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Bears scale back Devin Hester's role

Perhaps looking for a boost in Devin Hester’s return game, the Bears limited the wide receivers snaps last Sunday against the Panthers.

Hester played only 19 snaps on offense against the Panthers, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.  Hester was playing nearly every down the rest of the season.

Biggs points out that Hester will be on the field more when Jay Cutler returns to the lineup.  (After all, any receiver can run routes when the team calls the Todd Collins interception play.)  Still, the Bears may like the results they saw in Carolina.  Hester ripped off a 50-yard punt return.

Earl Bennett and Devin Aromashodu picked up some snaps with Hester on the sideline more.

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12 Responses to “Bears scale back Devin Hester's role”
  1. Philtration says: Oct 12, 2010 9:46 AM

    He is looking good on punt returns again and just missed another TD against the Panthers.
    I will take the TDs and great field position over the handful of catches any day.

  2. FinFan68 says: Oct 12, 2010 10:28 AM

    Hester is not a goto #1 receiver. He is a great return guy that can occasionally line up at WR and go deep. The Bears are smart to limit his WR plays. They will be better off when he rips off 40+ yard returns and gives their offense a short field. Martz has modified the system to use Olsen and it has worked. Cutler has looked much better and Forte is looking a lot like Marshall Faulk. Their defense seems to be back to their old-school form. If the Bears shore up their pass blocking, they could easily win the division.

  3. permissions denied - eat me! says: Oct 12, 2010 10:36 AM

    Gregg,
    What does this mean?
    “(After all, any receiver can routes when the team calls the Todd Collins interception play.)”
    I believe Rosendork was trying to be funny…..
    Yes, he can screw that up too!!
    RUN ROUTES was the missing piece.
    Literacy – Let’s unite and stand up for it!

  4. Mattchew182 says: Oct 12, 2010 10:41 AM

    All his big plays come when he is lined up in the slot. Aromashadu is the only WR we have thats over 6′ tall so use him on the outside and Hester in the slot in 3 WR sets. Why not allow him to do kick returns when he is hot they are just gonna kick out of bounds and give it to us at the 40 yard line. BEARS!

  5. TheDPR says: Oct 12, 2010 10:48 AM

    I doubt “keeping him fresh for punt returns” is the reason he played fewer snaps. They were running the ball in an easy blowout game and Bennett and Aromashodu are better blockers than Hester.
    Hint: the simplest answer is usually the correct one.

  6. Bears_Beets_Battlestar says: Oct 12, 2010 10:54 AM

    The best thing that Devin Hester can be within this offense is a slot receiver, a la Az Azir Hakim or whatever his name was.
    His return skills are so good, that giving the offense the ball within close range to scoring (or scoring himself) is way better than having him catch 6 balls for 80 yards.
    Pay attention Bears – get yourself a new WR, a true #1, pair him with Knox and bring in Hester on passing downs or whenever you want to make the defense pee themselves.

  7. Jabberwocky says: Oct 12, 2010 11:47 AM

    Hey Greg, where’s the edit button? It’s amazing that you guys are on TV, and have your own website. Seriously, where are the people with writing skills?

  8. Other Bears says: Oct 12, 2010 2:08 PM

    These guy don evenn proferred they’re own stuf, but so they dum.

  9. carp killah says: Oct 12, 2010 5:14 PM

    I have never understood why he hasn’t been returning kickoffs as much. I think trading some offensive downs for him returning punts AND kicks is an easy trade-off. There are a couple of dozen guys out there who can play mediocre at receiver, but he’s one of a handful who returns kicks like that.
    I also agree with the others who suggest he belongs in slot receiver roles. This will also make the occasional deep route even more of a threat when they decide to run that.
    If there is a need at wide-out, they’d be further ahead to put Olsen out there and bring in Manumaleuna in at TE. 82 has better hands.

  10. Sow Crates says: Oct 12, 2010 8:02 PM

    @ Carp Killah
    Since nobody ever seems to look at the numbers themselves, even when Hester was considered a “good kick returner” in his rookie season of 2006, he was only averaging 26 yards per kick return. By next year, he was only averaging 22.xx yards per return, an average he sustained in 2008 and 2009 in limited kick returns.
    Hester’s career as a KR:
    101 returns, 22.7 yards/return., 4 Tds.
    Meanwhile:
    Johnny Knox:
    36 career kick returns, 28.6 yards per return, 1 TD
    Danieal Manning:
    79 career kick returns, 28.1 yard return average, 1 TD.
    Touchdowns are nice and all, but setting a good offense with good field position and a chance to also BURN SOME TIME off the clock and keep the defense rested is of even greater advantage for the Chicago Bears.
    Personally, I’ll take the extra 6-8 yards for every single return even if it means getting a rare KR touchdown half as often.

  11. Sow Crates says: Oct 12, 2010 8:06 PM

    And for anybody who thinks Devin Hester needed to be taken off the field as a WR in order to improve his PR ability
    See:
    DeSean Jackson
    Wes Welker
    Ladies and Gentleman, those are your two top PR returners in average yards per return, and the two ranked 3rd and 7th in total PR average.
    Hester was taken off the field on offense because Chicago had an old donkey boner playing QB and, as somebody mentioned, Hester isn’t the best pass-blocking WR we have which is all any Bears WR had a chance to do against the Panthers.

  12. Sow Crates says: Oct 13, 2010 12:09 AM

    ***run blocking WR, not pass-blocking WR

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