Chicago Sun-Times

Hester learning from ex-Rams great Bruce

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Devin Hester has been preparing for this all-important Bears season by spending more and more time with former Rams great Isaac Bruce.

It turns out that Hester and the ex-Rams great have a lot in common. They both play the "Z" receiver position in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's offense and they both live in South Florida.

"I asked coach Martz if I could get in touch with Isaac since he was down there already and we hooked up and the guy is amazing," Hester said Sunday after approximately 200 kids participated in his football camp at Naperville North High School. "He's one of those guys who takes the time and has fun doing it. He has a passion for it. He takes time out of every day to work with me and spend time with me. It's been a big help in my life."

Hester said that Bruce, who went to four Pro Bowls with the Rams while running Martz's system, is helping him refine his skills as a receiver while he works to get in what he hopes will be the best shape of his career. Hester is hoping that de-emphasizing weight training and running more will help him excel as both a No. 1 receiver and a returner.

"The thing I really did this summer is I cut back on weight training and focused more on conditioning to really get myself an overtime workout," Hester said. "I've got to be able to play six quarters a game. I want to be able to go the whole game without being fatigued.

"I felt that I need to put extra time into conditioning because not only am I a receiver but I'm a returner and I have to be in better shape than the normal guy."

Bruce has been teaching Hester how to run better routes and some of the other finer points of playing the position.

"With the speed I have, he said it's going to be hard to stop me." Hester said. "He tells me, just from training with me, that I'm so explosive and if I can put my fundamentals together I will succeed. So that's basically what I'm doing now, brushing up my technique and trying to polish up everything and hopefully I can really translate it over to the game."

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Its nice to hear that a hall of fame type like Isaac Bruce would take time to work with Devin Hester on his game, but whats even better is the fact Devin Hester cares enough to spend some of his time off working on his game with Bruce. Hopefully the work pays off this season.

I still think the receiver to watch this year in Chicago is still gonna be Devin Aromashodu. Not just because he finshed strong late last season, and the constant endorsements from Jay Cutler (the only opinion that really counts in the end), but I like what receivers coach Darryl Drake has been saying about Aromashodu also. On the Bears site on the position preview of the receivers, Drake mentions Aromashodu's name a couple times, saying he likes what Aromashodu brings to the table with his size and speed. I think the guys gonna have a big year.....hopefully by seasons end I can give him the official Kevin Armstead BEAST award for 2010!! Another one to watch out for is Juaquin Iglesias, I don't think he's gonna quite be of Beast status, but he could be a pleasant surprise in year two GO BEARS!!

Sharpening up his routes is exactly what Devin needs. No one, I mean no one, will be able to cover him if he can harness his speed.

You know I would be a lot happier about Hester working with Bruce if Hester would stop making excuses about how he has played in the past. He has been doing that sense he became a reciever. Still I am glad he is working with Bruce but between him and Harris everything is an excuse about their play.

I also want to know why Hester needs to work on his fundamentals so badly? Not that some of us haven't pointed that out, but he has been working at the position for three years. Yet his fundamentals still need work a lot of work? Basically he is fast and explosive but does not know how to play the position after three years of working on it. Last year he was working with Sanders to improve his return game.

Last I am not sure how Hester plays six quarters a game. I am not sure that 31 returns and 5 fair catches equals two extra quarters over 16 games. I also don't think playing 628 snaps at reciever is pushing the envelope of snaps played. In fact it would rank him 63rd in the NFL at that position, compared to Johnson and Fitz who both player over a 1000 snaps at the position. 34 recievers including Bennett played over 800 snaps. I guess one of the problems he was having is felt to strong from all the weight training? So now he is cutting back on that and focusing on cardio. At 185 pounds Hester is not exactly the in the Kevin A total beast mold. So what he is doing is getting better cardio but getting weaker and smaller as well. He actually wants to loose muscle at 185 pounds. Which is strange because Martz actually made Bruce workout more because he was to thin.

I guess I am just not sure why Hester thinks he is playing 2 quarters more than anyone else, which he is clearly not. The real question is why are the Bears letting him think that. I never been a big fan of all the excuse making the Lovie program preaches.

