Perhaps the Bears should change Devin Hester’s name to “Devin Thermometer;” he mirrors the way the Bears are doing. It seems when he is doing well, the Bears do well, so says Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub. When the Bears were on their way to the Super Bowl, Hester was, as the oft-played commercial tells us, “ridiculous.” It seemed every time he got his hands on a kickoff or punt, he “took it to the house.”
Monday night, Hester broke a two-year drought with a punt return of 62-yards against the Green Bay Packers that helped inspire the Bears to a mild upset of the Wisconsin enemy.
Larry Mayer has posted an article titled “Toub: Return TD lifts burden off Hester’s shoulders.” This was an angle I would not have thought of. I would have thought Hester would have felt he was contributing plenty as a wide receiver; he expects more of himself.
As Toub relayed, a few years when Hester was scoring all of the time, Toub would record it on a “grease board.” It has been a while since he has had to do that, and apparently Hester has been questioning himself no more.
In Hester’s first two seasons, he returned 11 kicks for scores. Since that time, he has formally had his hands on the ball in a return situation 104 times without scoring.
Toub indicated Hester was pressing but the drought is finally over. And it seems funny that when the Bears are doing well Hester does well also. Someone is feeding off of something. I do believe it is Hester who is the “thermometer” of the team.
I remember another Monday night game a couple of years ago when the Bears let the Arizona Cardinals get ahead of them by three scores. I’m sure you’ll remember the postgame meltdown by Cardinals Coach Dennis Green. (We let ’em off the hook! Slam!) In large part, the Bears’ comeback was fueled by Devin Hester bringing back a punt return and further frustrating the Cardinals. And so it was that season. It seemed when the offense and defense was failing, there was Hester ready to fill in the gap.
It probably is no coincidence that the last couple of years that, while Hester has been silent, the Bears have had poor seasons.
As a Bears fan, I can only say I am happy to see him back.
Chicago Bears’ Website, Larry Mayer, “Toub: Return TD lifts burden off Hester’s shoulders”