Chicago Sun-Times

Devin Hester still No. 1 kickoff returner

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The addition of returner Eric Weems doesn't mean the newcomer has leapfrogged Devin Hester on the depth chart.

"He's still our No. 1 kickoff returner," the Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub said of Hester after the team's minicamp practice Wednesday. "When we need a big one Devin is going to be in there. We have the luxury of having Eric Weems. There will be times when we have them both back there. We'll kind of trick people in terms of who's getting the ball. We'll move one guy up there late. We'll also try to kick it away from Devin and get the ball to Weems at times. Then there will be times when just Weems is back there with a fullback.

"He's definitely a luxury for us. It's a luxury, I mean, this guy can take it to the house. He went to the Pro Bowl before. We're fortunate to have him."

Toub said Hester and Weems have proven to be big-play returners using different means.

"Hester is more of an outside guy," he said. "He wants to make people miss and get outside. Weems is a north and south, physical-type returner. He's not going to break a lot of tackles but he fits our scheme really well. We try to block people and have a point of attack. He's going to be able to hit that thing exactly where we want it. We're excited about Eric Weems."

Weems and fellow special teams standout Blake Costanzo were the free-agent special teamers Toub coveted most this offseason. The Bears signed them both. Toub didn't want Weems so much for his returning ability but thought he could help fill the void left when coverage ace Corey Graham departed.

"He's a good returner but he's here because he's a good cover guy, he's a number one gunner," Toub said.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on June 13, 2012 5:48 PM.

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