PHOENIX -- The biggest criticism of the Bears' seemingly never-ending attempts to make Devin Hester a legitimate receiver was that it took away from and hurt his effectiveness in the return game.
But that won't happen anymore under new Bears coach Marc Trestman.
Trestman said Wednesday during the NFL annual meetings at the Arizona Biltmore that Hester, first and foremost, will work on returning to form as the best kick returner in the NFL. Trestman stressed that right now he's looking at Hester as strictly a specialist.
"We'll see how that evolves, but he's going to spend more time with [special teams coach] Joe [DeCamillis] and make sure that we're paying attention to that," Trestman said. "He'll come in and compete for that job."
Will he work with receivers?
"I don't know yet. We're going to talk about that next week," Trestman said. "Most of [Hester's] time will be with Joe, meeting with Joe and spending time with Joe."
Hester admittedly had a very frustrating season in 2012. He struggled with his returns, failing to return a kickoff or punt for a touchdown, and saw his roles on offense diminish as the season went on. Hester had 23 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown last season. He averaged 8.3 yards per punt return and 25.9 yards on kickoff returns.
What did Trestman see during his evaluations from Hester on film?
"Not enough," Trestman said. "There's some quality plays, but there's not enough. We had this long discussion of just starting with him, making sure that he would be the returner that we need to have. That's the No. 1 thing. That's hopefully what he'll go to the Hall of Fame as. It's making sure we get the most out of him and then see where he goes from there."
How does Hester feel about this?
"I think he feels really good about it," Trestman said. "You'll have to ask him, but the conversation we had was to do it that way to start."