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Lovie Smith: Bears hustle more than others on special teams

APTOPIX Bears Vikings Football AP

Special teams were the difference for the Bears on Sunday against the Panthers, with Devin Hester chipping in a 73-yard kickoff return and a 69-yard punt return to go along with Julius Peppers blocking a field goal.

Special teams are often the difference for the Bears, and coach Lovie Smith says the reason for that is simple: His guys bust their butts in the kicking game, while there are other players around the league who take plays off on special teams.

“A lot of times you see an extra point blocked, or a field goal, you see teams go through the motions,” Smith said. “But we don’t do that. Our guys really go all out, and that block, of course, was a big play.”

For his part, Hester says Smith empowers the players to get excited about special teams, including letting Hester decide if he wants to take kicks out of the end zone, no matter how deep they are.

“When a returner has his head coach tell him that if it’s kicked 10 yards deep and I can jump up and catch it before it goes out of bounds and [I can] come out with it, that’s just how much faith he has in the return game as well as the blockers,” Hester said.

Hester also singled out Bears special teams coach Dave Toub for praise.

“Coach Dave is probably one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL,” Hester said. “He finds ways to utilize his players. Some could be undersized, some could be big. But he always finds a way to put them in the right position and it shows on game day. It helps out a lot.”

So, basically, the Bears have great players like Hester and Peppers and coaches like Smith and Toub who put those players in position to make plays, and the Bears hustle more than other teams in the kicking game. I guess that explains why they’re so good on special teams, so consistently.

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30 Responses to “Lovie Smith: Bears hustle more than others on special teams”
  1. cakemixa says: Oct 5, 2011 12:11 PM

    Too bad they have a loser for a QB.

  2. bears0492 says: Oct 5, 2011 12:18 PM

    It’s extremely rare that a returner like Hester can keep up what he’s been doing for so long. Credit Lovie and Toub for their coaching and scheming, but Hester undoubtedly deserves a ton of credit. He’s too humble, but his extended Special Teams film study and his subtle moves to set up the coverage team are things that not all people see or know about.

    Kudos Devin Hester, you’re the best at what you do, and you know what it takes to stay at the top!

  3. mrcmos says: Oct 5, 2011 12:19 PM

    Doesn’t really matter.

    The Bears Still SUCK!

    They Will Always SUCK!

    They Will Never Not SUCK!

  4. weimtime says: Oct 5, 2011 12:19 PM

    “A lot of times you see an extra point blocked, or a field goal, you see teams go through the motions,” Smith said. “But we don’t do that. Our guys really go all out, and that block, of course, was a big play.”

    So, you’re defining success by how the amount of effort your players are putting forth.

    Hmmm, so how many plays exactly do your offensive line/WR/defensive line/safties take off a game? Just an estimate is fine.

    //Bears fan.
    ///Very frustrated.

  5. fuhrman says: Oct 5, 2011 12:22 PM

    Dave Toub is a genious! That TD against the packers that was called back, was a beauty.. what a shame.

  6. 2sausage11 says: Oct 5, 2011 12:23 PM

    Need more than special teams to win the big games

  7. quittsburghstoolers says: Oct 5, 2011 12:23 PM

    That’s wonderful about the special teams.

    Now how’s about fixing their other problems…

  8. polishrod says: Oct 5, 2011 12:25 PM

    Lovie shows he has no concept of Special Teams. 75% of the players on Special Teams are dying to play any snaps, so they are always gung-ho.

    Most of the players you see taking plays off on Special Teams, play a lot of snaps on offense and defense.

    Also, the Bears have Devin Hester who makes almost any ST look great. DeSean Jackson has some of that magic too, and its not because the Eagles have awesome STs

  9. doug1grohlin says: Oct 5, 2011 12:27 PM

    cakemixa says: Oct 5, 2011 12:11 PM

    Too bad they have a loser for a QB.
    ————————————————————–
    Congrats on posting something that has nothing to do with the topic!

  10. joetoronto says: Oct 5, 2011 12:29 PM

    Everybody’s the best, this is great!

  11. jimbobobjr says: Oct 5, 2011 12:31 PM

    THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!!!!

  12. ham1 says: Oct 5, 2011 12:33 PM

    How does Djax even get any considerstion when Hester is the man on returns? I will tell you how.
    Jealous egirl twats.

  13. orangeflh says: Oct 5, 2011 12:33 PM

    I hate the Bears, but they seem to have always excelled on Special Teams. You just can’t take away the respect they’ve earned for that one facet of the game.

    Their defense has aged and slipped to the point of being just average, and Cutler & the offense just flat-out stink, but you have to give them their due on Special Teams.

  14. asublimeday says: Oct 5, 2011 12:37 PM

    Doesn’t really matter.

    The Bears Still SUCK!

    They Will Always SUCK!

    They Will Never Not SUCK!
    ———-
    NFC championship last year

    But hey, haters gonna hate. keep posting in other teams threads.

