Chicago Sun-Times

Hester expects to regain mojo in return game

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TAMPA, Fla.--Devin Hester ran a fly pattern through radio row Friday morning, pitching a new running shoe that will be released by his sponsor Under Armour on Saturday as the sporting apparel company launches a grass-roots advertising campaign.

Hester also talked some football and said the end of the season came at a time when he was just starting to hit stride as a wide receiver. Twenty-five of his 51 receptions came in the final six games as he and quarterback Kyle Orton started to find a connection, even if the deep ball remained elusive. He was still making plays downfield with a catch of 27 yards or more in four of those games. A case can be made he's at the position that needs the most overhaul on the roster, but it appears the arrow is still pointing up for him as a receiver.

"I really don't know [what they're going to do at receiver],'' Hester said. ``We're probably in the process of rebuilding, you can see from the coaching changes and everything we're trying to turn the organization around. Whatever they're doing, it's for the good of the team. It's putting the pieces together and getting it going.

"The timing with Kyle, it started getting good. I hated that it took until the last couple games of the season but sometimes that's what happens. When you have patience, good things will happen.''

The club showed great patience with him in the return game and it never materialized after two record-setting seasons. His average of 6.2 yards per punt return was one of the lowest in the league but all expect him to remain in the role with Danieal Manning likely serving as the kickoff returner.

"Oh yeah, I expect to get my mojo back,'' Hester said. "I kind of found myself, at the end of the day, trying to please everybody and putting the man up above beside. That's what I regret. I fell away from giving God glory and that's on me. This year, I'm not out to please human beings, I'm out to please God. That's who gave me my God-given talents and it's a whole new mentality for me moving forward."

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I'll beleive it when I see it. And if he truly is faithful, then may the Lord Almighty bless his skill and help him return to his full running and scoring potential. Go Bears!

"I fell away from giving God glory and that's on me. This year, I'm not out to please human beings, I'm out to please God."

That's right Devin. Because amidst war, famine, poverty, incurable diseases and so forth, the only thing that pleases the Christian God is watching you return punts.

By the way, if you don't please these "human beings" that pay your salary, you'll be out of a job.

To thine ownself be true, Devin, for God is in you. You are the BEST.

Hey Mike get real, Devin wasn't implying that God wants him to ruturn punts successfully or even that he cares, but simply that he needs to put God first in his life again over everything else, and that IS the most important thing. By the way Mike their is one God and one creator not a "Christian" God, that sounds like a bunch of atheist crap, and Devin knows that pleasing God not "human beings" is what truly brings happiness into a person's life.When you please God FIRST you find it a whole lot easier to please human beings as well.

Did it ever occure to Devin that maybe the some of the guys tackling him are trying to please God? That maybe lots of people are trying to gain Gods favor by pleasing him? The fact is Devin just insulted the fans and used god as an excuse to do it. Nothing wrong with giving God glory but if your giving God glory because you want your mojo back, then you really are commiting nothing more than a selfish act.

There are many soliders that pray to God everyday, and many of them die whether they gave God glory or not. Some pray not to die today, all pray for there families and most just ask for forgivness. I do not know if God takes requests, but if he does I am sure there are more pressing matters than Devin's return game.

I don't care what Devin Hester has to do to get his mojo back as a return man, just do it. Hester was a major disappointment this year on special teams, however, toward the end of the season, was a pleasant surprise as a receiver. Hester should only continue to improve as a wideout.

Other than Hester, Chicago is terribly thin at receiver. I still like Earl Bennett, even though he hardly seen the field as a rookie. Most rookies, especially receivers, aren't ready straight out of college. Take left guard Josh Beekman, never seen the field as a rookie, but came in his second season and gave the Bears 16 starts at left guard. Bennett has the talent, I look for him to be a pleasant surprise for Chicago in 2009. I wouldn't be surprised if Angelo goes receiver at #18, maybe Jeremy Maclin of Missouri, or Rutgers Kenny Britt, who at 6-4 could be the big possession receiver Chicago currently lacks. I also like Hakeem Nicks, Nicks has great hands, and is a strong receiver that could help Chicago on third and long.

