1. Expect big things from WR Justin Hardy in 2016
Justin Hardy showed glimpses of greatness during the 2015 season. The ECU product showed he has the potential to be a great fit in Atlanta's offense for years to come, and his head coach and GM think so too. During both Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff's Combine press conferences; they spoke very highly of the 24-year-old.
Hardy finished his rookie season recording 194 yards on 21 catches.
"We are expecting big things from Justin in 2016," said Quinn.
"He fit in well with our system," Dimitroff said. "He sets in with our passionate and fiery approach to the game that Coach Quinn embodies and I have to think that's good for us to have a wide receiver who embodies that."* *
2. The Falcons have a need for speed
If you didn't already know, the Falcons want a roster full of speedsters. And Quinn made it clear that he will continue to get players with speed through free agency and the upcoming draft.
"I think it's the speed," Quinn said. "If that part of our defense can get right, we can have a chance to affect the quarterback and create turnovers. That part of our game, we're not there yet. When we add that speed to the club, the foundation, the principles and the tackling, the mindset is firmly established. Now, if we can continue to add the speed and attitude to the club, to that side of the ball, that's when some of the other things will take place. That's when more of the turnovers come. That's when the hits on the quarterback come. I want it to be in our building where it's so loud, our guys will absolutely be flying off the ball, going after that. That's what I'm looking to create for our defense."
3. No update on Devin Hester
Return specialist Devin Hester missed Atlanta's first 11 games and following the season he had a procedure done on his toe.
He had the procedure done in late-January and it was reported that he would be in a cast for three months to follow.
"No update," Dimitroff said. "I know that he's doing well. He's a focused rehab type of guy so I have no doubt that he will continue to focus on that."
4. Roddy White's future in Atlanta still to be determined
The future of Roddy White* *as a Falcon has yet to be determined. Quinn told the media that a decision has yet to be made when he made the following statement:
"He's somebody that we certainly know that we have a lot of respect and admiration for," Quinn said. "As we are building this team together, he and some other players go in to that line. We're not into that decision yet. When we do regarding team building processes, we'll fill you guys in."
5. Falcons fans have swagger Quinn believes that Falcons fans have swagger and he wants his team to embody that as he continues on his mission to bring a championship to Atlanta.
"What I learned is how hungry our fans are for a championship, and that fired me up," Quinn said. "Our fans have swagger and I love that."
6. Competition at center in full force for the Falcons
For majority of the 2015 season, Mike Person served as the Falcons' center. An up and down year for Person means that Quinn and Co. are exploring options for the position.
"I was really pleased with Mike in some areas and some, I wasn't," Quinn said. "Same thing with Gino (Gradkowski). So, full competition is going to be on at the spot." Person has two years left on his deal while Gradkowski is bound for free agency.
7. The Falcons are coming...
When asked about the plan to catch the Carolina Panthers, Quinn assured the media, it's about his team. They won't focus on anyone else.
"The first thing is that we're going to make it about us," Quinn said. "Our attitude and style… if we just keep comparing ourselves to them, I don't think that's how you go about it. You do it in your own way. It's our speed, our attitude that we'll play with. We certainly tip our hats to them for the job they've done. But by the same token, we're coming too. I want to make sure that it comes down to us and our mindset and our attitude. But, I have to give them credit. For three years straight, they've played the best in the division and we're excited about 2016."