    #getalife

  15. asublimeday says: Oct 5, 2011 12:38 PM

    cakemixa says: Oct 5, 2011 12:11 PM

    Too bad they have a loser for a QB.
    ————————————————————–
    Congrats on posting something that has nothing to do with the topic!
    ———-
    Don’t feed the troll

  16. simplesimon1 says: Oct 5, 2011 12:41 PM

    As a Lions fan about to travel 2300 miles from Canada for the MNF game, please Detroit, don’t kick Hester the ball!!!! That’s the only thing I see, besides a huge game from Forte on the screen passes, derailing the Lions on Monday.

  17. thingamajig says: Oct 5, 2011 12:42 PM

    So Lovie’s job next year will be somewhere as a special teams coach? But with no real experience on his resume he might have to start as an assistant special teams coach.

  18. mikeheruki says: Oct 5, 2011 12:58 PM

    weimtime said it well. Lovie is floating further and further away from what actually happens on the field. The special teamers hustle more because that is usually the way players at the end of the roster can make the team. Lovie has no idea what talent is. He got “famous” running the cover 2 way back when it was still good for something. The special teams over the years have succeeded due to ST coaching and hustle. Lovie’s way to inflexible to have noticed.

  19. 46defense says: Oct 5, 2011 1:20 PM

    Special teams truly is one-third of the game…

    Besides Hester the bears have FOUR other players return a kick for a TD in the past 5 years. (Bennett, Knox, Manning, and Vasher). I wonder how many teams have had 5 different guys return kicks for TD’s within years?

    Also,I can think of a game against Minn, GB, and Arizona where they scored three or more ST and D TD’s.

    Imagine what they could do with an effective offense.

  20. barneysbullet says: Oct 5, 2011 1:29 PM

    The Windy City Flyer.
    “Devin Hester you are RIDICULOUS! FAAAAADE TOOOOO BLAAAAACK!!!” (thanks for that epic audio Jeff Joniac!)

  21. dirksimmons says: Oct 5, 2011 1:31 PM

    Lovie is a true space cadet. Toub is the reason we’re so successful and I would gladly make Toub our head coach over Lovie. Yes, we have fantastic special teams guys like Hester, but Toub is a genius. It’s not just that we try harder than the other guys.

  22. jutts says: Oct 5, 2011 1:31 PM

    Why do you think the league created the “Hester” rule this year. Teams on the rules committee have been burned badly by Hester and the Bears.
    Man, lots of haters out there…..

  23. scudbot says: Oct 5, 2011 1:32 PM

    Inspiring the opposition is not a smart move, Lovie.

  24. pencepost says: Oct 5, 2011 1:54 PM

    Lovie speaks truth. When the Bears have been successful over the past few years, it’s been because of special teams and winning the turnover battle. That’s why they are always underrated, because everyone just thinks about the skill of players on offense and defense when judging how good a team is.

    Contrast that to the Chargers, who are picked by at least a few “experts” to go to the Super Bowl every year… last year they were No. 1 in both offense and defense but didn’t even make the playoffs. Why? Bad special teams and not enough forced turnovers.

  25. minnysoda says: Oct 5, 2011 2:15 PM

    Is he saying in the other two aspects of the game Offense and Defense they are not?
    If they did wouldn’t they have won at least 1 Superbowl?
    What does that say about the whole overall Packers they have won their last 10 games including 3 victories over the Bears.
    Great special teams helps but as can be seen by the results you need alot more than that

  26. comeonnowguys says: Oct 5, 2011 2:16 PM

    I can’t believe Lovie credited hustle and not the special teams coach. As someone else pointed it out, the Bears have had several returns score over the past few years, including Johnny Knox who went to the Pro Bowl* for it.

    (Because Harvin turned it down.)

    That’s a pretty glaring omission by the head coach in a situation where it would have been easy to credit your coach.

  27. beedubyatoo says: Oct 5, 2011 2:39 PM

    As a Lions fan about to travel 2300 miles from Canada for the MNF game…

    ____________________________

    2300 miles? You do realize that Canada is right acros the river from Detroit, right?

  28. farmmbig says: Oct 5, 2011 2:44 PM

    Well they better play hard on Special Teams… Where else do you suppose they can generate points?…Offense? (LOL)..

    As a guy that’s watched many Bear games, it never ceases to amaze me how Hester and their ST unit gets a pass from officials—Any other team gets flagged 2X the amount they do for Holding and Blocking in the Back.

  29. pigskinswag says: Oct 5, 2011 3:18 PM

    They do hustle on special teams, but they have an overload of talent on special teams as well. They have two Pro-Bowl caliber return specialists, while lots of teams don’t even have one.

  30. philtration says: Oct 5, 2011 3:31 PM

    They have a lot of success on special teams because they take it more seriously than most teams do.
    Dave Toub coaches them that way and they are convinced that they are going to make a difference in the game.
    It is not just Hester running wild.
    There return coverage, FG attempts and punting game is always solid.

    Has any other team in the league made more game changing plays on special teams over the last 5 or 6 years than the Bears?

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