This is from the “Every cloud has a silver lining department.” During Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Devin Hester tied Brian Mitchell’s long-standing record for touchdown returns at 13 with an 89-yard punt return.
Larry Mayer has posted an article at the Chicago Bears’ website titled “Hester equals Mitchell’s NFL record with 13th TD return.” Considering the fact Hester has just started his fifth season, that is an amazing feat. What makes it even more amazing is that he went through the 2008-2009 seasons without a single return. That means his “13 returns” have been accomplished in roughly 2.31 seasons.
I have linked to the run, and if you watch it, you will see the Seahawks’ punter, Jon Ryan, get nailed by Earl Bennett. Ryan remained down for quite awhile; he didn’t see Bennett coming since he was trying to get in position to get his hands on Hester.
Ball returners have to be determined and a little cocky. Hester is all of that. He has made it known he wants to break that record. It would be hard to believe, barring injury, that he won’t.
Originally in his career with the Bears, Devin Hester was solely a kickoff returner. When the Bears tried to get him into the offense as a receiver, defenses would stack up against him, and the only way the Bears could use him was as a decoy. However, most of the time, it was worthless to try to use him.
Later, Hester became a full-time wide receiver. However, then he was ineffective as a kickoff returner (he seemed to tire easily), so the Bears used him solely as a punt returner with someone like Johnny Knox or Danieal Manning returning kickoffs, and that has worked quite well.
Speaking of Danieal Manning, he had a touchdown run of the same distance, 89 yards in Sunday’s loss. The only problem was that a Bear was called for holding. If that had not happened, the Bears would probably have won the game.
Still, part of being a football fan is having the pleasure of watching history being made.
I’m lucky I have had a chance to watch a lot of historic moments.
You Tube Website, “Chicago Bears Devin Hester 89 Yard Punt Return Touchdown vs Seahawks-Week 6”
Chicago Bears Website, Larry Mayer, “Hester equals Mitchell’s NFL record with 13th TD return”