Atlanta Falcons’ Austin Hooper on track for elite 2019


Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper participated in his first Pro Bowl in 2018. Now under the guidance of a new offensive coordinator and tight-ends coach, Hooper aims to become even more of a weapon in 2019.

The Atlanta Falcons have a gem in Austin Hooper. He’s just fun to watch. Whether he’s dishing out filthy stiff-arms at Soldier Field or going airborne on his way to the end zone, Hooper is one of a kind.

A third round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Hooper has rounded out nicely. When compared to his tight-end counterparts in 2018, he was top 10 in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

His final stats for the 2018 season were 71 receptions for 660 yards and 7 touchdowns. Very solid numbers.

The attention that Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley attract is key to Hooper’s success. As a defense, you just can’t cover all of the Falcons’ weapons. And often times, it’s Hooper who’s left open.

The Atlanta Falcons have brought back Mike Mularkey to be the team’s tight-ends coach in 2019. Mularkey was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons from 2008-2011.

In an AJC article written by D. Orlando Ledbetter, Mularkey didn’t mince words about the Pro Bowler’s role. Mularkey said the following:

"He is a threat in this offense."

With former Falcon offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter returning to take over play calling responsibilities in 2019, Hooper will have to learn a new system. But in a recent ESPN article written by Vaughn McClure, Hooper was upbeat about Koetter’s previous usage of Tony Gonzalez.

Hooper said the following about Koetter in Vaughn McClure’s piece:

"Looks like he likes to work [the tight end] into the game plan. I watched a few games of Tony G. back in the day. He’s just consistent, man. Anytime the ball got thrown to him, he made the catches every time. He’s the consummate pro — a Hall of Famer."

Next. Deion Sanders is not the greatest Atlanta Falcons player of all time. dark

No, Hooper will never be the Hall of Famer that was Tony Gonzalez, but that’s OK. He doesn’t have to be Tony Gonzalez; he just has to be Austin Hooper.