Devin Hester Exclusive

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By Paul M. Banks

Here is a man who truly needs no introduction, but just in case here are the highlights of “The Windy City Flyer’s” young NFL career:

-Set a NFL record with 6 return touchdowns in a single-season during his 2006 rookie campaign

-First-team All-Pro selection in 2006 by the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, USA Today Sports Weekly, The Sporting News and ESPN.com

-Became the first player in NFL history to return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl for a touchdown.

-One of three Bears all-time to receive first-team AP All-Pro honors in their first two seasons

-Tied teammate Nathan Vasher’s franchise record for longest play with a 108-yard missed field goal return, which is tied for the second longest play in NFL history

-In ’07 selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl and AP All-Pro Team

But what makes Hester truly “ridiculous” is his rate of efficiency. Check out this statistic:

Hester’s 11 total return touchdowns are good for 2nd all time in NFL history. The record belongs to Brian Mitchell with 13 TDs in 1,070 career return attempts. Hester has just 152 opportunities! Hester is to returning kicks what….actually there is no analogy you can use here because I’m not sure anyone has ever been this good at any one specific thing in the history of mankind! Can he duplicate this effort as a receiver? Well, he’s got a long way to go, but he has showed flashes of potential at times.

Will Ron Turner and the Bears call that end around reverse pass play that he discussed below in an actual game this season? Don’t be too surprised if they do because Coach executed it perfectly during a 1999 Bowl Game while he was coaching at the University of Illinois.

PMB: Are you feeling pretty comfortable in the offense?

DH: Oh yeah, most definitely. I just try to put the pieces to the puzzle. I want to help out in any way I can with the team, do whatever I can. 

PMB: Are you confident running the routes that you have learned?

DH: I’m anxious to get out, get the gang started, get the show going. Get ready for the season. This first game is preseason, but we got to take it serious.

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On the end around reverse pass play that he ran in practice that day…

DH: He’s just playin around, tryin everything to get ready for the season. See how the season goes. A situation occurs, you gotta make the plays.

About the Bears possibly running that end around reverse pass in an actual game…

DH: Just playin around, wasn’t nothing serious, you know, tryin to have a little fun in the walk throughs. We’re tryin to get ready for the season, ready to play football, ready for the opener, for the preseason game. We have a lot of questions about the team, what the situations call for, which position I’m capable of stepping up to.  The offensive unit is an important part of the team. We have to step up this year.

On potential issues and question marks with the offense…

DH: We’ve got to go out and make plays to prove not only to the fans but to ourselves that we are capable of a great offense.

Regarding his health…

DH: I’m feeling good, feeling great, back to normal. I am ready to play football.

On looking forward to the preseason game…

DH: I want to see myself make plays. I feel as an offensive unit you have to go out and make plays. That’s the main thing offensive teams have to do, go out and make plays, move the chains, put points on the board, execute. Make plays. That is the biggest thing.

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Comments

  1. great feature on Hester, a great player

  2. Matt Saracen QB#1 says

    The Windy City Flyer!

    Love watching this guy play

  3. paulmbanks says

    I made jokes about catching up to him for an interview….he is famous for his quickness and elusiveness

  4. prowriter0923 says

    This guys talks better than our president!

    A couple things I took from this piece….

    You’ve got to make a lot of plays
    You don’t have to put pieces of the puzzle together
    You’ve got to take things serious….ly

    Awesome piece…I can’t wait to ask this guy what he thinks about AIDS in Africa

  5. prowriter0923 says

    or the situation of AIDS in Africa…

    maybe I’ll just ask him how he got to camp that day

  6. paulmbanks says

    “You’ve got to make plays” is not quite as legendary as Lovie’s infamous “we did some good football things today”

    That would be a good name of a website “Football Things.com”

  7. Coach Erik Taylor says

    I wish I had him on my team! Clear Eyes. Full hearts. can’t lose!

  8. You leadin’ me on?

  9. paulmbanks says

    ECU FAN,

    “PLACE AT THE TABLE!!!! STARTING DEFENSE!! RRRAAARRRRHHHHHHHH”

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