The Bears biggest need areas are, a young right tackle, a free safety, a receiver, and a pass rusher. Maybe Angelo gets a free agent tackle, receiver, and will use a later round draft pick on a free safety, along with Danieal Manning getting the first shot at the job. This leaves a pass rusher, I look for Angelo to use a first rounder on one, but not on the position you might think defensive end. It wouldn't surprise me if Angelo goes with Mississippi defensive tackle Peria Jerry at #18 in the first, who is the prototypical three technique defensive tackle. Now, I know a lot of you guys are gonna say Im crazy, because Chicago already has Tommie Harris, but thats just it, they ONLY have Tommie Harris to play the three technique position effectively when healthy, with effectively & healthy being the key words. Its pretty obvious Angelo and Lovie Smith are bound and determined to make the cover-2 scheme work in Chicago, the key position in this scheme is the three technique, this is why Tommie Harris is so vital to the Bears success. And with Harris coming off knee surgery last winter, probably why the pass rush was no where to be found last season with Harris not being at 100%. Harris did get better as the season went on, but still going into a season with just one player to man the three technique effectively, is still taking a chance, especially if the whole scheme depends on the play of the position so much. The thinking might be to bring in another player that can man the position and maybe rotate with Harris, there by keeping the three technique player fresh and ready to penetrate, and making the whole defense a lot more effective. Peria Jerry had 18 TFL to go along with 7 sacks as a senior in 2008. As a junior in 2007 Jerry was ranked 6th in the SEC with 14 TFL, so the guy can penetrate. Jerry tore up the offensive linemen at the senior bowl as Bears scouts watched on. Also, Angelo loves players from the SEC. Im not saying its a lock that the Bears take Jerry, but it could happen, and help the team a lot more than a lot of fans might think. With Tommie Harris and Peria Jerry both manning the three technique, there by keeping the position more effective with two guys to keep each other fresh, and Marcus Harrison and Anthony Adams at the nose position, Chicago could get back on track on defense, just a thought [and a long one, sorry, I tend to rattle on about the Bears sometimes] so GO BEARS!!

Let's see: 25 catches in 6 games comes out to 75 for the season. More like a number two receiver season. As I see it the only obstacles here are: Hester's ability to run good routes and get open and Orton's accuracy issues. Not exactly minimal issues.

I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, the Bears should get a legit receiver either in free agency or the draft or both. And get another QB, same ways.

Kevin, Nice comment! I totally agree with your optimism for Bennett and Beekman.

I think the OT situation will go like this: If the Bears are able to re-sign St. Clair, JA will probably just draft a RT on the first day (personally I like Britton) and not look for a veteran. If they don't get a deal done with him, JA will be looking for a swing tackle in free agency, and draft one on day 2.

Your analysis of the DT tackle situation is intersting, but from what I've seen, Harrison is more of a 3 technique than a NT. It was nice to see Dusty make it through almost the entire season, but I was expecting a lot more out his pairing with his college teammate Harris. Instead of a three-technique, I think we need to look for a dependable, run-stuffing nose tackle to swap out with Anthony Adams. One of the reasons that Tommie Harris had success in the past was that Ian Scott got double teamed a lot, leaving only one man for Harris to get past.

Finally, I would love for Maclin to fall to us @ 18. He's about the same size as Bennett & Booker, but he's got speed to go along with it. His first year with the Bears probably wouldnt be a 1000 yarder, but in his 2nd or 3rd, I'd expect him to develop into the dynamic playmaker we're missing.

Hester has the right to believe in whomever and whatever he wants to. From my perspective I just love to see the guy light it up when he makes a special return, how he gets himself back to that type of mastery of the return game (punts or kickoffs)I do not care!!

Crieghton, maybe a WR at #18 but how many that are worth the pick will be there at #18 maybe Maclin? I see some darn good wideout talent available as late as the third round.

The best available talent at #18 most likely will be linebacker or OT. I agree with you that the DE's will most likely be gone, however you never know one may fall to the Bears. Free Safety talent at #18 maybe one is available but Manning and others seem to have the edge so Free Safety to me will be a developmental player later in the draft.

Bears top needs are WR, OL or DL at #18 first, however I believe that linebacker, a Rey Maualuga (USC) or James Laurinatis (OSU) may be available at #18 and that they will have truly special talent, I say choose the best possible athlete first over the position need. Can you imagine the defensive havoc that Briggs, Urlacher and either one of these two linebackers could create if chosen. Maybe put Urlacher at DE for a few snaps a game, let him go knockout the QB for once. Hakeem Nicks may be available in round 2 with Britt also there as well.

Just food for thought.

I say Cardinals win out right tomorrow!!

Read between the lines and you'll see that Devin's statement saying he's out to please God means let the chips fall where they may. Now if anyone is concerned about Devin because they're interested mostly in the Bears winning football games, you can be glad about his "new mentality moving forward" because he'll let his natural abilities take over. And if anyone is actually interested in Devin's personal welfare, that's even better, because pleasing God has lasting results, something you'll never get from trying to please human beings.

Go Devin, and if you help win some football games, that's a bonus.

Maybe if he didn't have Dione Sanders' lips attached to his butt he would be faster. It doesn't seem very aerodynamic.

Devin will never be the same because he is now afraid to get hit. He runs out of bounds every time because his incentives are for him to stay healthy. He'll catch a pass over the middle and immediately fall to the turf. He is finished!!!

Devin, why don't you start by getting that hair cut!! You look like a thug!!

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