Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he recently spoke with Dwight Freeney, and this time, the seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end made it clear he is ready for a comeback.

"He wants to play," Quinn said on Wednesday of the 37-year-old. "I’d say he’s further along in the decision than he was last year."

Quinn, who'd previously spoken to Freeney solely about his golf game, stopped well short of saying the Falcons intend to re-sign Freeney at this time. Quinn relayed the same message to Freeney that he echoed through the media after Freeney went on SiriusXM NFL radio and said he was in discussions with the Falcons about a return.

"He knows I’m going down the line of looking at our team here," Quinn reiterated Wednesday.

Quinn wants to develop his current group of pass-rushers, led by reigning NFL sack champion Vic Beasley Jr., who accumulated 15.5 sacks last season. The Falcons drafted defensive end Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA in the first round to rush off the edge opposite of Beasley. But there is always a chance McKinley, who underwent significant surgery on his right shoulder in March, might not be ready despite optimism about his status.