Chicago Sun-Times

Bears awaiting MRI to tell more with Hester

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The Bears are waiting for the swelling to go down before taking an MRI of the left side of Devin Hester's rib area.

Hester left the game Sunday following a kickoff return during the third quarter. He ran out of bounds on the Carolina sideline on the play and clutched his side. A source close to the player said he didn't take a hit in the area earlier in the game and that it is unlikely he is suffering from bruised or cracked ribs. The expectation is that Hester pulled something but more will not be known until he undergoes the MRI, which might not happen until tomorrow.

He was moving gingerly through the locker room after the game Sunday as he was treated by medical personnel.

Losing Hester for any period of time would be a big blow to the Bears considering he led them in touchdowns the past two seasons. As methodical as the offense has looked, it needs every bit of field position it can get. Hester did not appear on offense in the second half of the game against the Panthers, getting 12 snaps on offense during the first half.

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7 Comments

The experiment of playing Devin Hester as a wide receiver has been an abysmal failure so far. Not only does he fail to contribute as a receiver, this is obviously ruining his punt and kickoff return abilities. It may be too soon to give up on this, but if Hester doesn't pan out as a legitimate receiver soon, the Bears should just play him as a punt and kickoff returner. At least he was productive when he was restricted to those roles. Now, he's not doing anything. Providing a downfield decoy, which is all he's been good for on offense so far, is not close to being worth ruining him as a return specialist.

I don't see how it obviously is effecting his return game by playing WR...

I do see that the Special Teams blocking isn't getting it done early on however. I see stupid penalties and plenty obvious blocks in the back ...

It's just (2) games, we all need to let up a little and wait for about half the season before we starting using the BUST card with any player or unit..

Hester is way too undersized to be an effective receiver. The best receivers are taller, long arms, great leaping ability. Not Hester's physical make-up.

Some running backs are Hester's size, and that would seem to be a possibility, because fielding a punt is more like being a running back than a receiver. And, there is some precedent in the NFL for small, lower to the ground running backs with great speed and quickness (for example, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, et.al. But, you need a freakish durability for a small that size to get pounded on by linebackers 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier, to say nothing of linemen who can be 130 lbs heavier.

Obviously, the Bears have to try to use such a potent offensive weapon in his most productive way, but so far, he has done nothing as a wide receiver sand has shown nothing--no ability to blow past a defense, no ability to get open, no ability to make great catches, and his size suggests no ability to outleap cornerbacks who might be several inches taller than he.

I don't know what to do with Hester, but I can tell you this: if he is our offensive playmaker, we are in deep trouble.

I would like to see us run the bal 60% of the time and entrust our offense to the steady hands of Matt Forte, who is a delight to watch, and seems like a very honorable and well spoken, confident young man, and finally a suitable successor to such class acts as Walter Payton, Neal Anderson, Gale Sayers, etc.

I agree with you guys. Hester's body type is not ideal for a pro wide receiver he is hard for the QB to find.
It seems like his head is all messed up with this dual role stuff.

And what the hell is going on with the blocking team on kicks?

Brad - don't we have the same people out there or are they skimming? We got to get good blocking for Hester!!!!

Please don't lose hope in him after 2 games guys... and his size has nothing to do with how effective he is going to be. Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, Steve Smith and plenty of other all pro wideouts are his size... Our team just needs to stop using him as a decoy and actually start sending him deep. As for our return game, we've definitely had more penalties then I've seen in Hester's career thus far... that being said we're talking about the BEST RETURN MAN IN HISTORY, so he'll be fine! Just give it time fellas. Kyle Orton is going to have to start showing some better accuracy on the long ball though

The reason I said that playing receiver has obviously ruined Devin Hester's ability to return kicks and punts is that he's not showing the burst or hitting the creases as hard as he used to, and he seems to be thinking too much instead of just reacting and playing ball. It's known among the coaches that Hester is "not the brightest bulb in the room," to quote one of them (and this is compared to other football players, which says quite a bit). It is also a fact that Hester is having trouble "getting" the Bear offense, whatever that means (learning the playbook, adjusting to defenses, etc.?). Taken together, these facts tell me that playing receiver is the reason that he is now having trouble in the return game. Yes the Bears have had some penalties, but those are more likely a result of Hester not hitting the creases the way he used to than because of the blockers.

At any rate, I didn't say that Hester is a bust after just two games. What I said was that he's been a failure at receiver so far, and that if this doesn't change soon it will cause far more harm than good for the Bears to refuse to admit that he can't play receiver. The only issue here is the definition of soon. Receiver is not a hard position to learn; in fact, it's probably the easiest one on offense. This is not like quarterback or left tackle that take a season or two to learn. Either Hester can learn the position or he can't, and there's no excuse for the Bears waiting forever to find out.

You make a point, Steve Smith is listed at 5'8" and 187 and Hester is listed at 5'11" and 190.

Still, Steve Smith looks bigger on the field than Hester does. A guy Steve Smith's size is a abberation, not the rule, at wide receiver. Rashied Davis is 5'9" and is undersized and a non factor on our team. Who are the best receivers in football? Randy Moss? TO? Ocho Cinco? Those guys who play for the Lions?

All tall lanky types who can go up and get the ball.

At best, a guy between 5'9" and 5'11" is a possession receiver, not a deep threat, because there just aint no way that they are outleaping a 6'1" cornerback! And you have to be able to do that on the deep routes unless you have a QB who never overthrows and you are blazing fast to beat CB's even with a cushion.

A guy like Steve Smith gets yards after the catch with his elusiveness, not because he beats a D deep on the sidelines (though Smith does that, too). Steve Smith is a rare talent, and especially at his size. You cannot reasonably expect Hester to do what Smith does, even if Hester is a better open field runner.

Hester should be considered a BONUS iuf he works out on offense, but it was foolish for the Bears to believe that with less thana year of experience at wideout, he is going to be a factor, oor "THE" offensive threat. Luckily for the Bears, Forte appears to be a phenomenal upgrade at RB and Jones look pretty damned good at backup.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 15, 2008 12:58 PM.

Ten random thoughts on the meltdown in Carolina was the previous entry in this blog.

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