Bears kick returner Devin Hester, who was so upset after Lovie Smith was fired he said he was considering retirement, is on board with new coach Marc Trestman's regime and is willing to do -- or not do -- whatever he can to help the Bears win.
Though he still thinks he can make a contribution as a wide receiver, Hester said he is OK with the decision of Trestman and his staff to remove him from the offense and let him concentrate on special teams.
''I'm a team ballplayer,'' Hester said after the team's final mini-camp practice Thursday at the Walter Payton Center. ''Wherever they need me, that's where I'm going to fit.''
Hester said he is ''on the same page'' with new special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, who replaced Dave Toub -- the only special-teams coordinator Hester has known in his NFL career.
''From the first word I said to the last word he said, we're both on the same page,'' Hester said. ''We ... clicked.''
DeCamillis said he has been impressed with Hester's attitude in meetings and workouts. Hester is just as anxious to return to the kick-return prowess that has made him the most prolific kick returner in NFL history, with 17 returns for touchdowns in his seven NFL seasons. He had none last season, though, after returning six kicks for touchdowns in 2010-11.
Hester said he is confident he can regain his spectacular kick-return touch that made him the scourge of the NFL.
''Oh yeah -- not only me, but the special teams units as well,'' Hester said. ''These guys are putting together a great group of guys on the special teams units.''
Though he was emotional after Smith was fired, Hester said he isn't looking back.
''I'm just focusing on this year. That was in the past,'' he said when asked about his retirement comments. ''I was just emotionally upset. I wasn't really thinking about what I was saying. You say things you don't really mean. That's how I was.''