Chicago Sun-Times

Hester would "Love" to be Returner Only

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Devin Hester appeared on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on WMVP (AM 1000) today and covered a variety of topics.

Waddle: Any chance we see you returning kicks and punts in 2010?

Hester: "I wouldn't doubt it. To be honest, I really don't know, I would love to get back in that situation with the return game, but at the same time like I told coaches I'm a team player, so wherever ya'll want me to go, I'm willing to do it."

Silvy: If you had your choice between #1 receiver, or full-time returner, what would you choose?

Hester: "I know what I'm best at, and the return game is my bread and butter, so if I had to cut back on my receiving and go back to the return game, that's something I would love to do."

Waddle: That's awesome to hear; as fans we feel cheated you aren't returning kicks and punts.

Hester: "Right, but at the same time it's a team effort thing, and 100% of the time the players don't make the call, so you've just got to go with the flow."

Silvy: 13 touchdowns in 2 years. How did your pace slow down?

Hester:" ... Becoming the 4th wide receiver, you know, it's real tough coming out there being the 4th wide receiver and then trying to do the return game with your tired legs. As a returner, you've got to have fresh legs every time out there, and when you're kind of wanting to lull it in the middle of the game, it's pretty tough to try to make five or six guys miss."

Waddle: Are you excited about Mike Martz coming in?

Hester: "Man, I am so excited about this situation. Bringing him in, and with Jay coming back, and the receiving corps that we showed were capable of making plays, you know, four or five guys on the receiving corps capable of making plays, and it's it fits into Martz's offensive schemes with the four and five wide. So, I think it's gonna be a great situation for us next year and we can give the fans what they want to see."

Silvy: What do you say to critics who don't think you can learn the playbook?

Hester: "Every new offense that comes in with a new offensive coordinator, it's not going to be real tight coming into the season, but towards the end of the season things will pick up. So it's not going to happen overnight. Anyone who plays football will notice that, you don't pick up a playbook in two days and say you're ready to play. It's going to take some developing and at the end of the season I feel we should be hitting the road right."

Waddle: Have you talked to Martz yet?

Hester: "I haven't talked to him yet, but I expect to. I know he's in a situation with still filling out the paperwork in Chicago and getting situated and finding a home and things like that. But whenever he gets situated and settled I'm gonna be looking forward to talking to him."

Silvy: How would you describe relationship with Cutler?

Hester: "It got real strong towards the end of the season. Jay's more of a calm, quiet type guy. You really got to pick his brain, pick at him to get him to open up to you, but towards the end of the season we bond[ed], and we started to get on the same page, and I'm hoping that continues throughout the rest of my career and his."
Waddle: Is he a good leader?

Hester: "Oh yeah, he is. He don't show it outside the huddle, but once you get him in the huddle, he's joking around and laughing around, and getting everyone all riled up and ready to play."

Silvy: Do you believe this team is capable of the playoffs?

Hester: "I really do think so. I think with the weapons we have on offense, we have a lot of quiet type weapons on offense that are gonna shock a lot of people. And when you spread the type of guys we have, spread them out across the field, it's gonna be real hard to stop us."

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Hahaha. called it. As soon as Mike Martz did his first interview and he refered to DA and Knox as his recievers and Hester as a slot guy/return man. Epic fail for Lovie's number 1 reciever project, just wait till Lovie tells Martz "Oh no Mike Hester is our number 1"

I hate to point this out to poor old Hester but didn't Knox go to the Pro Bowl as a return man and didn't he play as the number 2 reciever this year. I guess some guy's live to make excuses.

New name for the Bears offense, The Quiet Weapon Offense" or the "no offense offense". Yeah the queit weapons, you don't see them and their numbers don't jump off the page, and their not very effective, but they're there.

Just go back to returning and quit making excuses for your poor play at reciever, Mr Number 1.

Creighton, I find your analysis to be completely wrong. This past year, Hester has proven he can be a very solid option as an NFL receiver. I agree that he doesn't have the skills to be one of the leagues most elite receivers, but he's a great compliment to our team as a starting receiver and has proven he can be a great NFL receiver - poor play is not the right way to describe his season.

Although Knox went to the Pro Bowl and is a great returner, he clearly doesn't compete with what Hester did his first two years. What Hester brought to the return game did more for the Bears than what he brought to the team as a receiver. For this reason, I think that we have enough weapons at receiver (definately could use a giant playmaker or a more deadly weapon) that can make up for the loss of Hester if he were to go back to being a returner that occassionally comes in as a receiver. This doesn't mean he's not a great reciever, it just means he's the Randy Moss of kick returners, so they don't want to waste it to get a solid #2 receiving contribution. Last year it didn't look like we had enough decent recievers to fill our roster, so we needed Hester, but now we've found out Aromashodu and Know can play, so it's time to put Hester back.

