Despite having Devin Hester on the roster, there will be plenty of competition for the kick/punt returner position when XFINITY® Training Camp begins this week.
Hester remains under contract, but after an injury-plagued season that ended with toe surgery, it's unclear if he'll return to form in 2016. If he does, the four-time Pro Bowler can once again be a game-changer at 33 years old. If he doesn't, however, Atlanta has a number of intriguing candidates to fill in.
New wide receivers Devin Fuller and Aldrick Robinson are two options who could push for some returns. Fuller, drafted in the seventh round of April's NFL Draft, was an electric special teams force at UCLA, returning 36 kickoffs for 822 yards and 14 punts for 147 yards. Robinson didn't get many opportunities at Southern Methodist or during his three years in Washington, but as an athlete who ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash he could get a look in that role.
Running backs Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward could be in the mix, too, as both took some practice reps at returner during offseason workouts. Coleman, known for his breakaway speed, returned 24 kicks during his sophomore year at Indiana, gaining 566 yards and one touchdown.
And Eric Weems, the longtime special teams ace, can fill in at returner when needed. Last season, he quietly returned 15 kickoff for 403 yards and 19 punts for 221 yards. Who will be the main kick returner for the Falcons this year?