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The renegade master

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Long before Bears kick-return specialist Devin “Anytime” Hester tied an NFL record with a 108-yard return (of a botched field goal, no less) against the Giants, he was a magic man with the Miami Hurricanes.

Bears fans, you must check out this truly awesome video from Hester’s college days. Colts fans, this is one reason why your team’s gonna lose. Whiny, always-wrong hater columnists, bite me.


This is another Chicago Bears open thread.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rich - fantastic job. That video is unreal - its like watching someone play Madden 07. The thing about him is that he is able to do pretty much the same stuff that he did in college against the pros, which with speed in the NFL is absolutely incredible. I never saw Gale Sayers play live but I think one day people will talk about Hester the same way, as long as he holds on to the ball.


  2. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 2:10 pm:

    The Bears might win, they might not. I will be rooting for the Colts, but really don’t care who wins. But to have to rely on your return man to win is a mark of a bad team, not a good one. Remember a few years ago when that guy for the Kansas City Chiefs had all those return touchdowns? He hasn’t done squat since then. Return touchdowns are pure luck and coincidence. Tons are called back for stupid clipping and holding penalties. Just like Mike ‘I play 4 games a year before injury’ Brown getting those back to back game winning interception TD’s a few years ago. It’s all luck with that stuff. Having a good defense, running game, or passing game is way more valuable than a return game. Hester actually makes the Bears more vulnerable. He often fumbles and on most returns gains 0 or negative yards. I looked up the stat last week while having this very debate with another Bears fan. Hester only averaged like 3 yards more per kick return than the other guy the Bears have. And thats after you factor in 2 huge returns for touchdowns. Now, were the TD’s important? Sure they were. But my argument is that he more than balances himself out by continually muffing punts and trying to break every return for a TD. How many times has he caught the punt with an easy 10 yard return up the middle only to try and run all the way across the field and lose 10 yards?


  3. - Number 8 - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 2:12 pm:

    I was trying to keep track of the most impressive returns so I could comment on them, but — they were all incredible! This guy is unbelievable — almost superhuman at times. He just has to hold on to the ball and have a second or two to see the field and he will make the best of it.

    True talent on his part, great move by the Bears to get him. Special teams are extremely important, and will play a bit part in this Sunday’s big game.

    GO BEARS!!


  4. - Punky QB - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 2:22 pm:

    Robbie is a nerd!


  5. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 2:27 pm:

    Hey Robbie, get off the Hatoraide man. That guy for KC was Dante Hall. I saw him return a kick for a touchdown against Denver that was one of the most awesome runs I have ever seen live. The stadium went nuts, and the players were absolutely juiced afterwards. There is nothing like a special teams touchdown to jack your team and fans up, so don’t discount Hester (who, by the way, is a much better athelete than Dante Hall).

    I’m not sure which loser team your sore about not making it to the Super Bowl, but ours is there, so as Rich so aptly put it at the beginning of this post…bite me!

    GO BEARS!!!!!


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 2:41 pm:

    To see video of all of Hester’s touchdowns, college and pro (except the field goal he blocked and returned) click here.


  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 3:13 pm:

    Great video Rich. The blocked field goal against the Gators was the best. His coaches must have had a coronary every time he turned around and ran the wrong way to create a play, but it worked for him. I’d say it was a fundamentally bad habit that the Bears coaching staff have broken him of. Do that in the Pros, and you’re likely to take a 20 yard loss, or worse, fumble.

    Must’ve been 50 broken tackles in those clips.


  8. - Harry Hopkins - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 3:26 pm:

    Robbie, I’ll take a return for touch down in the Super Bowl, thank you. We can figure out how that affects his season average on Monday.


  9. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 3:46 pm:

    On another note, Blago got screwed by Indy beating New England. If the Patriots won he could have gotten Maine Lobster with a Bears win. Now all he gets is candy, pretzels, pickles, salsa and popcorn. Salsa?! Since when in Indiana famous for Salsa?

    I’m not going to shed any tears for him though because so far he has made out with some pretty good stuff from Seattle and New Orleans.


  10. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 3:55 pm:

    Guys, call me a hater, but I am really a believer in statistics. Odds are he won’t have a touchdown this week. Odds are in most games he won’t have one either. Odds are that most NFL games won’t have a return touchdown. If memory serves, Tampa Bay still has 0 return touchdowns in their entire existence. So relying on one for success is a risky play. My rant against Hester is to try and imply that his season was more a result of luck than skill. Sure the guy is fast, but most of the returns on the clip no one aside form the kicker/punter had a shot. Perhaps Hester is the beneficiary of a good punt coverage team? Perhaps he really is a good return man, but only time will tell on that one.