Having Devin Hester back as the full time return man would actually help Chicago's offense more than having him on the field as a receiver, a position he's hardly ever played. Its all about field position, with Hester returning kicks/punts, Chicago would be sitting pretty in that aspect of the game. With Devin Aromashodu, Johnny Knox, and Earl Bennett, Chicago now has the personnel for the receiver position. All three of these guys have one thing over Hester coming into the NFL, experience at the wideout position, these guys will only get better. I say give Hester 10-15 plays on offense per game, and let him do his thing as a return specialist.

As far as why Hesters numbers went down as a return specialist, no kidding it was because he was running up and down the field as a receiver, then being asked to return kicks/punts, he's only human. Devin hester said it himself when he said, "Becoming the 4th receiver, you know, its real tough coming out there being the 4th wide receiver and then trying to do the return game with your tired legs. As a returner, you've got to have fresh legs every time out there, its pretty tough to try to make five or six guys miss." I myself thought this was the reason his numbers went down, but when I said so in the past, people on this blog came after me saying I was wrong it was the lack of blocking. You can argue with me, but not Hester. I say if his reps at receiver are reduced, you'll see the old Devin Hester doing what he does best as a return man, being ridiculous GO BEARS!!

Intresting interview with Trent Greene today. He spoke about the Martz offense and how Martz was his QB coach and how it takes time to learn the offense in terms of verbiage and just the bulk of it. The linemen will need to know about 37 protections, but Cutler the recievers and the TE are going to need to know about 220 plays. With Turner is was about 50 plays. I see why Hester is running back to returns, 220? Wow thats a big game plan, he did sya Martz may try to use Olsen the way Saunders used Gonzalaz and the way Fouts used TE's in his system.

So everyone just needs to learn a new laguage, 220 new plays and 37 new protections. Everyone is really going to need to put in a lot of time and effort. I really don't think Cutler will have a problem with the offense in fact I think he may really like it, but the other guys like Bennett I see having a problem. I say Cutler is openly drinking on the field by midseason.






Yes these are actual Martz play calls, minus the drinks.

Well, duh! Hester is not capable of being any more than a role player at receiver, and they ought to put him in a rotation in the slot at most next season. Start Bennett and DA, and put Knox, Hester, and Iglesias in the rotation.

On another note, there is a chance we could get our hands on a possible solution for our safety woes. Sounds like the Jets are looking to move Kerry Rhodes this offseason. We need to get in on that discussion. Great size, good coverage skills, and a veteran that can lead the back half of the defense.

You called nothing.

This is what Martz said about the recievers.

"Boy they've got some speed. And that really is kind of a diamond to me.When you look at that group, they can be a real strength of thisfootball team. With Aromashodu and Knox is really a diamond to me, andHester, what he can do whether he's outside or in the slot, thematchups on these guys are extreme."

He didn't even mention Hester as a receiver, and he specifically stated "outside OR the slot."

Also, in case you forgot, Knox was not the No. 2 reciever. Hester and Bennett were the starters. DA stepped into the starting lineup when Hester went down.

And no, no one's numbers jumped off the page. But for all the teams struggles, this was the second most productive passing offense in the history of the Bears. Four players, including Hester, caught over 50 passes, and Knox was right behind with 45.

Here's an idea. Instead of bashing everything, why not wait until the season actually plays out. And try actually looking stuff up before you claim to know something.

Actually Earl bennet was the number 2.creighton man u are constantly on here hating dude go do that somewhere else no one cares if ur right or wrong ur opinion matters to no one u are probably just a reporter/anaylst that didn't make it. Do urself a favor And don't speak or type a single thing of the Chicago bears again!!!!Go Bears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aww man I called it just like I called Martz and Cutler...oh waiot I didn't call Cutler. in fact I was wrong on that one.

"I eat because im unhappy. And im unhappy because I eat."

Where did I say Martz didn't mention Hester as a reciever moron? What do you think the slot is a RB position? I have said sense the day it happened that Hester belongs in the slot and that he is not a number one.

