Hester working to age well

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Bears returner wants to emulate Mitchell's 5 returns for touchdowns after age 30

    By Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune reporter

    10:14 p.m. CDT, October 16, 2013

    Devin Hester is seeking kick return advice from a former record-setting return specialist who saved some of his best work for the final years of his career.

    As the Bears prepare to visit Washington on Sunday, Hester is paying attention to the career highlights and advice of Brian Mitchell, the former stellar returner for the Redskins and Eagles.

    Mitchell had 13 special teams touchdowns; Hester has 18. Mitchell returned two punts and three kickoffs for touchdowns between the ages of 30 and 34 before he retired at 35.

    "I am trying to research some of the things about what he did in his early 30s," Hester said Wednesday. "Some of the things he says … I am trying to do. I like to pick his brain."

    Hester, who will turn 31 on Nov. 4, is in the last year of his contract and wants to prove he still has what it takes to be a premier threat. He says he wants to improve his "image" again around the league.

    "The past couple of years I have been in a slump as far as returns go. I kind of struggled with that," said Hester, who is no longer being deployed also as a receiver. "So this year I am hoping to bounce back"

    Hester has 3,020 career punt return yards and 4,643 kickoff return yards. He has 35 punt return yards this season and 575 on kickoff returns. Hester is 37 punt return yards away from overtaking Allen Rossum (3,056) for ninth most in NFL history. Mitchell is first with 4,999 yards.

    "I am just a couple of blocks away from breaking one," Hester said of the kickoff returns. "We watch the film every week and we harp on it real hard … one or two mistakes from a 25-yard return (becoming a) 98-yard return."

    Hester realizes that returning kicks is not a one-man operation, and he could use a little help from his friends.

    "We have a lot of young guys (on the return units) and we are throwing a lot at them," he said. "You have to be able to play when you get thrown in there. We veterans have to start rallying and improving these young guys to help them out more.

    "Once we get on the same page and everybody knows their assignments … that's when the returns will start hitting."

    Hester also knows that he needs to rely more on guile and instincts than pure speed as he gets older.

    "It's knowing what to do and what the other 10 guys' (on the kick return unit) assignments are doing," he said. "You can get away with raw speed and faking guys (at a young age). But later on in life, when teams start to understand what kind of runner you are, they start to pay more attention to you."


    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...-brite-bears-chicago-20131017,0,3177741.story
  2. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    We gotta get the guy some real blockers for the few chances he even has to return it.
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  3. weneedmorelinemen

    weneedmorelinemen Veteran

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    Hester's best chance for more returns is to follow Toub to KC.
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  4. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Sad, but possibly true. DeCamillas, or whatever his name is, either isn't coaching these guys up, or they just don't have many quality STers outside of Hester. Weems really seems redundant, unless Hester gets injured.
  5. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Veteran

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    I just want him to mimic average returner at this point as to protect the ball and know when not to attempt to return a kick off. Since Urlacher isn't here this year, they can make it Hester's kickoff for last year campaign run.
  6. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    He almost had one last year( I think it got called back), and he's shown he can still be dangerous this year. All it really takes is one team to say "nah, he's over the hill", and punt to him a few times. Oh, and if our defense could show up, he'd have a better chance of returning punts.
  7. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    Gotta agree if the defense can pin a team deep, the punts are more returnable.

    Hope he gets a couple this year.
  8. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    At least one bright spot is the ST blocking (and Hester) are rounding into form. I think we also can safely put to rest that he isn't a force anymore.
  9. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Veteran

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    That was nice return and it was a all around great ST play. He has lost his ludicrous speed but at least they're still afraid to kick to him.
  10. MrDynamite32

    MrDynamite32 Rookie

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    Hester's not the threat he was in years past, but he's still a threat.
  11. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Anyone hear that he talked to Mitchell, who had like 5 TD's in his 30's. Mitchell told him that he needed to rely more on the ST's blocking for him then trying to just use his break away speed; and you saw Hester doing that today, he saw the blockers line up on the left side and he broke that way and ran to daylight...it was awesome.
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  12. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    I'll always wonder if he learned that advice early coupled with not being a wr what astronomical records he would have produced (as well as the kickoff rule as well).
  13. ZifanQ

    ZifanQ Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    I just really hope he will get another TD preferably this year because I have a feeling he won't be on next years roster.. Break the record and retire as the best returner the NFL ever has seen<3
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