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Better, worse or the same: Falcons special teams

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Special teams are fundamental to a team's success.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta's special teams efforts and roster have been pretty consistent over the past few seasons. What's the outlook for this group this year?

Current Special Teams Roster

Punter

Matt Bosher

Kickers

Matt Bryant
Nick Rose

Long snapper

Josh Harris

Potential return specialists

Devin Hester
Eric Weems
Devin Fuller
Justin Hardy
Nick Williams
Tevin Coleman
Devonta Freeman

Analysis

There are some unknowns for the Falcons' special teams units heading into training camp. For one, there should be an actual battle for the kicker position. Matt Bryant has been clutch for the Falcons throughout his tenure, but age and injuries caught up with him a bit last season, and it's possible Nick Rose, an undrafted free agent out of Texas, could challenge him for the starting job.

The other unknown is who will be returning kicks and punts for Atlanta this season. The Falcons still have Devin Hester, the best return specialist in the history of the game, on the roster, but as he's slowly recovering from surgery to address damage from turf toe that sidelined him for a significant portion of last season, and considering his age, also, Hester isn't guaranteed a roster spot, much less the return job.

Outlook

So what can we expect from the Falcons in terms of special teams this season? There are some changes potentially coming, so it's difficult to anticipate whether they will be better, worse or the same in 2016.

The one constant -- besides Bosher, who is very, very good -- is Keith Armstrong, who is a great special teams coach. Regardless of who ends up with kicker duties or taking over as the return specialist, we can count on Armstrong to let them know they "aren't good enough to be an a**hole," and he'll whip them into shape. At minimum, this unit should be about the same as last year.