When news came of the addition of Devin Hester to the Falcons roster, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter barely looked up. Hester came with the reputation of being perhaps the best returnman in NFL history but his offensive resume didn't exactly stand out.
Once Hester arrived in Flowery Branch, all that changed. He's got Koetter's attention now.
Fans have wondered just what Hester's role could possibly be in an offense already crowded at wide receiver with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. After all, there's only one ball to go around, but Koetter sounds confident that Hester can play a big role in what the Falcons are planning to do in 2014.
"I've been very happy, as have all the coaches, with how Devin has taken to the wide receiver stuff," Koetter said Thursday. "Terry Robiskie has done an awesome job with him. The other receivers are helping him and Devin's going to be an exciting player — definitely a weapon that we added in the offseason that's going to help."
When the Falcons coaches see Hester on the practice fields in Flowery Branch, they see potential and capability. There's not much more to go on for a wide receiver who hasn't come close to surpassing 1,000 receiving yards in his career.
Instead, the coaching staff can only go on what they've seen so far from him in XFINITY® Atlanta Falcons Training Camp sessions and it's enough to make them think that, while 1,000 yards isn't what they'll need from him, a play here or there that goes for a big gain could be enough of a role for Hester that pushes the Falcons' offense to an unstoppable level.
"He's got the capability of playing and playing fast," Robiskie said. "He's going to do some things and make some plays for us that I think, at the end of the day, when we get a chance to sit down, we'll say, 'Wow I didn't know that's what I was getting when I got him'
"Like I tell him every day: There's not one person (here) who really gives a crap about what you did in Chicago. I'm happy for you that you're in the record book. I think I'm in there, too. But can you help us win a Super Bowl? We need your help. I think he's going to do some good things for us."