Brandon Lloyd and Marty Booker ran with the first team at wide receiver Wednesday when Devin Hester was absent.
Today, the Bears will go through punt return drills for the first time.
Nathan Vasher, you're up. The veteran cornerback will be the first to field punts. He's been a backup for Hester the last two seasons. While he's yet to return a punt in a regular season game, he did return one during preseason last year. Vasher was an All-American choice as a punt returner at Texas in 2001 and holds some Longhorns records, a proud distinction considering he followed Eric Metcalf at the school. Metcalf is one of the best returners in NFL history.
"Vasher could start for a lot of teams as a punt returner and be very good,'' special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "He wants to do it. Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands."
Well, everybody cannot get the opportunity when Hester is their teammate. Not when he's here, any way.
Next up on the depth chart will be rookie wide receiver Earl Bennett, who stood out catching the ball Wednesday. Bennett was used occasionally in the role at Vanderbilt and Toub cited his sure hands as a strength.
"He did a real good job during OTA's," Toub said.