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Goober Pyle

As Falcons’ top tight end, Hayden Hurst ready to ‘flourish’ with new team

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https://theathletic.com/1702758/2020/03/26/as-falcons-top-tight-end-hayden-hurst-ready-to-flourish-with-new-team/

 

Hayden Hurst had a plan.

Knowing that his preferred place to work out could shut its doors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hurst wanted to ensure he could stockpile weightlifting equipment to stay in shape throughout the offseason. Like previous years, Hurst was back home in Jacksonville, Fla., visiting The Bolles School, his former high school, to work out on a regular basis. For a month-and-a-half, Hurst was able to hit the Bolles’ weight room. But as COVID-19 spread across the U.S., The Bolles School was forced to shut its doors. The school’s headmaster stayed in touch with Hurst about it, with the savvy tight end asking if he could borrow some equipment if closure happened.

When The Bolles School went on lockdown, and with the headmaster’s blessing, Hurst and his father drove their Chevrolet Silverados to the school and loaded the beds with numerous weights.

“We backed our trucks up, loaded it up with dumbbells, barbells, all sorts of stuff,” Hurst said. “I have a whole old school weight room going on in my garage right now.”

Hurst moved a bench and a squat rack from his parents’ house to his garage. He was able to snag eight 45-pound plates and two 100-pound plates for those. He grabbed numerous dumbbells weighing from 60 to 100 pounds.

Hurst, whose trade from the Baltimore Ravens to the Falcons became official once the new league year began on March 18, was fortunate enough to put together a home gym setup at the beginning of what’s amounted to a quarantine. Included in this setup are a sled and some bungees. His Jacksonville house is located behind his parents’ home, which includes almost three acres of land on it.

With that space, Hurst has been able to get plenty of cardio in.

“It’s not exactly like a turf field, but it gets the job done nonetheless,” Hurst said.

Since becoming a professional athlete, which goes back to when he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a pitcher out of high school, Hurst has trained with Mike Barrett, a longtime Bolles football coach who still runs the school’s strength and conditioning program. Upon leaving baseball and pursuing football, Hurst continued to train with Barrett. Now, the two have worked together each offseason to tailor workout programs to Hurst’s liking.

These workouts are now taking place in Hurst’s garage as he prepares for a new season with a new team.

“I’ll tell you what, man, I’m already up to 266 (pounds) right now, and I feel great,” Hurst said. “It’s what I did last season. His program is tough. The workouts kick my butt. But it’s definitely worth it.”

Hurst, drafted 25th overall in 2018, had a feeling his second season with Baltimore would be his last. During a phone interview with The Athletic, Hurst spoke about his trade to Atlanta and why he expected it to occur. He also touched on how he fits into the Falcons’ offense and what to expect from him this coming season.

Let’s go back to what would have been a week-and-a-half ago when you got the news that the Ravens were trading you to Atlanta. What’s your first thought? And did it catch you by surprise or was it something you were expecting?

It was something I was expecting, just because of the rumors that had gone on throughout the year. Before the trade deadline happened midseason, I think I was rumored to be getting moved. So I was expecting something after the season. I told (Ravens general manager) Eric (DeCosta), too, that I wanted an opportunity to play and to start. I think he heard me loud and clear. As far as knowing I was going to the Falcons, I don’t think I knew that was happening until the first week or two of March. I think I officially found out on March 9 or something like that. I knew I was going to get moved, but to what team, (my agent) Hadley (Engelhard) wasn’t 100 percent sure. But I guess through his relationships with Thomas (Dimitroff) and those guys, he worked something out for me.

Obviously you were taken in the first round, before Lamar Jackson, and a lot of people have pointed that out. With the (stress fracture in the foot), the injury in your first year, did that slow things down when it came to the opportunities in the passing game in that offense?

I think so. I was playing at such a high level before that. It’s just unfortunate that it happened, but it’s part of my path. I went down, and Mark (Andrews) just flourished. He caught fire. He’s an incredible athlete and an incredible football player. He played in the Pro Bowl. With him having so much success it was hard for me to scratch and claw my way back in. They were winning, and coaches don’t want to change anything when you’re winning. I had to scratch and claw for my opportunities, but I think I showcased my talent a little bit. But this opportunity with Atlanta is going to be great. The tight end position is pretty much wide open. I get to go in there and do my thing, so I’m very excited about it.

I don’t know how much you know of Atlanta’s offense in general, but when you have Julio Jones taking a ton of attention on one side of the field, I imagine as a receiving option that has to be exciting for you. 

