In Hester, the Bears possess one of the best special teams returners in the history of the NFL. I'll never forget jumping up and down like a crazy person as Hester took the ball to the house against the Colts in the Super bowl. Or how about that one where he returned that field goal that fell short? Absolutely awesome.
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub said:
"[Hester's] still our No. 1 kickoff returner," Toub said. "So when we need a big one Devin is going to be in there."
To put it mildly, Devin Hester can change games. The only real blip in his return game was the 2008 and 2009 seasons, where he had no touchdown returns. But let's now take a look at some of the records that Hester holds, after just seven years in the league.
He has the highest career average on punt returns with 12.96 yards per attempt. He shares the record for most punt returns for a touchdown in a season with four. He also shares the record for most kickoff returns for a TD in a game with 2. For combined career kickoff/punt returns for a TD, Hester is the sole record holder with 17, which is amazing considering he should add to that. Perhaps a record that will never be broken. He has the record for the most combined returns for a TD in a season with 6, and the most season touchdown returns for a rookie with 5.
That is why Devin Hester belongs in the hall of fame. It's as simple as that. It is phenomenal for a current player to hold that many records, and the Bears should constantly be thanking their lucky stars that he plays for the Bears, and not against them.
For several years, the Bears have tried to mould Hester into a better wide receiver, but it hasn't ever quite worked out. While he has improved, and is dangerous with the ball in his hands, he has never really taken that step up to the next level. Might we see a difference this year in Hester's role as a wide out.There has been talk of special packages designed for Hester, and I think this a good thing. His outstanding talent needs to be utilised in a way that suits him, and in a way that lets him do the most damage.
I am sure some teams will still kick the ball away from Hester. But let's hope that when he does get the chance to take one back, he shows us all his amazing ability, and once again demonstrates why he's the best return man in the business.
Feel free to link to some videos of Hester's returns in the comments.
There are no words that need to be said: