Albert Patterson Peppler (April 16, 1922 – June 23, 2015) was an American football coach and executive who worked for teams that won five National Football League (NFL) titles. He may be best remembered for serving as head coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons during the final nine games of the 1976 NFL season.
|Born:||April 16, 1922|
|Died:||June 23, 2015 (aged 93)|
Peppler was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1922, but was a native of Shorewood, Wisconsin. During his time at Michigan State University, he played not only football, but baseball and basketball as well.
After graduating from Michigan State, Peppler tried playing minor league baseball and became a head football coach at the high school level, winning state championships at both East Lansing and Grant High Schools. That success led to an eight-year tenure as an assistant at North Carolina State University beginning in 1954, followed by one year at Wake Forest University in 1962. On January 28, 1963, one month after winning their second straight NFL title, the Green Bay Packers hired Peppler as director of player personnel, where he worked with head coach Vince Lombardi in helping continue a talent pipeline that won three more championships, including their first two Super Bowls.
Even before Lombardi left following the 1967 NFL season, however, Peppler's talent for player procurement stumbled as the team failed to replace the host of future Pro Football Hall of Famers that dotted the roster. On March 24, 1972, Peppler resigned to become director of professional scouting for the Miami Dolphins, replacing Joe Thomas.
In his first two years with Miami, Peppler was part of consecutive Super Bowl championships, a stretch that included a perfect 17-0 campaign during the 1972 NFL season. On February 26, 1975, he accepted the position of general manager for the Atlanta Falcons. Looking to build around the first pick in that year's draft, quarterback Steve Bartkowski, Peppler saw the team finish 4-10 under Marion Campbell during the 1975 NFL season. When Campbell won only one of the first five games the following year, he was fired and Peppler finished out the year, compiling a 3-6 record including back-to-back wins against the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite the promise shown in the final two months of the season, which included the upset of the Dallas Cowboys, Peppler's uncertain future forced him to look for other job openings. On February 2, 1977, he was named assistant general manager of the Houston Oilers, a post he held for four seasons. During that time, the Oilers competed in two AFC Championship games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but when head coach Bum Phillips was fired after a disappointing end to the 1980 NFL season, and accepted the head coaching position with the New Orleans Saints. Peppler followed him, taking a front office job on January 27, 1981.
The Saints, coming off a 1-15 campaign in 1980, spent the next few years rebuilding, but after nearly five years of struggles, Phillips resigned on November 25, 1985, with Peppler also being asked to resign at the same time. The move marked the end of Peppler's NFL career. Peppler died on June 23, 2015, in Stuart, Florida at the age of 93.
Events from the year 1922 in the United States.1969 Green Bay Packers season
The 1969 Green Bay Packers season was their 51st season overall and their 49th season in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–6 record under coach Phil Bengtson, earning them a 3rd-place finish in the Central division.1971 Green Bay Packers season
The 1971 Green Bay Packers season was their 53rd season overall and their 51st season in the National Football League (NFL). The club posted a 4–8–2 record under first-year coach Dan Devine, earning them a fourth-place finish in the NFC Central division.1975 Atlanta Falcons season
The 1975 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's tenth year in the National Football League (NFL). With the first overall pick of the NFL draft, the Falcons selected quarterback Steve Bartkowski out of the University of California. However, the pick would do them no good as the Falcons slumped to another miserable 4–10 record and missed the playoffs for the 10th straight season. This was also the first and only full season for head coach Marion Campbell, as he was hired to coach the final 6 games of the previous season and was fired 5 games into the following season.1976 Atlanta Falcons season
The 1976 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 11th year in the National Football League (NFL). The season saw the Falcons attempting to improve on their 4-10 record from 1975. However, they were only able to match the record, as they finished the 1976 season with an identical 4-10 record and missed the playoffs for the 11th straight season. After a 1-4 start to the season, head coach Marion Campbell was fired by general manager Pat Peppler, who himself would close out the season as the interim head coach and finish the season with a 3-6 record.1982 New Orleans Saints season
The 1982 New Orleans Saints season saw the team nearly qualify for the NFL playoffs, missing it by a tiebreaker. It finished with a 4–5 record, and narrowly missed the playoffs in a complicated labyrinth of tie-breakers.1983 New Orleans Saints season
The 1983 New Orleans Saints season was the team’s 17th as a member of the National Football League. They improved on their previous season’s output of 4–5, winning eight games. Despite the improvement, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the seventeenth consecutive season.
With an 8–7 record going into the final game of the season at the Superdome against the Los Angeles Rams, the Saints, with a win, would have finished with their first winning season and their first playoff berth. However, Rams kicker Mike Lansford kicked a 42-yard field goal with :06 left to defeat the Saints 26-24, and advance to the playoffs. Other than that field goal, the Rams did not score a single point on offense, instead scoring via a punt return for a touchdown, two interception returns for touchdowns, and a safety.