Your number 1 doesn't play the slot, thats where you put your trick play reciever or your number 3. He clearly stated DA and Knox as his recievers and refers to Hester in the Slot. Now you have Hester saying he wants to go back to kick return. I never said Hester wouldn't be a reciever, I said he wouldn't be a number 1. Read what I said, not what you think I said or hope I said. Breaston,

Who is talking about what Hester did his first two years and comparing it to Knox. I said I don't hear Knox running around saying he was to tired to run. Which is my point. It has nothing to do with what Hester did his first two years. It has to do with him showing how soft he is once again. Hester is not even close to being the number 1 he was billed as, end of story and now you he will go back to returns and be used in the slot just like I said they should use him 2 years ago and have been saying for years.

If he is the so called Randy Moss of returners where are his TD's the last two years, he has been returning punts and he was actually better at that then kicks. Cause he has sucked at returns all year.

Kevin, Hester hasn't been returning kicks, just punts. Maybe if he would stop running backwards he would get more yards. Hester returned 7 kicks last year. Bennett returned punts last year as well as Hester, Bennett was on the field almost as much as Hester and had a better return average. His return average less than both Knox and Hester. Manning has also out performed Hester on returns even when he was starting games as well. None of these guys are running around complaining about their legs. How about Percy Harvin? He had the same role with the Vikings and was better at everything then Hester, is he complaining about his legs? No Hester is the only one, part of the whole Lovie Bears excuse making system.

He's not good enough and he knows it, he also knows he isn't smart enough for the Martz system. What number 1 reciever would get mike Martz, have Cutler as his QB, would be looking ot a season were he could actually earn his bloated paycheck. But know its to hard. He wants to go back to returning. All he is saying is that it is to hard for him and he wants it to be easy. He says running up and down the field makes his legs tired. Doesn't it make everyones legs tired? Or is he special. He is looking fo the easy out. He wants to do less work. He doesn't like all the running or the contact and he wants to go back and do what easier. He pretty much says it. He is soft always has been. You know most so called number 1 would stick with reciving not go back to returning.

He's just soft. I wonder if the running backs who have to drive into a pile and get hit 10 times more than a reciever get tired? OMG football players get tired? Wow. But most of them don't quit though. Returns is like a step up from punting and kicking in terms of contact. He's not a football player, he's athlete and a stupid one at that. He doesn't want contact and he doesn't want to work as hard.

Excuse me, I made a mistake.

I meant to say that Martz never said anything about Hester returning to returner. You inferred that. Nowhere in that quote does he mention Hester as a return guy.

And where do you get that Martz "clearly started" that DA and Knox are his outside receivers, and Hester is his slot guy. He did no such thing. He was talking about how impressed he was with their speed.

That is your reading of the quote. Not some fact. I could just as easily claim that, since Hester was the only person he noted as being on the outside, that he is preference for the No. 1. receiver. That he finds Hester to be the most polished of the group, because he can line up outside or inside.

And based on that quote, what will happen to Bennett? You must have an answer, since Martz was so clear about where he sees his receivers in his formation.

You didn't call anything. You simply read into a quote what you wanted to read into a quote.

Until they line up in the summer, we won't know who is capable of doing what in this offense.

And please do me a favor. Go walk up to Devin Hester and tell him he "is soft" and "stupid" to his face during training camp. And make sure some of his teammates are around.

Jerry Angelo is the bestest and wonderfulest GM in all of football. Chris "Scoliosis" Williams is the bestest and wonderfulest tackle in all of football. He really manhandled Jared Allen this year. Sure he had a lot of help, but it's always nice to cherry pick evidence for what you want to believe. We would have a 18-0 record right now if we hadn't cut Joe Clermond and allowed Glenn Earl to retire. Beasts they were! Oh, and letting Pro-Bowler and future Hall of Famer Kyle "Deep Ball" Orton go! The tragedy!

"Your number 1 doesn't play the slot, thats where you put your trick play reciever or your number 3."

Really? The slot just refers to any receiver that lines up between another receiver and the offensive line, you know that right? If you run a two receiver set stacked to the left, one of them is in the slot. Good offenses move everyone around. Fitzgerald and Boldin take snaps from the slot all the time. Welker is a #2 and lives in the slot.

Affiliating the slot with the "#3 receiver" is just based on a standard, conventional 3 receiver set formation because it is bland and vanilla.

He was talking about Knox and D.A. as "Diamonds" as in "Diamond in the rough" as in "Wow, a practice squad pick up and a 5th round pick turned out to be real receivers". That is in no way the new depth chart. He specifically mentions Knox, D.A. and Hester because those 3 ALL run a sub 4.4 40. They are fast, and Martz loves offensive speed.

