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Hester Glad He Can Be On The Same Page With Ryan...


FenixFalcon
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Despite the offensive woes the Atlanta Falcons experienced during Saturdays 13-9 preseason loss at Miami, one positive was the chemistry between Matt Ryan and Devin Hester on two pass plays totaling 21 yards.

Hester, who entered the preseason unsure of his role in Kyle Shanahans offense, looked comfortable running his routes while using his elusiveness to gain extra yards after one of the catches. Such cohesion with Ryan has been brewing throughout practice. Several times this preseason, Ryan has pulled Hester aside for extended conversations about why there was miscommunication on a given route. Even during Saturdays game, Ryan was animated pre-snap in making sure Hester was lined up correctly on a play that resulted in an 8-yard completion from Ryan to Hester.

Hester, who is adjusting to playing all the receiver spots rather than just the slot, recalled one of those practice scenarios with Ryan.

"We did like a down, out and up type deal, Hester explained, "and in the past when we ran the out, if the corner played over the top, hed back-shoulder it to me. And so I was expecting him to back-shoulder it, and he threw it deep. And he said, 'You were right on that one, but the next time it comes up, if that guys playing over the top of you, lets back-shoulder it. Four plays later, that came up, and we back-shouldered it and made a good play on it.

"Its just little small things that come with practice and timing. You get all your kinks and knots out in practice. That was one of those instances where we did something in previous years. We just had to get back on the same page.

The manner in which the dialogue between Ryan and Hester transpired is important to note. Hester realizes he doesn't run every route perfectly. When he does make a mistake, at least he knows Ryans approach to correcting the matter wont be condescending.

Such wasnt the case during Hesters time alongside Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in Chicago. The main reason why Hester asked not to play offense during his final year with the Bears was because of his strained relationship with Cutler.

"If we werent on the same page, Jay just didnt say anything to me, Hester said. "He just wouldnt (throw) to me. Thats just how he was.

"With Matt, if he sees something that he feels needs to be changed, **** come to you and say, 'Hey man, what do you think about doing it this way? It will give us a clearer look, and Ill be able to get the ball to you."

Leadership is a quality Ryan displays on a daily basis despite not being overly vocal. Falcons coach Dan Quinn, in his first year, has gotten a better feel for that quality in Ryan this preseason, including observing those exchanges with Hester.

"Matt has that kind of respect because we all see the amount of time that he puts into it, and I think as a teammate, you get a lot of regard and respect for those guys, Quinn said. "Say, 'Look how hard this guys going for it in terms of preparation, the energy he brings, the detail that he goes with it. I respect those both ways, from the quarterback to the receivers.

Hester, the most accomplished kickoff returner in league history, certainly appreciates having Ryan as his quarterback, regardless of how many offensive snaps or targets he gets come game day.

"Hes just an all-around quarterback, Hester said of Ryan. "He goes through his progressions. He makes the right reads. He doesnt care whos out there, he just expects guys to make plays. Whoever the defense gives the opportunity to make the play, thats who he goes with.

And the Falcons know Hester is capable of making plays with the ball in his hands.

Per McClure on ESPN.com

Few thoughts about all this...

1) he is playing more than the slot and Matt is directing him so he can make plays for us...that is fantastic news.

2) he is still willing to learn, and he understands he doesn't run routes very well, but Ryan is making it easy for him.

3)this only proves how great of a QB Ryan is. He is so respectful to all his WRs, and everyone in general. The guy is the absolute best QB we could ask for, respectable and very very good at his job.

4)Hester isn't getting cut...if he can continue to develop as a reciever he might get an offer to restructure next year and could stick around awhile longer. Personally I love having the greatest kick returner of all time on the team, even if he's getting worn.

Lastly this also explains why he never got better as a reciever with Cutler as a QB. Also why Jay never threw him the football. Just a bad matchup and I feel like Hester is where he belongs...home in the A with the greatest NFL franchise, ex Falcon previous record holder Dieon Sanders as a mentor and him and Matt fit like a glove. There isn't a better QB to help Hester get better in the league.

Edited by FenixFalcon
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I don't mind him on offense but I think we have 4 to 5 better receivers on the team. I think they really like his play making ability in open space so they will insert him in on various plays.

I know Shanny likes End-arounds and Slants for guys like him and Antone...would be shocked if he wasn't utilized regularly for those kind of plays.

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Hester doesn't look like he's getting worn. I know he's 32, but the dude hasn't been through as much wear and tear like a starting WR or RB.

He has slowed a little from his days in Chicago on that awful field, bad weather and age but ya he's still lightning quick and has incredible vision.

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He has slowed a little from his days in Chicago on that awful field, bad weather and age but ya he's still lightning quick and has incredible vision.

We can agree to disagree. Dude led the league last season in Kick Return yardage. He was 12th in Punt Return yardage, but had a higher average per punt return than everyone else above him. The only reason was because we rarely forced any punts, so 12th in the league is pretty **** good. He was 3rd in the entire league for average yards per return, while 1 guy ahead of him only had 1 punt return all of last season.

I realize that was last season, but he demonstrated his stop and go ability with that 59 yard return against the Jets.

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We can agree to disagree. Dude led the league last season in Kick Return yardage. He was 12th in Punt Return yardage, but had a higher average per punt return than everyone else above him. The only reason was because we rarely forced any punts, so 12th in the league is pretty **** good. He was 3rd in the entire league for average yards per return, while 1 guy ahead of him only had 1 punt return all of last season.

I realize that was last season, but he demonstrated his stop and go ability with that 59 yard return against the Jets.

No doubt he's a shifty guy. Can't disagree with that. His punt return avg would've been no.1 too if 2 of his return TDs weren't called back due to Jake Mathews on a holding penalty and he didn't get flagged for a facemask when the dude facemasked him and he just stiff armed the guys grill instead. Love Hester... Refs are hard on him though.

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No doubt he's a shifty guy. Can't disagree with that. His punt return avg would've been no.1 too if 2 of his return TDs weren't called back due to Jake Mathews on a holding penalty and he didn't get flagged for a facemask when the dude facemasked him and he just stiff armed the guys grill instead. Love Hester... Refs are hard on him though.

I was curious about the discussion so I looked it up. He actually averaged 1 yard more per return than his career average in Chicago.

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No doubt he's a shifty guy. Can't disagree with that. His punt return avg would've been no.1 too if 2 of his return TDs weren't called back due to Jake Mathews on a holding penalty and he didn't get flagged for a facemask when the dude facemasked him and he just stiff armed the guys grill instead. Love Hester... Refs are hard on him though.

Ugh... I still can't believe they called the facemask on Hester on that play:

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