    Jaded - thanks for the Dante Hall reference. I would have never thought of that without looking it up.

    I decided to look up some numbers for all you haters.
    *Devon Hester averaged 26.4 yards per KO return, Rashied Davis averaged 23.9. I guess greatness is measured by a measly 2.5 yards, eh?

    *This year there were 24 returns for TD’s (KO or punt) Hester had 5 and Pacman Jones had 3. There are 256 games in a season so there are .09 returns for TD’s a game.

    *IN 2005 there were only 21 returns for TD’s or only .08 per game.

    *In 2004 there was a slightly higher 28 return TD’s. (.11 for those keeping track) Hall of Fame candidate Eddie Drummond had 4 returns showcasign how much ’skill’ is required for netting large amounts of return TD’s. FYI, he has had 0 returns in the past 2 seasons.

    *And in 2003 there were 20 returns for a touchdown which leaves a .08 chance for that season.


  11. - dupage boy - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 3:58 pm:

    hester rocks, and with Indy’s special teams on grass outdoors he could take one to the house Sunday, thanks for the video Rich!


  12. - BIG R.PH. - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:08 pm:

    Good Luck to the Bears! As White Sox and Cardinal and Ram fans know there is no better feeling in the world then when “your team” is the World Champs. Of Course Cub fans will NEVER experience the feeling


  13. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:09 pm:

    By the way Jaded, I am a Packers fan by trade. Their week 17 beat down of the Bears was enough ammo for me to gloat about. The fact they missed the playoffs wasn’t tied to the Bears success and was only a result of them sucking so badly they had to scramble to hit .500


  14. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:22 pm:

    Robbie, return numbers can’t always explain what a good return man can do for your team. Teams don’t want to give up the big one, so they kick away from him. This has resulted in bad kicks and good field position for the Bears on many occasions. Also, most of Hester’s returns came in games where the Bears really needed a lift, the Vikings, the Rams (2), the Cardinals and the Giants. So, to brush it aside as meaningless is pretty shortsighted.

    Finally, the only numbers that really mattered this year were 39 (Bears) and 14 (New Orleans).

    DA BEARS ARE IN DA BOWL AGAIN!


  15. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:24 pm:

    Sorry, folks, I didn’t realize I was trying to reason with a Packer fan. My mistake, I won’t let it happen again. Course, he sounds an awful lot like a Cub fan with that last post!


  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:25 pm:

    Jaded, your instincts are correct. He is a Cub fan.


  17. - Downtown - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:30 pm:

    Great stuff, Rich. Love to see you giving it to all the so called experts as well.

    BEAR DOWN


  18. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:30 pm:

    That’s right everyone make fun of the cubs fan…

    The thing that gets me about all this is that back when the Packers were good, Bears fans wouldn’t miss an opportunity to talk about Brett Favre and his painkillers or any other stupid story. But yet when the Bears are successful they can’t take any criticism. Excuse me for being a little weary of a team that dropped huge bombs in their last 2 playoff years. This year they manage to win a couple games and they are all of the sudden gods gift to Chicagoans, er I mean, Illinoisians.


  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:35 pm:

    Robbie, the problem is that the media and the pundits have never given the Bears any respect this year. They’ve dumped all over the quarterback, but he has still “somehow” found a way to lead the team to a 15-3 year. Almost nobody predicted the Bears would make it past the first playoff game. On the other hand, the media drools all over that farve (ph) guy. We’re allowed some gloating.


  20. - Festering Drippage - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    I want the Bears to win. That is entirely different from will the Bears win. If they get lucky and have some turnovers I’ll give them a big Maybe.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:42 pm:

    Also, Farve (ph) should either shave or grow the beard. His half-measures are foe (ph) blue collar. lol


  22. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:44 pm:

    Hey Packer Fan (Robbie). What were you saying in 1997 when Desmond Howard A KICK RETURN SPECIALIST won the Superbowl MVP for your Packers. Just Curious.

    (I know I said I wasn’t going to reason with him, but I couldn’t pass this one up.)


  23. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:49 pm:

    Jaded - Desmond Howard totally proves my point. Remember what happened to DH after that SB? Oh yeah, that’s right, he moved to oblivion with all other return specialists.

