Hester wants Hall-of-Fame season

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    10,345
    Likes Received:
    1,138
    Ratings:
    +1,197 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    95ß
    Bears returner figures great year virtually will assure selection as one of NFL's all-time greats

    Mike Mulligan

    6:52 p.m. CDT, August 20, 2013

    Bears returner Devin Hester believes he has done enough in his NFL career to have "one foot in" the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Nonetheless, he has contemplated life beyond the Bears, saying, "I don't think they are going to let me go," of his 2013 roster status, while admitting he thought there was a good chance he would be traded during the April draft.

    "It was something in the back of our mind," Hester said.

    Welcome to life for a one-dimensional player in the 3D world of the NFL. Once called a No. 1 wide receiver, Hester now is used strictly on kickoff and punt returns, and as a deep threat on the field goal block team.

    He turned 30 in November, which is traditionally a scary age for a return guy. Well, mere mortal returners perhaps. Brian Mitchell, who played 14 NFL seasons, had four touchdown returns in his 30s — three on punt returns and one off a kickoff. Eric Metcalf, a 13-year veteran, had one on a punt return.

    Hester is entering his eighth NFL season and is in the final year of his contract. He figures he can play another four years.

    "Right now, I just concentrate on this season and I am pretty sure if (the Bears) decided to cut me another team will pick me up," Hester said. "My goal is to retire as a Bear. (But) I know this is a business. Whatever happens, I want to create enough esteem that there is no stress at the end of the year."

    Hester is the greatest return man in NFL history and his next return touchdown will tie Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for the most in NFL history at 19. Sanders had 10 touchdown returns on defense, including nine interception returns. Hester's have come on 12 punt returns, five kickoff returns and one missed field goal return.

    There is only one player in the Hall of Fame, kicker Jan Stenerud, who never played offense or defense. Punter Ray Guy someday may get there, while Hester, who came into the league as a cornerback and moved to wide receiver, knows to make it as a return man, he has to erase any question.

    "I have one foot in right now," he said. "If I take three or four back this year, it should be considered 80 percent chance of making it. But I am not really worried about it right now. I am really focused on this season. After this season, when all the stats add up, hopefully it won't be a question."

    Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis seemed surprised when asked if there was a scenario in which Hester isn't on the final roster.

    "I don't think so," DeCamillis said. "He has shown through practices and even in the game situation the other night that he still has juice."

    The suspicion is that Hester is primed for a big year, depending on the number of opportunities he gets. The team has shown no interest in expanding his role. When Earl Bennett went down, nobody told Hester to jump into a receivers drill. When Kelvin Hayden went down, nobody told Hester to play some corner.

    "We're going to stick to the play," Hester said of being only a return ace.

    Since the inception of the so-called Hester Rule, moving kickoffs from the 30- to the 35-yard line, touchbacks have gone from around 16 percent of kickoffs to more than 40 percent. That means fewer chances. And there long has been a book on punting to Hester with teams choosing to sky punt and force him to make decisions instead of directional punting. Outkicking coverage long has been a no-no with such a dangerous and prolific returner.

    You can make a strong argument that the Bears will need every benefit in field position while their offense plays into form in a new system, so Hester is a necessity.

    Hester probably will get a year as a pure return man because so many players on the roster are in the same contract position as he is. The team is not looking for cap space because it has put a moratorium on new deals. Cutting Hester would provide roughly $2 million in cap relief. If the Bears were looking for cap space to work out a contract extension with one of their many key players heading into the final year of their deals, Hester might be the first to go. But, apparently, the team is content to retain the status quo.

    From the outside looking in, it may seem the Bears are imposing control over the roster by keeping an abundance of players wrapped up in a cataclysmic stall. But general manager Phil Emery has admitted there is a fairness issue to prioritizing free agents. With so many guys coming up at once, clearing cap space for one or two extensions could create ill will in the locker room among the many players on expiring deals.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...rs-mulligan-chicago-20130821,0,3753750.column
  2. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    10,345
    Likes Received:
    1,138
    Ratings:
    +1,197 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    95ß
    Still crazy that Ray Guy isn't in the HOF.
  3. Mr. Deliverance

    Mr. Deliverance Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    109
    Ratings:
    +109 / 0 / -1
    ßearz ßuckz:
    He should have a big year. He's always been at his best as a return man when focuses solely on special teams.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. kegstand

    kegstand George Halas Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    135,357
    Likes Received:
    73
    Ratings:
    +76 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    To quote the great Lou Brown:

    "Well he better, if he wants to make this team."
  5. Adibear

    Adibear Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,283
    Likes Received:
    30
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    We all know Hester is a better return man than a WR...I can see him doing good this year now that he only has to work on returns.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    266
    Ratings:
    +270 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    They really stole some years off his greatness, didn't they?

    The minute they tried to turn him into a thinking man's WR, he lost that sandlot mentality of cutting against the grain & 'running to daylight'. Never forgive the last regime for that...
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Adibear

    Adibear Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,283
    Likes Received:
    30
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    yeahb tried to turn him into something he wasnt.
  8. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    1,175
    Ratings:
    +1,564 / 5 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    781ß
    That's kind of how I see it. The guy was on a roll like no other. I don't think anyone would ever have caught up to his record. Now he is in the mix with people like Deon, etc. He would have left everyone in the dust. He is the best returner in NFL history that was literally changing how opponents game planned against us. How often does a player like that come along? And you go try to make him learn a new position. Like trying to make Barry Sanders into a Punter. Make him a special teams star with punts and then let him run back a few balls too when he can.

    Every time I think about it, the stupidity of it all is just beyond belief.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    266
    Ratings:
    +270 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    The thing that bothered me was them going 'cheap' by trying to milk a WR out of someone who was 'dry'.

    #23 was a fully scouted return guy with a chance for a marginal backup CB as a possibility. They tried their Damndest to get him on the field more in college to no avail. He was just a kid that had to run like Forrest Gump.

    Then our sterling Brain Trust decided to Frankenstein a WR. WTF...

    This was left over from yesteryear when I tried gallows humor to keep my sanity:

    [​IMG]
  10. kegstand

    kegstand George Halas Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    135,357
    Likes Received:
    73
    Ratings:
    +76 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    Right but he's tied with the most returns for a TD in the history of the NFL so I don't think it's fair to say he's "in the mix" Deion played 12 season, Hester tied it in basically 6. With those kind of stats Chicago knew they were going to have to pay that man his money. And in paying they couldn't just justify 8mil per to sit on the sidelines for limited touches. I get why they did it, he was dynamic get the ball in his hands and see what he could do especially for the price you had to pay to keep him.

    I also think it hurt with the basic elimination of the kickoffs and if you notice his numbers dipped after they let Brendan Ayanbadejo go to Baltimore, I think BA was worth his weight on that ST unit as well.
  11. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    1,175
    Ratings:
    +1,564 / 5 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    781ß

    That's my point exactly Keg -- Hester did it in 6. No one has EVER been on that pace. Now they made him take several years off, in effect, and others records are looking much closer than they are in reality. If he never gets his mojo back, his numbers IN TOTAL won't look much better than some other players, when in effect, he has been head and shoulders better than anyone else. All because of his being mismanaged.

Share This Page