The Bears eventually gave up on using kick returner Devin Hester as a wide receiver but Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said Hester’s “play-making ability” has him excited to use him in that role.

In 2013 Hester didn’t play an offensive snap for the first time since his rookie season in 2006. The Falcons signed Hester, 31, during the offseason and have run plays for him during training camp.

“When we picked up Devin I personally wasn’t sure if he was going to be more than a returner for us ,” Koetter said Thursday. “I’ve been very happy, as have all of the coaches, with how Devin has taken to the wide receiver stuff. (Assistant coach) Terry Robiskie has done an awesome job with him and the other receivers have helped him.

“Devin is going to be an exciting player, definitely a weapon that we added in the offseason that’s going to help.”

Hester owns the NFL record for combined punt and kick return touchdowns with 19 (13 punt and five kickoffs) and ranks fifth all-time with a punt return average of 12.3 yards.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith envisioned Hester as a full-time wide receiver but it never really panned out that way. Hester’s playing time on offense decreased each season since 2009 until Smith’s successor, Marc Trestman, didn’t play Hester at all from scrimmage in 2013.