    Returners have big games based on luck. Their skills rarely differ from game to game or season to season, yet they come and go like reality shows. Desmond Howard, Dante Hall, ‘Fast’ Eddie Drummond, Hester. Howard got lucky that is happened in the biggest game of the year. What if some other special teamer got flagged for a clip on the return? We wouldn’t even remember who DH was.

    You can’t rely on something so unreliable. If Hester is the Bears only chance at victory then I better go put some money on the Colts right now.


  24. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:56 pm:

    What if the Russians had dropped the bomb in in 1982? If all you can come up with is what ifs take your argument elsewhere. We’re not saying Hester is our only hope, we saying he makes them that much better. Just like Desmond Howard did.


  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 4:57 pm:

    ===If Hester is the Bears only chance at victory===

    Now you’re talking nonsense. Who said that?


  26. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:00 pm:

    Whoa Whoa guys! Easy. It was just a little snark. No one said Hester was the only chance. I just added it in for a little flair.

    Jaded, what I am saying that you can’t acknowledge is that return touchdowns are reliant on luck. It greatly diminishes the skill needed.


  27. - Nick Naylor - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    Leave it to a “Whackers” fan to understand so little about football.

    It is a game of three phases: Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. I am happy to conceed that Peyton, Marvin, Reggie, Dallas, and Joseph Addai give the Colts the advantage on Offense. Any reasonable person would conclude that Urlacher et al give the Bears the advantage on Defense. I would argue that Hester and Brad Maynard (who by the way is having and incredible post season) give the Special Teams edge to the Bears.

    Will he necessarily return one for a TD? Odds are that he will not. Hopefully, the Bears will run the ball right at the Colts weak run defense, limit Manning’s opportunities to make big plays, control the clock, and use Hester and Maynard to win the field position battle. If that happens, Devin will have his first Superbowl ring!

    Oh … and when discussing Favre’s vicodin issues and other Packer lowlights, you forgot Mossy Cade’s drug-fuelled sexual assault allegations, as well as Mark Chimurra (sp?) and his jailbait hottub parties! GO BEARS!


  28. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:08 pm:

    Hester was amazing until he was introduced to the NFL. Meaning since he took his first real NFL hit he hasn’t done squat. I have seen that happen to many NFL players. They can never overcome the fear of getting their head ripped off by a manic linebacker.

    Rich. You are showing off your ignorance of football if you can’t spell Favre correctly. Farve[sic]doesn’t cut it. Especially since he spanked the Bears for well over a decade.


  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:13 pm:

    Papa Legba, Hester’s done pretty well since he turned pro. I don’t know where you’re getting your info from. And I deliberately misspelled Favre’s name, that’s why I put (ph) for “phonetic” behind it. You can bite me, too.


  30. - Nick Naylor - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:17 pm:

    And Papa -

    Not to go all superfan on you, but if a decade long spanking of another team is the rule, you may want to practice spelling the following word …D-I-T-K-A.


  31. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:28 pm:

    OK, the guy’s a good return man, but highlights from games against Temple and Duke? Puh-Leez. You’re better than that people. I could post pics of me nerf hoop dunkin’ on my five-year-old and nobody’s gonna call me Candace Parker.


  32. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:33 pm:

    Let’s see, who’s dat quarterback from Indy. Is it some guy named Payton, Peyton, Patton or Brent? Who cares, he isn’t as good as Rex.

    Bite me - back at ya.


  33. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:33 pm:

    6 TD returns is not just “good.” And that’s a lot better than “squat,” PL.


  34. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:34 pm:

    In the first half of the season. After that I saw some fumbles and bad decisions. No returns though.


  35. - Disgusted - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:35 pm:

    The Jesse Owens of pro football. Happy Feet!!!!!


  36. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:39 pm:

    PL, he scored two TDs against the Rams in, I think, week 14. That’s not even near the first half of the season.


  37. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:41 pm:

    Plus, the Colts special teams defense sucks. Plain and simple. He’s a threat in the Super Bowl. Not the only threat, but the one we’re talking about today.


  38. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:42 pm:

    6 returns is good. But like I said earlier Eddie Drummond had 4 a few seasons ago and I don’t think anyone called his season or career ‘great.’

    NN - your exactly who I was talking about when I think of idiot Bears fans. Go for all the dirt on players of other teams and can’t take any heat about yours.

