Leonard Hankerson: We 'can be a top-five offense'


The Atlanta Falcons boast plenty of offensive talent for new coordinator Kyle Shanahan to play with.

The trio of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Matt Ryan can put up yards with ease and the potential has newcomer Leonard Hankerson squawking about the possibilities.

"With the weapons that he has on this team, there is no doubt about it that we can be a top-five offense. We can be a great team," he said this week during OTAs, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Last year Atlanta finished eighth in the NFL in total yards with 378.2 per contest. That total was overwhelmingly thanks to a passing attack that ranked No. 5 in the league with 284.6 yards per game, while the ground game earned just 93.5 yards per (24th in the NFL).

Hankerson signed a one-year deal in Atlanta after missing all but one game with the Washington Redskins last year. He cooed about his new wide receiver teammates.

"We have a great corps," Hankerson said, adding his injured knee is fine. "One of the best I've been on. Last year, being in there with Pierre (Garcon), DeSean (Jackson) and Santana (Moss), it's up there. Roddy and Julio, you know they are great guys. We are all competing with each other. We are out there working hard. We are doing what we have to do to make plays."

Hankerson will battle Devin Hester for a No. 3 role behind White and team linchpin, Jones. It's not the passing attack we expect to improve in 2015, however.

In each of his stops, Shanahan has coaxed production out of the running game, specifically utilizing rookie backs. So while the passing game should remain dynamic, it's Tevin Coleman and an improved Devonta Freeman under Shanahan's guidance who could help boost the Falcons' offense into the upper echelon of the NFL.

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