Chicago Sun-Times

Vikings plot to stop Hester

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Devin Hester had the big punt return the first time the Bears and Vikings got together, scoring on an 89-yard run back to open the scoring in the 34-31 loss to Minnesota at Soldier Field Oct. 14.

The big return of the game, though, was the 53-yard kickoff return by Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson in the closing minutes after the Bears had rallied to a tie on an 81-yard touchdown pass from Brian Griese to Hester. Peterson’s run back went to the Bears’ 38-yard line, setting up Ryan Longwell’s game-winning 55-yard field goal.

Hester, who has scored five touchdowns on returns this season, has not had a return of longer than 23 yards in the last two games after scoring two touchdowns vs. Denver on Nov. 25. It sounds like the Vikings are looking for something other than booting the ball out of bounds on kickoffs to set the Bears up on their own 40-yard line. One thing special teams coordinator Dave Toub has been guarding against all season is an onside kick. If teams are going to give the Bears premium field position any way, why not try an onside?

``We are going to have options like we did in the last game,’’ Minnesota special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said. ``Obviously, the first option wasn't good for us when they brought it back. The one thing I can tell you, to kick the ball out of bounds on kickoff and give them the ball at the 40-yard line every time you kick off, I don't know that that is the right thing to do.

``But we will have options. We will have some different things we can do both in the punting game and on kickoffs.’’

Because a knee injury sidelined Peterson for two games, he’s been off kick return duties for the last six games. Depending on the circumstance, that could change in this must-win game for the Vikings.

``That is something coach [Brad] Childress and I talk about week to week,’’ Ferraro said. ``And really it just comes down to where we are in the game, where he is at in terms of his repetitions. It's certainly a possibility. He still has taken some reps back there and we'll just have to see how the game is going and where we are at.’’

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3 Comments

Tackle Devin before he scores points.....Brilliant!!??

While I understand that kicking away from Hester is as smart a move as intentionally walking Barry Bonds, there ARE ways to "pitch around him", as illustrated by the Raiders, Seahawks, Giants and Redskins. As inept as our offense is, however, I wouldn't be suprised to see the Vikings give us a short field in lieu of rolling the dice with a directionally placed kick.

With as many problems as our Bears have,it dosen't matter if Hester scores three TD's.Thier going to get beat.BAD!The only reason to watch is to see what Adrian Peterson will do.The bears have waaay to many problems.Hey Lovie,thats what happens when you cut Ron Rivera,and bring in Bob "the puppet" Babich.How do you think the bears are going to go about getting three new off lineman,a running back, a QB,and another decent DT out of the draft and free agentcy with thier salary cap? Bears Fans,get ready to hope for the Cubs beacause Da Bears and going to the basement for a few years!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 15, 2007 10:17 PM.

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