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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

Q&A with Falcons returner Devin Hester

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By Wesley Toomer

Falcons returner/wide receiver Devin Hester, who is perhaps the most feared returner in the league, could provide a major life to the special teams units in 2014.

Here is a Q&A with Hester after Wednesday’s OTA session:

Q: How’s it different for you after so many years in Chicago?

A: Different Faces, different coaches, and teammates. I’ve been in the league for nine years now, so it’s pretty much the (same) program throughout the league.

Q: What do you think your role will become?

A:I think my role is going to be pretty much kickoff and punt return. I think I’ll take over full responsibility of that duty, and as far as on offense here and there.

Q: Your Resume obliviously speaks for itself like considering you are in a new location with new teammates, new coaches do you feel like there is something you have to prove? Or do you feel like you just need to continue what you are doing?

A:I don’t think I have to prove anything. You know, my stats and my play ability … speaks for itself. I just have to go out and concentrate on the techniques and little things like that. I should be pretty good.

Q: Your thoughts on working on the (special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong’s) unique style of coaching? Where you able to create a relationship with him yet?

A:Oh yeah, most definitely. I created one with him in the Pro Bowl a couple years ago. We were on the same page since day one. …He is open to a player’s mindset of how they feel and what they feel comfortable with and we both can work together and be on the same page.

Q: How do the returners try to make each other better?

A: Oh yeah, most definitely as a veteran you can always learn something from a younger guy, you know regardless of how many years you have been in the league, you can always pick up something that you can put in your tool box. Right now I’m learning little things that Harry (Douglas) does some of the other returners we have here, I’m picking their brains to see what they feel comfortable with and see what works for them. We just all share opinions.

Q: How has the rule changes impacted kickoff returners the last few years in the NFL?

A: Just added eight more yards on my return pretty much.

Q: As far as receiver how much time do you expect?

A:A little splash here and there about 15 to 20 plays a game so we will see how the season turns out.

Wesley Toomer is a junior in the Mass Communications Department at Albany State University.

PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM

–Tuesday – OTA No. 2.

–Thursday – OTA No. 3.

–Friday – Strength and Conditioning plus a rookie practice

–Monday– OTA No. 4.

–Tuesday, June 3 – OTA No. 5.

–Wednesday, June 4 – OTA No. 6.

–Thursday, June 5 – Rookie Practice.

–Monday, June 9 – Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament. Defending champs – Team Scelfo.

–Tuesday, June 10 – OTA No. 7.

–Wednesday, June 11 – OTA No. 8.

–Thursday, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

TBA – Rookie Symposium

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.

 DRAFT CLASS STORIES

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

 

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