Devin Hester wants to return to returning

It’s been more than two years since we’ve seen Devin Hester break a kick return for a touchdown, but if the Bears receiver has his way we could see him get back on the horse in 2010.

Hester was a guest on “The Waddle and Silvy Show” on ESPN Radio in Chicago Thursday and told the hosts that while he was happy to do whatever the coaching staff asked of him, he’d like to resume his role as the team’s lead kickoff returner.

“I know what I’m best at,” Hester said. “The return game is my bread and butter, so
if I had to cut back on my receiving and go back to returning, that’s
something I would love to do.”

Hester had four touchdowns on 63 regular season returns in his first two seasons and added another score on the first play of Super Bowl XLI in 2007. He’s returned 38 kicks over the last two seasons, just seven in 2009, as the Bears have tried to harness his abilities to juice up thier offense. Hester had 57 catches for 757 yards and three touchdowns in 2009.

If the Bears do choose to limit Hester’s role in the offense, it would likely be because of the way Devin Aromashodu played down the stretch last season. The fourth-year player out of Auburn had 22 catches and four touchdowns in the final four games and flashed some good chemistry with Jay Cutler.

The fact that the Bears have to learn Mike Martz’s expansive offense might also affect how much Hester, a converted cornerback, contributes to the base offense. His speed will always be an asset, but the team might find new ways to utilize it with Martz at the reins.
If Hester doesn’t return to the returner role, the Bears should still be okay on kickoffs. Rookie receiver Johnny Knox returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown this season and wound up in the Pro Bowl after Percy Harvin passed on an invitation to the game.

15 responses to “Devin Hester wants to return to returning

  1. Never understood why they took him off ST anyway. There are not that many returners in the league that are all that special. Why would you try to convert one that is/was?

  2. His 30 million dollar contract and sponsorship with under armor jaded him. Keep him as a slot receiver.

  3. they ought to put him back there on kickoffs and punt return, because there won’t be any points on the board if Cutler keeps throwing INTS the way he did this past season

  4. Let me translate Hester’s quote:
    “I know what I’m best at,” Hester said. “The return game is my bread and butter, so if I had to cut back on my receiving and go back to returning, that’s something I would love to do.”
    translates to…
    “I know my stock is plummeting right now as a terrible receiver. So I need to go back to returning only so I can get…mo money, mo money! If I don’t, i’ll be getting no money, no money!”

  5. The history of kickoff and punt returners seems to be 1 or 2 great years, followed by a total dropoff. I can’t remember anyone who was a top returner for longer than 2 years.
    In other words, I don’t think focusing on being a WR is his main problem…just that the guys known as the best get a little lucky, surprise people, have blazing speed, have top special teams coaching and blocking, and that confluence of factors that make them elite only lasts a year or two.

  6. Slot receiver? Hell no, if you watched all his games, he should play receiver unless you want him to only run a go route. He’s a terrible receiver, who doesn’t understand the routes.

  7. It’s pretty amazing how a player has to tell the coaches and organization what he is best at. The front office of the Bears is a complete joke (I’m a bears fan). Hester should be used in a small amount of packages on offense but mainly as the returner. For those of you who say he is a terrible receiver you are very wrong, he is an average receiver. He was on pace for 1000 yards this year before the injuries and has surprisingly decent hands for being a converted corner/returner. This would be the right move for the Bears since Knox can take over Hester’s role as he has the same type of abilities (is actually faster than Hester too).

  8. Going back to kick returns and diminishing his receiving duties would be one of the best things the bears could do. He could be a good 3rd or 4th option as a receiver but will never be a true number one.

  9. This is a good idea because while he is fast and has improved as a receiver he doesn’t belong starting. Make him the 3rd or 4th receiver so he doesn’t have to run block cause he never had to block in his whole career before last year. His speed will open up the offense when they go with 3 or 4 reciever sets but Knox can take a starting job with Devin Aromashadu while Bennett and Hester work out of the slot. And Olsen will continue as a tight end / WRflex option in the slot. Martz at least won’t be running up the middle all the time. The question is whether we can block well enough for Cutler to do 5 and 7 step drops and whether our Defense can resemble something competent.

  10. I wondered why the media always picks on Da BEARS. It does not matter which media outlet it is they always trash on Da BEARS. So I ask a sports anylist why that happens and his answer was the media reflects the fans. I was offended because I think BEARS fans are awesome but after reading alot of the comments BEARS fans write I see that it is true. Alot of BEARS fans are only happy when things are going right if not all they do is complain.
    Take this post people are trashing on Hester he is a good WR he was short of becomeing a 1ooo yard WR if not for sitting out two games at the end of a disapointing season. Cutler had one bad year and everybody is calling him Grossman. BEAR up and support your team instead of always talking smack about the team.
    Go BEARS!

  11. Only the Bears can turn a guy who is arguably the best return man ever into a mediocre wide receiver. This organization is a freakin joke.

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