    Unfortunately, I agree with PL to a degree. I think Hester is merely ordinary when compared to NFL players. He brought up a great point. Many of those returns were against 3rd rate college talent. Discussing the dominance that big name colleges have in football and basketball is a whole different huge issue, but suffice to say, its a bit easier to juke a return team player on the Duke Blue Devils than the Colts, or any other NFL team.

    NN - you are also allficted with a terrible disease most Bears fans have. 1985-itis. Bears fans need to let it go.


  39. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:46 pm:

    Robbie, six returns is an NFL record. That’s more than good. Sheesh.


  40. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:50 pm:

    So 4 returns isn’t even noteworthy, but 6…. Well 6 is mystifying. Isn’t that indicative of just how few and far between these TD’s are? To expect anything other than a ho-hum game from Hester is just wishful thinking.


  41. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 5:55 pm:

    We should expect more than a ho-hum game because the Colts special teams D sucks and Hester holds a “mystifying” NFL record.


  42. - Robbie - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:01 pm:

    Another aspect that was slightly mentioned earlier is just how easy it is to avoid a returner. The Colts can kick every punt out of bounds if they like. They can minimize the kick returns by kicking away from him. They can ensure he doesn’t get a freak field goal return by not kicking stupidly long field goals.

    You do have a great point about the Colts return defense. I beleive they are ranked 30th in KR allowed and 31 in PR allowed.


  43. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:14 pm:

    Yes, Robbie, but as someone else has already pointed out, our other return specialist is almost as good.


  44. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:15 pm:

    Sorry. Waiting for my wife to get ready for dinner. Too much time on my hands at the moment, I suppose. lol


  45. - NW burbs - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:21 pm:

    Papa Legba — You need Hester to break other records before you’ll give him some respect? Get real. Or, as Rich said, “Bite me”.

    And he (BF) should either spell it Farve or pronounce it Fav-ray (or -ree).

    Bears by at least 10. Book it. Manning’s going to crumble. Say any different and you can bite me.

    Anyone know the name/artist for the background music in Yurk’s YouTube?

    iTunes awaits.


  46. - Festering Drippage - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:23 pm:

    Bored Rich? Are you more excited about Da Bears or D’Obama?


  47. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:27 pm:

    LOL. Obama’s just a local interest story. The Bears, on the other hand….


  48. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:43 pm:

    The Bears, on the other hand….

    Are overrated.


  49. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 6:58 pm:

    LOL. By whom? They’ve been underrated all year. OK, she’s ready now. Adios.


  50. - Left Leaner - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 8:25 pm:

    Bears are going to win hands down. Here’s why.

    1. Grossman will manage the game. He doesn’t have to be spectacular - just let Jones and Benson cut Indy’s terrible run defense to shreds and convert a handful of third downs.

    2. Keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands. They will do that by running the ball and converting third downs.

    3. When Manning has the ball, they’re going to hit him and the rest of the Colts very hard = Turnovers.

    4. Special teams. The Colts’ special teams will not be able to handle Hester and the Bears.

    The Colts run a very similar offense to the Saints and their defense isn’t very good.

    It’ll be a close game through 3 quarters, but the Bears will win comfortably.


  51. - Team America, World Police - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 9:03 pm:

    I think Robbie and “Bill” should get together and spin a new reality for the Colts the same as Bill does for Bag-O-Chips. It’d make for a great trip down fantasy lane. GO BEARS!


  52. - Levois - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 11:44 pm:

    THis was a great video. He was able to make some flashy moves too.


  53. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Jan 31, 07 @ 8:40 am:

    Tell Hester to catch the ball and then run, I am sure he will have some great plays and make an impact.


  54. - jerry - Wednesday, Jan 31, 07 @ 9:14 am:

    Another good sign for us. An Indy fan somewhere else said that the Colts kicker (or punter) has a tendency to outkick his coverage. So, unless they angle every ball out of bounds, Hester will have a chance. If you’re outkicking the coverage, you’re giving Hester a chance to set up. And if he has a chance to set up, its off to the races.

    But I’m looking forward to Ricky Manning, Jr intercepting Peyton, and taking it back for 6. Manning wins Super Bowl MVP. Just not the Manning everyone seems to expect to win the MVP.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Even-keeled Buehrle regular guy amid success
* Baseball is a family tradition for Matthews
* Pelfrey faces A's to open homestand
* White Sox prospects on the move in Minors
* Breakthrough Series has Chicago flavor
* Pelfrey faces A's to open homestand
* Buehrle was one of a kind in time with Sox


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