Two weeks earlier the Saints lost to the New England Patriots in shocking conditions with sleet and snow – with the only score being set up by Patriot Ricky Smith returning the initial kickoff to the 3-yard line. As of 2017, this game remains the most recent 7–0 result in NFL history, with only two games since seeing just one score, both a single field goal.Another damaging loss came on Monday Night Football in week 12, when the New York Jets rallied from a 14-point deficit by scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, capped off by a 76-yard punt return touchdown by Kirk Springs, to stun the Saints 31-28. The Saints had a chance to force overtime in the closing seconds, but Morten Andersen missed badly to the left on a 51-yard field goal attempt.Dan Henning
Daniel Ernest Henning, (born June 21, 1942) is a former American football player and coach. A quarterback, he played college football at the College of William & Mary and professional football in 1966 for the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League (AFL). Henning served as a head coach in the National Football League (NFL) for the Atlanta Falcons (1983–1986) and the Chargers (1989–1991). He was the head football coach at Boston College from 1994 to 1996. Henning then returned to the NFL as an offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 1997. After Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy retired, reportedly partially due to his reluctance to fire Henning, Henning left Buffalo.Dan Reeves
Daniel Edward Reeves (born January 19, 1944) is a former American football running back and coach in the National Football League (NFL). Over the course of his 38 years in the NFL, Reeves participated in a combined nine Super Bowls as player and coach, the second-most in league history behind Bill Belichick's eleven. He served as a head coach for 23 seasons, primarily with the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. As a player, he spent the entirety of his eight-season career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Reeves made his first two Super Bowl appearances during his playing career, winning one in VI. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Cowboys, where he made three more championship appearances and was part of the team that won XII. As the head coach of the Broncos for 12 seasons, Reeves led the team to three Super Bowls in XXI, XXII, and XXIV, each of which ended in defeat. Following four seasons as the head coach of the New York Giants, Reeves served as the Falcons' head coach for seven seasons. With the Falcons, he led the franchise to their first championship appearance in XXXIII, in which he was defeated by his former team, the Broncos.
As a head coach, Reeves is only one of six to lead two different franchises to a Super Bowl appearance, and has the most Super Bowl appearances without a victory at four, along with Bud Grant and Marv Levy. He is also tied with Jeff Fisher for the NFL record of most regular-season losses as a head coach at 165, although both have overall winning records.Emmitt Thomas
Emmitt Earl Thomas (born June 3, 1943) is a former American football coach and cornerback. He most recently served as the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played in college at the now defunct Bishop College. He played professionally for Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He owns the Chiefs all-time interception record with 58, which places him ninth on pro football's all-time list. Thomas was elected to the NFL's Pro Football Hall of Fame after being nominated by the Seniors Committee.Jim Hanifan
James Martin Michael Hanifan (born September 21, 1933 in Compton, California) is a longtime American football coach and former head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. He compiled a career record of 39-53-1.List of Atlanta Falcons head coaches
The Atlanta Falcons are an American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are members of the South division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Falcons joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1966 and have compiled an all-time record of 337 wins, 436 loses, and 6 ties. The team has won the NFC West championship twice in 1980 and 1998 and the NFC South championship 4 times in 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2016. The Falcons have appeared in two Super Bowls, losing both times; their first appearance was in Super Bowl XXXIII, with the Falcons falling to the Denver Broncos 19–34, and the second was in Super Bowl LI, where the Falcons fell to the New England Patriots 28–34 in overtime. There have been 16 head coaches for the Falcons franchise, 12 serving full-time. Current head coach Dan Quinn holds the best winning percentage at .604 in the regular season, while Mike Smith has won the most games and was the longest tenured head coach, with a 66–46 regular season record. Under Smith's leadership, the team attained consecutive winning seasons (11–5 in 2008 and 9–7 in 2009), consecutive playoff appearances (2010 and 2011), and consecutive seasons with 10 wins or more (also in 2010 and 2011) for the first time in franchise history. Also, Smith is the only Falcons coach to win 2 divisional titles (NFC South, 2010 and 2012).List of Atlanta Falcons seasons
This article is a list of seasons completed by the Atlanta Falcons American football franchise of the National Football League (NFL). The list documents the season-by-season records of the Falcons' franchise from 1966 to present, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches.
The Falcons did not record consecutive winning seasons until 2009, when the team won their final three games of the regular season and finished with a 9–7 record after winning their season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Atlanta has since added its first stretch of five straight winning seasons, with a 13–3 record in 2010, a 10–6 record in 2011, and a 13–3 record in 2012. The streak ended with a 4–12 record in 2013.Norb Hecker
Norbert Earl Hecker (May 26, 1927 – March 14, 2004) was an American football player and coach who was part of eight National Football League championship teams, but may be best remembered as the first head coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.Norm Van Brocklin
Norman Mack Van Brocklin (March 15, 1926 – May 2, 1983), nicknamed "The Dutchman", was an American football quarterback, punter, and coach in the National Football League. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.Rich McKay
Rich McKay (born March 16, 1959) is the president, CEO, and former general manager of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they won Super Bowl XXXVII.Rich Moore (American football)
Richard Clifton "Rich" Moore (born April 26, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League who played 20 games for the Green Bay Packers. In 1969, the Green Bay Packers used the 12th pick in the 1st round of the 1969 NFL Draft to sign Moore out of Villanova University. He had previously been named as a first team tackle on the East Coast Athletic Conference all-conference team in 1968, his senior season at Villanova. Moore went on to play for two seasons with the Packers. He tore an Achilles tendon in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1970 season, and had surgery shortly thereafter, putting him out for the season. After trying him on offense during training camp in 1971, the Packers traded him to the New England Patriots for linebacker John Bramlett in late July 1971. However, Moore was unable to play for the Patriots in 1971 due to injury. He was then released by the Patriots in June 1972.Moore's only known statistic is a single fumble recovery in the 1969 season. His son, Brandon Moore, later played offensive tackle for the New England Patriots from 1993 through 1995.Shorewood, Wisconsin
Shorewood is a village in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 13,162 at the 2010 census. Howell Raines of The New York Times said in 1979 that "[t]his maple-studded town on Lake Michigan dotes on its reputation as Milwaukee's most liberal suburb."Tom Braatz
Thomas Myron Braatz (May 12, 1933 - October 30, 2018) was a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, and Dallas Cowboys. He also is a former general manager of the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. He played college football at Marquette University.
# denotes interim head coach