Then you got Calvin (Ridley) as well, and the addition of LaQuon Treadwell. What, 11 picks in the first round are slated to start on this offense? It’s kind of crazy to be honest. It’s pick your poison. You got Todd Gurley in the backfield. Then, of course, Matt Ryan doing his thing. To be a part of that offense is exciting, on paper. We just got to go out and do it now.

Have you had a chance to speak Matt, whether it’s on the phone or through text?

He texted me the day my trade was official. He kept it short. He said he was excited I was a part of the brotherhood in Atlanta now. Very excited to get to work and that we’re going to do some special things. I reiterated that back to him, that I was really excited to be in Atlanta, and that I would do anything I can to work with him so we can have success.

What do you know about (offensive coordinator Dirk) Koetter and the style of offense he likes to run and how it suits the tight end position?

Me and Coach Koetter have talked a few times on the phone. He just let me know the things he was able to do with Cameron Brate (in Tampa Bay). I think the red-zone opportunities are going to be there for the tight end. He let me know that. We talked about what he thought of my skill set — stretching the field vertically, being a presence in the red zone. And then obviously with what (Austin) Hooper did last year, he put up personal bests the entire year. He had 75 catches, (787) yards, six touchdowns. It was pretty incredible what he did. I think my skill set is really going to flourish, as well. I’m just really happy to be a part of it. It’s going to do wonderful things for my career.

When it comes to you on the field, and also off the field, what can the city of Atlanta expect once you’re able to officially get with this group, practice and get going with this team?

For me, I always like to play 100 mph. I think that’s when I’m at my best when I go out there and cut it loose. I’m a big effort guy. I’ll go out there and lay it on the line. I’m not a big talker. I’m not going to be a rah-rah leader that’s in your face. I’ll lead by example; that’s what I did at South Carolina. And as far as off the field stuff, I started a foundation with my mom that focuses on mental health and suicide prevention. We’ve done a lot of great work in Jacksonville, where I was born and raised. We’ve done some stuff in Baltimore. Now we’re shifting our focus to Atlanta and Jacksonville. Those will be the two cities where we do a lot of stuff and help a lot of kids.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, jlrfalcon said:

He certainly has the chance to prove himself - the only bad thing for him is that his play will be compared all year to whatever Hooper is doing (or did last year).

 

True.  But me thinks he'll fare very well in comparison.  This trade was a steal for the Falcons!

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26 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Hurst is so much more violent and capable of explosive plays.   He won't be as good at "move the chains" but he will have more explosive plays than Hooper.

Hurst will be a fun player to watch.

Hopefully MR2 and this staff can teach him to find those zone soft spots in sit down. Maybe even bring in the great HOFer Tony G to learn em

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Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2020 at 11:28 AM, Mister pudding said:

I am super excited that we made this trade. I think he is hungry to prove himself and that MR2 and our offensive scheme will give him every opportunity to do so. I love this move and happy he's a Falcon now

 

Edited by Roanoke Falcon
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12 minutes ago, Roanoke Falcon said:

So he wasn't "hungry" in Baltimore?

Being demoted to THIRD STRING didn't motivate him?

Not only was he behind Mark Anderson, he was behind the so-called "blocking TE in receptions.

He either lacks the talent or he lacks the motivation to succeed. Possibly both. He is a waste of a second round pick we could have used on a better player at a more impactful position.

maybe you should do more research.    You literally don't know what you are talking about and you don't know Hayden Hurst.

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14 minutes ago, Roanoke Falcon said:

So he wasn't "hungry" in Baltimore?

Being demoted to THIRD STRING didn't motivate him?

Not only was he behind Mark Anderson, he was behind the so-called "blocking TE in receptions.

He either lacks the talent or he lacks the motivation to succeed. Possibly both. He is a waste of a second round pick we could have used on a better player at a more impactful position.

 

You can still be a good player behind other players on the depth chart.

 

Darren Sproles was behind both Tomlinson and Turner on the Chargers before becoming a huge weapon for the Saints.

 

Also, this will be only his 3rd season after having surgery on his foot his rookie year. Not sure how it may have affected him his 2nd season.

 

Lamar Jackson also isn't a passer who spreads it around like Brees, Brady, Mahomes, or Ryan. Mark Andrews and Mark Ingram were his favorite targets last season.

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8 minutes ago, Roanoke Falcon said:

So he wasn't "hungry" in Baltimore?

Being demoted to THIRD STRING didn't motivate him?

