Falcons STC Marquice Williams praises kick returners

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Prior to joining Arthur Smith’s coaching staff in Atlanta, Marquice Williams spent time with the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears. The first-year special teams coordinator inherited one of NFL’s best kickers in Younghoe Koo, but Williams is letting the competition play itself out at the other positions.

After an injury to Sterling Hofrichter, the Falcons brought in former Georgia punter Cameron Nizialek to battle Dom Maggio for the starting role. Williams spoke to the media on Thursday and praised his special teams units.

“All the returners have been improving on the basic fundamentals, catch mechanics, understanding a new scheme and how we’re blocking stuff up,” said Williams. “All those guys, including [Cordarrelle Patterson] himself, they’ve been doing a great job of working at their basic fundamentals.”

Patterson was brought in to electrify the Falcons’ kickoff return game, while also providing some impact on the offensive side of the football. Avery Williams, who made a career of fielding punts at Boise State, was drafted as a cornerback but will likely see an elevated role as a punt returner over Chris Rowland.

Williams believes that special teams is something that all players should have a role on, and knows that the rest of the coaching staff understands how important special teams production is to winning.

“The best part about this staff and working with Terry and coach Smith is that I don’t have to bang the table,” said Williams. “They value the importance of special teams and maximizing our roster when we trim it down to 53.”

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