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Devin Hester Not Stressed About Role In Falcons' New Offense

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A new offense means a lot of possible moving parts for the Atlanta Falcons, outside of the normal production expected from quarterback Matt Ryan and top receiver Julio Jones.

So what about the role for veteran receiver Devin Hester, a Pro Bowl kick returner in his first year with the Falcons last season? Although Hester had trouble finding an offensive identity during his final years with the Chicago Bears, he's not worried about getting lost in new Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme.

"It's still up in the air right now," Hester said of his role on offense. "We're just figuring out the offense, figuring out who fits best in what positions and what routes we're running. We're all fresh right now in the new offense, so we're trying to figure out who can run the best routes. Toward mid-training camp, you'll be able to tell."

The Falcons cut ties with one of their primary slot receivers when they released Harry Douglas. They drafted a slot-receiver candidate in Justin Hardy. Newcomer Leonard Hankerson has impressed head coach Dan Quinn with his ability to play inside and out, plus Hankerson has the luxury of previously playing in Shanahan's offense in Washington.

Veteran Roddy White, who turns 34 in November, hopes to remain fully healthy and have a bounce-back year. Jones, of course, is expected to be his old self, if not even better.

And Hester? He had his moments last season, primarily on receiver screens. He finished the season with 38 catches for 504 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't play a single snap on offense for the Bears in 2013.

Hester still shows signs of that dynamic elusive ability, so surely Shanahan can find some touches for him somewhere.

"I know it's a long season, and I know how things have to evolve," Hester said. "Like I said, it's going to take time to open up to see how things are going to be."


Edited by FentayeJones
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Difficult group because

Jones, Roddy - Shoe in

Hankerson (not a fan) - but best backup on the outside for Julio and Roddy

Hardy - draft pick

Weems, Hester - both bring something dynamic to the field on special teams (one defensive, one offensive)

I wouldn't be shocked if we kept 6 this year

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Guest facelessman07

I support Hester as a WR. Yeah, he had some drops but he also had a number of crucial catches as well. Plus, he's not your #1 WR, he's a very solid 3 or 4, and that's all that should be asked of him. Design plays to get him in space and he's dangerous, that's why his returning skillz are so deadly

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I can see a scenario where Shanny has a couple of packages for Hester. He is still very dangerous in the open field.

Agree with you. Shanny is much too smart to not utilize every weapon he has at his disposal, and Hester is definitely a weapon who can impact the outcome of the game.

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