The Falcons have a lot of work to do between now and the beginning of the season. And with the real possibility that in-person team activities will be limited between now and the start of the regular season, every team has an uphill battle to climb, including the Falcons. For the Falcons, part of that equation involves getting settled at tight end. Because Austin Hooper is no longer with the team, the Falcons have been tasked with trying to figure out how to replicate his production in 2020. Enter Hayden Hurst, a talented young tight end that’s still trying to reach his potential.
Hurst became a Falcon in March via trade. And unfortunately there haven’t been any organized team activities since. That doesn’t mean Hurst isn’t in the fold. In fact, he and franchise quarterback Matthew Thomas Ryan have been putting in work for quite a while now.
Falcons TE Hayden Hurst told ESPN’s Mina Kimes for the last four weeks, he’s been driving back and forth from Jacksonville to Atlanta to throw with Matt Ryan. “That’s helping me a lot,’’ Hurst told Kimes. “That’s really going to pay off during training camp.’’— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) May 20, 2020
Any receiver has to have chemistry with his quarterback. This is a no-brainer, isn’t it? The more off-season work Hurst and Ryan can get in, the better they will be when the regular season rolls around. Assuming they are doing this safely, I have no problem with it. In fact, I hope they keep doing it. Those two need to learn one another’s tendencies and that only comes with repetition. Ryan knows this based on years of experience, and I have to think he floated the idea first. If it was Hurst that floated the idea, it’s even more impressive.
The absence of Hooper is something the Falcons will just need to figure out. Mourning his departure is frivolous at this point. And to be frank, Hurst has a pretty fantastic opportunity in front of him in Atlanta. He need only seize the moment. If Hurst can start to sniff his ceiling, he may quickly become one of the more productive tight ends in the NFC.
Your thoughts, Falcoholics?