

On how he created a successful business: “I think it’s more based on wins and losses. Being an athlete, your career is a lot of times based on your successes and I think guys put money into stuff and it’s only a valiant effort if it wins. But then when you lose it’s, ‘oh you’re stupid, you’re dumb’, but I’m saying it’s all a risk even when you step out on that field. You’re not guaranteed a win, but you go out there with the intentions and the muster that you’re going to make a difference and be successful.”

Where he is now: Now at the age of 44, Bob Whitfield splits time between Atlanta and Los Angeles and is the former founder and C.E.O. of Patchwerks Inc., a hip-hop recording studio in Atlanta. He was inducted into Stanford University’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and then went back and received an economics degree from the school, getting his diploma on Fathers Day in 2013 with his three of his five children in attendance. He was once married to Sheree Whitfield, the star of the reality TV show “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” A senior, his son Kodi is a starting safety for Stanford. His other children are Bob Jr., LaNiece, Kairo and Kaleigh.

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


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