When the Falcons meet for the first time this offseason in early April, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson may be the most excited player in the room. Having recovered from a knee injury suffered in 2013 with the Washington Redskins, claiming most of last season as well, Hankerson has been 100-perecent for weeks, waiting to meet his new teammates and hit the field.
Moving to Atlanta, Hankerson reunites with his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is known for running an offense that benefits many, including wide receivers. Under Shanahan in 2012, Hankerson put up the best numbers of his four-year career, including 38 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns.
"It was a great opportunity to come to an offense that I'm very familiar with," Hankerson said. "Playing with a great quarterback in Matt Ryan and a couple of other receivers that I can join and have fun and enjoy doing whatever it takes to win games and compete."
The Falcons' 2016 roster is constantly evolving and we've amassed all the players in one gallery that will be updated throughout the year
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said the upcoming season will be filled with creative ways to compete not only on the field but also in the meeting rooms. Joining a talented Falcons offense, Hankerson will embrace the competition, looking to help the team make a turnaround in 2015.
"I look forward to going in and playing with those guys, Roddy (White), Julio (Jones), Devin (Hester), all of the guys who are on the squad," Hankerson said.
"It's not all about me, it's about the team. That's what we're going to try to do, starting on the sixth, work out and have fun, setting everybody's mindset to one thing and that's winning games."