Knox is the 4th, if not 5th, best receiver on the team right now. All of his speed and out performing a 5th round selection spot went to everyone's head. In case you forgot, he was the worst route runner on our team this year. He displayed some of the worst hands on our team this year. He gave up on the jam INSTANTLY at the line (like Hester did his first year) which directly led to bad plays, like I don't know, the game losing interception with Green Bay in week 1?

Knox is explosive but raw, which is why he was a 5th round pick. Bennett, Hester and D.A. are all not only better than him and more experienced than him at this point, but I wouldn't be surprised if Iglesias came on some and Knox became a full time slot/gimmick guy himself.

The effort to move Hester into a #1 wide receiver role obviously was a pipe dream of Lovie's and Angelo's that did not work.

Hester's role to be most effective for the team is as the kick and punt returner and relief both in the slot, outside and maybe even in the backfield on a rare occassion.

Simply put, when Hester was in his prime role of kick off and punt returns, he was the best ever. Remember the teams that would kick the ball out of bounds on kickoffs and away/out of bounds from Hester on punts giving the Bears great field position simply because they did not want the ball in Hester's hands.

Hester's play making in the return game helped both the offense and defense because of the field position the Bears started with on offense, and then when the offense usually failed, the Bears offense still left the defense with better field position. This was in many instances due to Hester's intimidation of the other team because he was so special in the return game.

Intellect is part of the game or they the NFL would not do wonderlic tests, however to infer that someone is just plain stupid is not something that I think anyone on this board can truly judge.

There are some pretty smart people that do some pretty stupid things and there are some not so IQ smart people that do some pretty incredibly smart things. So maybe some of us with me included should dummy up a little with our outlandish comments? Smart and Stupid is all relative to the situation and moment.

my 2 cents for what its worth - a nickle manhole cover :)
I believed in Hester from the beginning as a WR. I still feel that way, No. 1?? I am not so sure he even had the proper teaching, or proper attitude, and lets not forget he isnt tall and cant jump ball but did anyone see our WR run the correct routes last year? We have alot of young talent but no development. I feel Hester will be extremely dangerous as a slot WR in Martz system, look at the Rams WR running cross patterns with their speed - killerz - same as Hester is best at. Its a match made in Soldier Field. Hester's days as a return man in my opinion are gone, yes he was the best and our field position won many games for us, but I didnt see that last year from Hester at all, he has to concentrate on WR and its too much to ask for him to do both. Which is fine with me, as I am voting for Hester the killer slant.

Creighton - you are a huge tool. Please quit posting.

I think Hester needs to develop an NFL caliber work ethic and attitude. I'm seeing a guy coasting with his talent and that's all he's willing to do. His comment about him learning the playbook was a joke.

Sean, I think you should not publish posts that attack other bloggers with insults. It causes the posts to deal with that in lieu of the topic. Disagreement is fine, insults are not.

this was not Lovie or Jerry's decision to make. It was only, their decision to support. Nobody is going to make what hester makes to just be a returner. This was Ted Phillips decision to get his money's
worth out of Hester. I think if Devin got back into shape and laid of the weed, he will be just fine. I think Martz's presence alone will accomplish that much.
gooooooooooooBearrrrrrrrrssssz, go Loooooooovie.

Now I don't agree with BBB very often but I have said before that the personal attacks should cease and are not necessary. Say your peace and that is all. I agree with stuck about Hester being sold as a WR because KR/PR are not supposed to make the amount of money he was asking for. The Browns have that same issue with Cribbs and he isn't happy about it. Some WRs make almost half a million per TD and he was getting almost as many TDs on his returns as any WR we had. The guy never said that he worth number one WR money. He said he was worth this amount and the job was thrust upon him. Now mentioning that his legs are tired is accurate in his opinion. Our returners alternate every other series and from what I've seen Manning is not an effective position player so maybe that has something to do with it. I'm still not sold on DA and Knox. All players look good within 6 games and after that every team knows how to neutralize a player with game film. It wasn't like they looked great every game they played in. Out of the 4 games DA played one was a great game played over 5 quarters. The rest was not that big a deal unless you are his family member. And I also think Martz is kissing up to Cutler and saying a lot of things that Cutler has said even though they are not the same criticsm that he was making as an analyst. And Brendan i agree with your assessments as well. Knox was not as good the last couple of games in any department. He was not a pro bowler on KRs. He was better early on but I was holding my breath everytime he returned anything because his hands are not good and he is liable to fumble at anytime. That ball comes out very early and he juggles too much.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 4, 2010 12:16 PM.

Montana on Cutler: "Part of it is Pressure" was the previous entry in this blog.

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