Nobody cared when John Settle graduated from Appalachian State in 1987. The knock on him was primarily based on the fact he went to a small school so he didn’t face ‘big time’ competition and that he just wasn’t big enough to play at 5’9″, 207. (I mean the only thing John did was set the school’s rushing record mark and finish ranked 3rd all time in 1-AA history.) John would contact a few suitors and the Falcons would sign him to a free agent contract.
Behind starters Gerald Riggs and Rick Badanjek, John wouldn’t get much playing time under head coach Marion Campbell his rookie year. He’d carry the ball 19 times for 72 yards and also grab 11 receptions out of the backfield for 153 yards in 1987. 1988 however would be a totally different deal for Settle, as he’d start at runningback for the Falcons after the team traded Gerald Riggs to Washington. John would start all 16 games for the team and run for 1066 yards. In addition Settle also had 68 receptions for 570 yards. His rushing totals would be the highest for a free agent RB since the AFL-NFL merger and John would be named to the Pro Bowl squad. In 1989, as the Falcons virtually abandoned the run, Settle would rush for 689 yards. He’d have his second season with 1000+ yards from scrimmage when you included his 316 yards receiving.
1990 would see a coaching change for the Falcons though as former Oilers head coach Jerry Glanville came to town. Glanville installed the Red Gun offense, signed Mike Rozier, drafted Steve Broussard, and decided to give 1989 prospect Keith Jones more playing time. Settle would suit up for only 6 games that season. He’d sign with the Redskins in 1991 winning a Super Bowl title there but wouldn’t suit up during the season. Settle would retire after the 1992 season and go into coaching in 1994 working with his alma mater at Appalachian State.
He’d join Bill Belichick in Cleveland on his offensive staff working with runningbacks in 1995 serving the team through 1998, and in its transition to Baltimore. Settle would join the Fresno State Bulldogs soon thereafter as their runningbacks coach- a position he’d hold for 8 seasons. Afterwards John’s next stop was in Wisconsin with the Badgers where Settle helped coordinate the first ever trio of 1,000 yard runningbacks in the same season. Finally, in early 2011, John would be hired by new head coach Ron Rivera to coordinate runningbacks for the Carolina Panthers. He responded in a quick 10 days.
Of note about John is that while Appalachian State he played for little known then head coach Mack Brown his freshman year. He is considered a member of the Bill Belichick coaching tree and while playing for the Falcons did not appear in Tecmo Bowl or Tecmo Super Bowl.
John had some nice cards here and these 3 were his most solid and complete looking cards. The ProSet 1989 card is a really nice full body shot of him dodging a would be Ram tackler while the 1990 card is a shot featuring his running style gunning to place a stiff arm. I also liked his Fleer 1990 card and how he bursts out of the top of the card borders. Also on a side note, I’d love to see the Falcons return to the ‘red look’ from the 80s, but they seem quite content with their current black look. Below are John’s career statistics.
G/Gs 46/29 Att 439 Yds 1801 Avg 4.1 Td 10 Lg 62 |
Rec 118 Yds 1039 Avg 8.8 Td 3 Lg 36