Why can't Hester say well I showed some improvement last season and I am just trying to take the next step. He seems to have missed the fact that Knox, Bennett and Manning were all on returns as well and Manning and Knox had much better years on returns and Bennett took more snaps then he did total as well.

Oh well good luck to the kid anyway at least he is working with Bruce can't really ask for much more than that.

This only confirms that I have been right all along.
The Bears organization cannot develop players, cannot coach players either. Either the player they draft has the tools and has enough know how to already play in the nfl and doesn't need coaching or he's doomed.
This is why many drafted bears players get a second life once they leave the bears organization.

I challenge anyone to differ from my statement and point me to a player that Lovie smith has developed into a player, a starter at anytime in Lovie's 6 years with the bears.
They didn't have to develop Knox. Knox showed what he could do in his rookie year. Aromashodu already had it when he joined the bears too.

Have they developed number one draft pick Greg Olsen? Nope. He is still struggling to find himself on this team.

We can go on and on thru the entire roster and find the same story.
This is why the bears go after free agents, players that were developed elsewhere.

The list of players that went elsewhere to play football is huge....players that the bears let go of because they didn't think they could play in the nfl.

This is why angelo and lovie have got to go. They are more of a drain on this team than anything.
They even broke Hester. Hester was the best kick returner in history. Now what do we have? A want-a-be wideout.

Geeeee...I wonder why the Bears traded away safety Chis Harris only to bring him back after a number of years in the twilight of his career....after he has lost a few steps. Maybe because he is better even right now, than everything they drafted for that position since.
The only thing to look forward to this year is the firing of lovie and angelo (and throw in phillips, marinelli the savior) and any other buddy of angelo and lovie.

In my humble opinion this is more of an indictment against the present Bears regime if every season a player heralded as a difference maker has to go out of house to get the direction he needs as opposed to the staff. It appears the Bears have been since the three stooges have been in control drafted players that are square pegs and tried to put them in round holes (see Da. Manning file) and now they have done the same with coaching (Mike Martz and G. Olsen), they also do it in the front office the guy they just hired ruined the Seattle team with his drafting. This is also the same goofs who gave up the future for a franchise QB without being sure or taking any steps to protect him or giving him any weapons to work with. So I'm going to curb my enthusiasm and hope at least two of the three stooges will be out of here. I still am a fan but these guys have been a travesty since that lucky Super Bowl season and now it's time to stop the madness.

Chris Harris in the twilight of his career ????

Dude is 27 years old, he entered the NFL in 2005. Not sure that puts him in that category. If he was in his 30's maybe but not now. He is just entering the prime of his career.

Go Bears !

ok first of all you show me anyone who can learn a position such as a nfl wide reciever as quickly as hester is trying to learn it. also given the fact that you have to change your style of play for a new coach. the reason hester was drafted was not because he was a great return man but because he was a great athlete.. he is the type of player you draft to see what he can do for your team and to see what situations you can put him in to benefit your team. yes he was a the greatest return man to grace the grid iron in all the history of the nfl (according to the top ten on the nfl channel) but you show me a coach in the nfl who wouldn't try him out on offense and ill show you a flying pig. obviously hester has something to bring to this martz offense for them to keep him at the position. neither of you are nfl coaches and neither of you will ever be. so leave the coaching decisions to the play callers on the sidelines and skyboxes...[sidenote] and even if hester is the number reciever he will still play out the slot, he is the z reciever the reciever that is motioned most often in martz offense... and for you football experts, where will he be motioned to? the slot!!!! with a two step head start off his motion show me a saftey corner or linbacker that will stop him.. as for creighton, he is basically saying he want to be conditioned so well that he would be able to play six qaurters, he is not saying he is playing two extra qaurters a game... and im sure as the number one reciever in the martz offense that snap average will increase dramatically this year, also at what point did he ever make an excuse for his play in past seasons? In every interview with hester he only talks about improving his skill.. thats not an excuse for how he has played

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on July 18, 2010 2:42 PM.

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