Skip to main content

Austin Hooper plans extra work with QB Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons offense for the most part remains relatively intact outside of running back Tevin Coleman, who signed a free-agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

But even with a foundation consisting of Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu, tight end Austin Hooper knows the unit will experience transition under new coordinator Dirk Koetter.

Instead of a depth-based passing scheme under former coordinator Steve Sarkisian, the Falcons are switching to a step-based system with Koetter, who previously served in the same role in Atlanta from 2012-14.

Hooper, who joined the Falcons in 2016, finds himself adjusting as he comes off a Pro Bowl season.

"On route X, I might have my inside foot up and I know once my third foot on my outside leg hits, I break," Hooper explained, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Just certain little things. Instead of being depth-based, it's all steps-based now. It's something new that I haven't done before. I just have to work with Matt."

To get a better grasp of route-running expectations within the scheme, Hooper won't alter an offseason routine from last summer when he spent a lot of time working out with Ryan.

"Yes, I plan to work with Matt after OTAs," Hooper said. "I plan on working with him throughout this seven- or eight-week period, and we will continue to solidify that timing relationship that is between a quarterback and a route-runner."

The time spent together paid off in 2018, as Hooper totaled 71 catches for 660 yards and four touchdowns on 88 targets in his third professional season. The tight end's numbers represented an increase from 2017 when Hooper totaled 49 catches for 526 yards and three touchdowns on 65 targets.

Hooper said Ryan, who previously played in Koetter's scheme, has already been helpful in the learning process.

"He gave me a little bit of insight," Hooper said. "We were tossing the ball around in SoCal (Southern California). We weren't going into it too deep. But he gave me the insight from a route-running perspective in terms of what to expect."

Meanwhile, the little things and minor details are often the main contributors to overall success in the NFL.

And in Atlanta, Hooper plans to pay special attention to all the areas in a new system in order to build on a successful 2018 campaign.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content