Devin Hester and his coaches have heard the talk that Hester can’t pick up Mike Martz’s complex offense. And they aren’t too happy.
”I just got to tell you this and get this off my chest: I’ve heard
so much about Devin not being a receiver and he doesn’t learn well, and
none of that is true,” Martz said. ”None of that is true. He’s a natural at it. Everything comes natural to him — the
recognition and the change of direction. He’s got a great way about him.
He’s a natural.”
The line of questioning may come from outsiders looking for reasons why Hester hasn’t seamlessly transitioned from return star to receiver star. Martz’s reaction was typical when Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times asked around.
“I don’t even want to get into it. I get mad when I hear it,”
receivers coach Darryl Drake said. ”I don’t even want to comment on
that because it’s so unfair.”
Coach Lovie Smith: “No one has said it.
That’s a non-issue. Devin has been outstanding picking things up.”
Hester: ”It bothers me a lot. I guess people expect me to come in
right away and be a receiver, even though I’ve never played it before.”
Hester hits the nail on the head. His brief run as a brilliant returner set artificially high expectations. Frankly, we’re pleasantly surprised by his production at receiver thus far. (He led the Bears in receiving last year.)
The Bears didn’t help matters when they built Hester up publicly as a “No. 1 receiver” before he truly learned the position. They should just be happy he’s a solid piece to the puzzle, and they now have a coach that knows what to do with him.