2014 DRAFT GUIDE
McClure retires after 14 years with Falcons

By CHARLES ODUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-03-25 13:47

ATLANTA (AP) - Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday that retiring center Todd McClure will have a new home in the team's Ring of Honor.

McClure, the Falcons' longtime center, officially announced his retirement in a ceremony attended by quarterback Matt Ryan and offensive linemen Tyson Clabo, Sam Baker and Justin Blalock.

Blank said McClure's career merits him joining former stars as Deion Sanders, Tommy Nobis and Steve Bartkowski in the team's Ring of Honor.

``You deserve to be in that Ring of Honor, and we will get you there as soon as we can,'' Blank said while pointing out another longtime center, Jeff Van Note, also earned the team's highest honor for a former player.

McClure was a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 1999 and went on to become one of the team's most durable players. He set a franchise record with 148 consecutive starts and missed only four games over the last dozen seasons. He didn't play in his 1999 rookie season but became one of the team's most reliable starters the last 13 seasons.

McClure, 36, was emotional at times, including when he looked at his teammates and when he talked about the support from his family. He stopped and looked down several times during the news conference.

``That's what I'm going to miss the most about this game, guys like those sitting right here,'' McClure said. ``The friendships we've had, the conversations we've had, the joy we've had in the locker room on Sunday after a big win, the struggles we've gone through and gotten each other through. ... I cherish every moment that we've spent together.''

Clabo said it was difficult watching McClure struggle with his emotions.

``How could I not come?'' asked Clabo, the offensive tackle who joined McClure on the Falcons' starting line for seven seasons.

``I can promise you I wouldn't have the success I've had without him,'' Clabo said. ``He's an incredible mentor. It's going to take several leaders to do the job he did in that respect.''

McClure also joked he would have returned for another season if offered the same deal as tight end Tony Gonzalez, who postponed his planned retirement when he agreed to return for 2013.

``My offer to the Falcons was I'd play for $10 million and no training camp and half the home games, but Tony had already taken that offer,'' McClure said.

McClure played in 198 games, including 195 starts. He made every start in 2012 after missing three games in 2011 with a right knee injury. He often played through knee problems.

``I'm going to look forward to waking up on Monday morning and being able to walk,'' McClure said.

Coach Mike Smith said he always relied on McClure as a leader.

``Believe me, if we don't have mentors and guys like Todd McClure on our team, we don't have the success we've had over the last five years,'' Smith said.

``I could always go to Todd and really get the temperature of that room, what's going on in that locker room. It didn't matter if you're a first-year player or a 10-year player, everybody wanted to talk to Todd about how we were doing things. He's a head coach's dream to have around.''

McClure said he was grateful he played only for the Falcons.

``To be in one place for my whole career, I definitely feel blessed,'' he said. ``It will be hard for guys to do that, just with the nature of the business. I'll cherish that forever.

``I love this franchise. I'll be a Falcon for life.''

Among the candidates to start at center will be Peter Konz, who started 10 games at right guard as a rookie in 2012, and Joe Hawley.

Ryan, entering his sixth season, said McClure is ``just the consummate professional, the best we've ever had.''

Banners hang from the Georgia Dome rafters to honor former players in the Ring of Honor. Only eight players have earned the honor, including William Andrews, Jessie Tuggle, Mike Kenn, Claude Humphrey, Bartkowski, Van Note, Sanders and Nobis. Sanders was the last player to join the ring in 2010.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group