Hester focused on producing, not retiring

Devin Hester fully on board with full-time focus on returning


At the same time, people were just emotional, upset. So I would say that (my remarks were) emotion and upset coming out of me. I really wasn’t thinking about what I was saying. That’s in the past. You say things you really don’t mean when you’re upset. That’s how it was. Now, Hester is in a better state emotionally with the new regime limiting him strictly to duties on special teams, after spending the majority of his career also moonlighting at receiver. Hester holds the NFL record for career kick return touchdowns (17), and career punt return TDs (12) and needs one more return TD to tie Deion Sanders for the most overall. A missed field goal returned for a touchdown gives Hester 18 total return TDs.

Will Devin Hester Even Make the Chicago Bears Roster in 2013?

Devin Hester Chicago Bears

He’s in a great frame of mind right now. He is right where we need him to be. “Obviously, the competition part of it is going to come from the games, but it is also going to come in practices. We’ll get him evaluated that way as well.” Hester has done little return work in the preseason in recent years because the goal always has been to ensure he’s healthy for the regular season. In the last five years, he has returned five punts in the preseason (one for 54 yards) and made three fair catches. He hasn’t returned a kickoff since the 2008 preseason. Hester, who has a base salary of $1.85 million in the final year of his contract and will count $2.94 million against the salary cap, struggled last season in the return game, and former coordinator Dave Toub said it was a mental issue. His punt-return average of 8.3 yards was nearly half of his mark in 2011, when he had three return scores.

50 Greatest Bears

June 18, 2013 3:17 am EDT by Brian Neal David Banks USA TODAY Sports Once known as the Windy City Flyer, Devin Hester has taken a few steps back from meriting that moniker. Not only is Hester not a wide receiver any more which is a great decision from the new Marc Trestman-led regime but he also is only competing for the return man job. Meaning if they feel he doesnt provide enough value at the return spot any longer, Hester could be looking for employment elsewhere before the season starts. In fact, as soon as Trestman was hired by GM Phil Emery, he said that he viewed Hester as only a return specialist, and nothing more. And with good reason. In six seasons as a receiver, Hester only had 217 receptions and 14 touchdowns. An average of about 36 receptions and two-three touchdowns per year. However, the Chicago Bears front office and coaching staff tried to pass him off as a No. 1 for at least four of those seasons, which is ridiculous and needs to be criticized at this point.

Hester having to prove his worth as returner

Devin Hester catches a punt at Halas Hall.

“I think I have that much left in me. “At the same time, I think I do need a fresh start.” Hester, 30, was so frustrated with his season, he talked about retiring after Lovie Smith was fired on Dec. 31. That is no longer an option for Hester, but he doesn’t want to go through another season on offense like the one he had in 2012, when he caught 23 passes for 242 yards. Hester’s 12 punt returns for touchdowns are an NFL record, and his next return for a score will tie him with Deion Sanders for the most combined return touchdowns in NFL history with 19. But he hasn’t returned one for a score since Oct. 16, 2011, a span of 25 games. After establishing himself as the game’s premier return man in 2006, Hester added receiving duties in 2007. He posted a career-best 57 catches in 2009, but his totals have dropped in each of the past three seasons.

Devin Hester open to a trade

He’s proven that countless times during his seven seasons, and he currently holds the NFL record for most all-time return touchdowns (both kicks and punts). Hester also lines up at wide receiver, where he caught a personal-best 57 passes in 2009. In the three seasons since, however, his receptions have declined, from 40 to 26 to 23, and his 10.5 yards-per-catch average in 2012 was the lowest of his career. And now, under second-year general manager Phil Emery and new coach Marc Trestman, Hester’s place on the Bears’ final roster may not be assured. Forget wide receiver, according to CSNChicago.com ‘s John Mullin, Hester is working to hold onto a spot as a returner. “Trestman said as much earlier this offseason and observing the rotations during minicamp, with Earl Bennett among others fielding kicks,” Mullin wrote Sunday. “Trestman again used the word ‘competing’ to describe Hester’s situation as the Bears’ primary returner. “With the Bears tight against the salary cap, Hester’s 2013 base of $1.85 million is potentially a factor, as is his age (31 in November), if he does not establish a level of dominance approaching what he had before working into the offense as a receiver.” Currently, Hester is listed as the Bears’ No. 4 wide receiver behind Brandon Marshall, Bennett and second-year player Alshon Jeffery. If the two sides end up parting ways in the coming weeks or months, Hester won’t be out of work long.

Is Devin Hester’s roster spot with Bears in jeopardy?

Apr 8, 2013 12:54 PM smart considering its the only talent he has larryboodry says: Apr 8, 2013 1:50 PM Good to see him focused on what he does bestHopefully this will return him (ahem) to the elite level of play on ST Bears fans were used to. larryboodry says: Apr 8, 2013 1:54 PM filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 8, 2013 10:29 AM Packer fans tried for years to explain this to the Bear meatheads. Now Trestman is a genius for discovering that Hester cant play WR. Packer fans need to mind their own businessAs for me, I never needed you or any other cheesehead to tell me Hester sucked as a WR. thompsonway says: Apr 8, 2013 2:27 PM More common sense coming out of the Bears. I guess this change (Emery/Trestman) was way over due. Beardown soccer fans.


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