Not only was he behind Mark Anderson, he was behind the so-called "blocking TE in receptions.

He either lacks the talent or he lacks the motivation to succeed. Possibly both. He is a waste of a second round pick we could have used on a better player at a more impactful position.

Getting injured and getting demoted are two different things. Andrews is a terrific player and made the most of his opportunity. Especially 2 years ago, the Ravens were a run first team. It wasn't uncommon for Jackson to have 10-15 passes all game. 

Its not just about his skill set and potential. It's about player control and cap savings (by not resigning Hooper) as well. Knowing we couldn't afford Hooper, looking at this sad sad TE class in this draft... I asked myself, would you trade Sanu for Hurst and save 5 million a year in the process? Because that's basically the trade off here. I sure as crap would. What move would you rather have made? 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2020 at 2:38 PM, Mister pudding said:

Getting injured and getting demoted are two different things. Andrews is a terrific player and made the most of his opportunity. Especially 2 years ago, the Ravens were a run first team. It wasn't uncommon for Jackson to have 10-15 passes all game. 

Its not just about his skill set and potential. It's about player control and cap savings (by not resigning Hooper) as well. Knowing we couldn't afford Hooper, looking at this sad sad TE class in this draft... I asked myself, would you trade Sanu for Hurst and save 5 million a year in the process? Because that's basically the trade off here. I sure as crap would. What move would you rather have made? 

 

Edited by Roanoke Falcon
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12 minutes ago, Roanoke Falcon said:

I would have rolled with whatever we have, and scoured bottom-rung TE cuts--- which Hurst may well have been. TE is not a garbage position, but it is significantly less important than other positions we could have used that 2nd rounder on.

That has been my whole point: even IF, Hurst tuns out to be a vry good TE, he cost us the opportunity to draft a CB to replace Trufant, a C to replace Mack, an impact DL like Gallimore or Madibuike, heck, even a RB to take over when Gurley's knees give out or he plays himself into a big contract elsewhere next year.

With our suite of WR's and Koetter's distaste for the running game, we could run with 10 personnel, running out a backup OL or a FB at the TE spot when we wanted to run an 11 Jumbo package.

TE may not be the most celebrated position to many teams, but think over the years how important that position is to Matt Ryan's success. From Gonzo to Tamme to Hooper. We need a difference make at TE to thrive in our offense. And he can block as well. He's not a one trick pony 

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On 3/27/2020 at 9:22 AM, Goober Pyle said:

https://theathletic.com/1702758/2020/03/26/as-falcons-top-tight-end-hayden-hurst-ready-to-flourish-with-new-team/

 

Hayden Hurst had a plan.

Knowing that his preferred place to work out could shut its doors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hurst wanted to ensure he could stockpile weightlifting equipment to stay in shape throughout the offseason. Like previous years, Hurst was back home in Jacksonville, Fla., visiting The Bolles School, his former high school, to work out on a regular basis. For a month-and-a-half, Hurst was able to hit the Bolles’ weight room. But as COVID-19 spread across the U.S., The Bolles School was forced to shut its doors. The school’s headmaster stayed in touch with Hurst about it, with the savvy tight end asking if he could borrow some equipment if closure happened.

When The Bolles School went on lockdown, and with the headmaster’s blessing, Hurst and his father drove their Chevrolet Silverados to the school and loaded the beds with numerous weights.

“We backed our trucks up, loaded it up with dumbbells, barbells, all sorts of stuff,” Hurst said. “I have a whole old school weight room going on in my garage right now.”

Hurst moved a bench and a squat rack from his parents’ house to his garage. He was able to snag eight 45-pound plates and two 100-pound plates for those. He grabbed numerous dumbbells weighing from 60 to 100 pounds.

Hurst, whose trade from the Baltimore Ravens to the Falcons became official once the new league year began on March 18, was fortunate enough to put together a home gym setup at the beginning of what’s amounted to a quarantine. Included in this setup are a sled and some bungees. His Jacksonville house is located behind his parents’ home, which includes almost three acres of land on it.

With that space, Hurst has been able to get plenty of cardio in.

“It’s not exactly like a turf field, but it gets the job done nonetheless,” Hurst said.

Since becoming a professional athlete, which goes back to when he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a pitcher out of high school, Hurst has trained with Mike Barrett, a longtime Bolles football coach who still runs the school’s strength and conditioning program. Upon leaving baseball and pursuing football, Hurst continued to train with Barrett. Now, the two have worked together each offseason to tailor workout programs to Hurst’s liking.

These workouts are now taking place in Hurst’s garage as he prepares for a new season with a new team.

“I’ll tell you what, man, I’m already up to 266 (pounds) right now, and I feel great,” Hurst said. “It’s what I did last season. His program is tough. The workouts kick my butt. But it’s definitely worth it.”

Hurst, drafted 25th overall in 2018, had a feeling his second season with Baltimore would be his last. During a phone interview with The Athletic, Hurst spoke about his trade to Atlanta and why he expected it to occur. He also touched on how he fits into the Falcons’ offense and what to expect from him this coming season.

Let’s go back to what would have been a week-and-a-half ago when you got the news that the Ravens were trading you to Atlanta. What’s your first thought? And did it catch you by surprise or was it something you were expecting?

It was something I was expecting, just because of the rumors that had gone on throughout the year. Before the trade deadline happened midseason, I think I was rumored to be getting moved. So I was expecting something after the season. I told (Ravens general manager) Eric (DeCosta), too, that I wanted an opportunity to play and to start. I think he heard me loud and clear. As far as knowing I was going to the Falcons, I don’t think I knew that was happening until the first week or two of March. I think I officially found out on March 9 or something like that. I knew I was going to get moved, but to what team, (my agent) Hadley (Engelhard) wasn’t 100 percent sure. But I guess through his relationships with Thomas (Dimitroff) and those guys, he worked something out for me.

Obviously you were taken in the first round, before Lamar Jackson, and a lot of people have pointed that out. With the (stress fracture in the foot), the injury in your first year, did that slow things down when it came to the opportunities in the passing game in that offense?

I think so. I was playing at such a high level before that. It’s just unfortunate that it happened, but it’s part of my path. I went down, and Mark (Andrews) just flourished. He caught fire. He’s an incredible athlete and an incredible football player. He played in the Pro Bowl. With him having so much success it was hard for me to scratch and claw my way back in. They were winning, and coaches don’t want to change anything when you’re winning. I had to scratch and claw for my opportunities, but I think I showcased my talent a little bit. But this opportunity with Atlanta is going to be great. The tight end position is pretty much wide open. I get to go in there and do my thing, so I’m very excited about it.

I don’t know how much you know of Atlanta’s offense in general, but when you have Julio Jones taking a ton of attention on one side of the field, I imagine as a receiving option that has to be exciting for you. 

Then you got Calvin (Ridley) as well, and the addition of LaQuon Treadwell. What, 11 picks in the first round are slated to start on this offense? It’s kind of crazy to be honest. It’s pick your poison. You got Todd Gurley in the backfield. Then, of course, Matt Ryan doing his thing. To be a part of that offense is exciting, on paper. We just got to go out and do it now.

Have you had a chance to speak Matt, whether it’s on the phone or through text?

He texted me the day my trade was official. He kept it short. He said he was excited I was a part of the brotherhood in Atlanta now. Very excited to get to work and that we’re going to do some special things. I reiterated that back to him, that I was really excited to be in Atlanta, and that I would do anything I can to work with him so we can have success.

What do you know about (offensive coordinator Dirk) Koetter and the style of offense he likes to run and how it suits the tight end position?

Me and Coach Koetter have talked a few times on the phone. He just let me know the things he was able to do with Cameron Brate (in Tampa Bay). I think the red-zone opportunities are going to be there for the tight end. He let me know that. We talked about what he thought of my skill set — stretching the field vertically, being a presence in the red zone. And then obviously with what (Austin) Hooper did last year, he put up personal bests the entire year. He had 75 catches, (787) yards, six touchdowns. It was pretty incredible what he did. I think my skill set is really going to flourish, as well. I’m just really happy to be a part of it. It’s going to do wonderful things for my career.

When it comes to you on the field, and also off the field, what can the city of Atlanta expect once you’re able to officially get with this group, practice and get going with this team?

For me, I always like to play 100 mph. I think that’s when I’m at my best when I go out there and cut it loose. I’m a big effort guy. I’ll go out there and lay it on the line. I’m not a big talker. I’m not going to be a rah-rah leader that’s in your face. I’ll lead by example; that’s what I did at South Carolina. And as far as off the field stuff, I started a foundation with my mom that focuses on mental health and suicide prevention. We’ve done a lot of great work in Jacksonville, where I was born and raised. We’ve done some stuff in Baltimore. Now we’re shifting our focus to Atlanta and Jacksonville. Those will be the two cities where we do a lot of stuff and help a lot of kids.

 

 

Probably will be our best FA signing this year

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