Now that Optimism Takes All situations (otherwise known as OTAs) are in the books and we move forward into mandatory veteran minicamps, the stirrings of position battles continue to make their waves. And this year, with Johnny Knox pretty much uncertain for the year (which is the only thing certain), some of those position battles have been at the kick returner position and the gunner.
Eric Weems was signed to a three-year contract to take kickoffs and cover on special teams and the Bears spent a seventh-round pick on TCU's Greg McCoy, but Dave Toub announced that as of right now, Hester is the number one guy.
"[Hester's] still our No. 1 kickoff returner," Toub said. "So when we need a big one Devin is going to be in there.
Toub went on to elaborate...
We have the luxury of having Eric Weems, so there will be times when we have them both back there. We'll kind of trick people as to who exactly is going to get the ball... we'll kind of move one guy up late. We'll also try to make them kick it away from Devin, maybe he can get the ball to Weems at times. There will also be times when just Weems is back there with a fullback. He's definitely a luxury for us. [Weems] can take it to the house, I mean he's scored touchdowns [on kickoff returns] and went to the Pro Bowl before.
Hearing about the decoy maneuver sure brings to mind another great decoy return (Editor's Note: You're welcome), but it (Weems' addition) really does emphasize both how good a special teams coach Toub has been as well as the organizational emphasis placed on special teams. Interesting to note that 7th round pick Greg McCoy hasn't been entered into the discussion, despite kickoff returns being his specialty at TCU and presumably what he was drafted for.
With two kick returners added this offseason, are you surprised Hester is still the team's number one returner in addition to his receiver and punt return duties? What are your thoughts on the team's special teams?