The Atlanta Falcons specialists typically fly under the radar, because of their consistency and reliability, which is expected to continue this season. However, the group should anticipate more league-wide attention in 2014, thanks to the arrival of dynamic return man
Bosher was a bright spot in 2013, boasting a 46.6 yards-per-punt average, downing 26 punts inside the 20-yard line. Spending extra time in the offseason, working with special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Bosher’s expecting to add length and hang time to his punts in 2014.
Bryant is “Mr. Reliable,” known as the other “Matty Ice” by teammates, entering his sixth season with the Falcons. He’s been nothing but steely for years, showcasing an unbelievable focus in clutch situations. Pretty much automatic from inside 50 yards, in 2013, Bryant was 24 of 27 (88.9%), with a long kick of 53 yards. He’s lived in the weight room in the offseason and is ready for more clutch kicks in 2014.
Harris enters his third season with the team, signed by the Falcons as a college free agent in 2012. During his young career, he’s been very consistent, playing in 32 games, recording five tackles, which Falcons fans hope continues in 2014.
Entering his ninth NFL season, Hester is looking to impact the Falcons special teams in record-breaking fashion. The three-time Pro Bowler with the Chicago Bears tied the NFL record for return touchdowns in 2013, recording his 19th-career return score. He owns 13 TD punt returns, five kickoff returns and one missed field goal return. Last season, he led the NFL in total return yards with 1,692 and kickoff return yards with 1,436. Also in 2013, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the 13th time in his career, after setting a single-game franchise record with 249 kick return yards against Minnesota in Week 2.
Castillo was a four-time All-Lone Star Conference selection at West Texas A&M, where he served as placekicker and punter. He made 24 of 30 field goals and scored 149 points as a senior in 2013. He hit 62 of 79 (78.5 percent) field goal attempts in his career and owns school records for career-made field goals and most field goals in a single season.