For the first three seasons of his NFL career, Falcons tight end Austin Hooper worked under tight-ends coach Wade Harman, who was not retained.

Why Harman wasn’t retained was one of the great mysteries of this offseason. He guided Hooper to Pro Bowl (alternate) status, had a Super Bowl ring and he worked with Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.

Harman quickly found a job with Denver.

Mike Mularkey, a former Falcons offensive coordinator, professional tight end and three-time head coach, was hired to replace Harman.

“He is a threat in this offense,” Mularkey said of his new prized pupil.

Hooper had a breakthrough season with 71 catches for 660 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. Mularkey thinks Hooper can stay in the elite group of tight ends in the league.

“I think he can be that way if he continues on the path that he’s taken since his rookie year,” Mularkey said.


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