Big Plans For Devin Hester On Offense
Aug/10/14 11:04 PM Filed in: Devin Hester
Devin Hester found his niche in the NFL by way of kick returns. During his time with the Chicago Bears, the team essentially gave up on him as a wide receiver and kept him as a special teams star. He has not played an offensive snap since 2006 when he was a rookie. However, now he is with the Atlanta Falcons and the team plans on changing that after seeing the skill set he has on the field.
Hester will not only serve as the resident kick return specialist, but he will also return to his original role as a wide receiver. Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has big plans for Hester in the upcoming season and not all of them include special teams. Referring to the veteran as a true weapon, Hester will join the wide receiver rotation once again.
"When we picked up Devin I personally wasn't sure if he was going to be more than a returner for us ," Koetter said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "I've been very happy, as have all of the coaches, with how Devin has taken to the wide receiver stuff. (Assistant coach) Terry Robiskie has done an awesome job with him and the other receivers have helped him. Devin is going to be an exciting player, definitely a weapon that we added in the offseason that's going to help."
While Hester does own the NFL record for combined punt and kick return touchdowns, the Falcons need him as a full-time wide receiver to help with depth. Last season, the receiving corps took a huge hit when Julio Jones and Roddy White went down with injuries. Having both players back plus 2013's breakout star, Harry Douglas, will help the offense regain its form, but adding Hester could take it to another level.
"The thing that people don't understand," Jones said, via TheMMQB.com's Peter King, "is that for us, he's not just going to be a returner. We've seen it out here. He can help us as a receiver, and he is helping us."
The addition of Hester helps make up for the fact that Tony Gonzalez is no longer on the team and that Steven Jackson is once again nursing a hamstring injury. The Falcons are relying on Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman for the ground game. Early reports surrounding the rookie have been mixed as Koetter says he is having some growing pains adjusting to everything in Atlanta.