Blogging Dirty was live on scene at the Branch to check out Atlanta Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff kick off training camp with their annual press conference.
A lot things were talked about, especially about the news of all-pro return specialist Devin Hester’s release of the team. Just minutes before the press conference begun, the news official broke and Dimitroff touched on why the decision was made.
“We appreciate all of Devin’s contributions over the last couple of years,” Dimitroff said. “He’s a fine individual. It was a football decision for us in the very end and we think it’s best for the organization for us to move forward.”
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With Hester out of the picture, who will man the return duties for the Falcons this season? Quinn listed Eric Weems, Justin Hardy, Devin Fuller and Nick Williams as the front-runners to win the punt return job. Tevin Coleman’s name was also thrown into the mix as a possible kick returner.
Quinn mentioned three areas on the team that he felt have the most depth. Running back, tight end and the defense’s overall speed. He was very confident in all three facets and is expecting a lot of things out of those groups.
Dimitroff was asked if cutting Hester was made to free up enough cap space to sign someone else and he denied that notion. However, he did say that a potential contract has been handed out to an unnamed player. The top two players on the Falcons’ radar would be defensive end Dwight Freeney and linebacker O’Brien Schofield.
Quinn told media that he has kept in contact with Schofield and said that he has had a great off-season.
There are a lot of high expectations circling around the Falcons heading into 2016. Fans are wanting to see this team break through and make it back into the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season and that’s high on Quinn’s list as well.
If you would like to check out the presser in its entirety, click below.