Although it was Bears kicker Robbie Gould that sealed the deal for Chicago in their win against Green Bay on Monday night, it was their punt returner that Devin Hester who provided the spark that put his team back in the game. Before his big return on Monday, many speculated whether Hester needed to quit punt returning altogether. Now it seems that the opposite may be true.
Hester is one of the guys in the past few years that came into the league playing on one side of the ball and then asked to switch at some point in his career. For his punt return production to drop while taking on the Bears’ offensive playbook seems inevitable. To me, anyway.
Furthermore, Hester’s additional responsibilities wouldn’t disqualify him as the guy most qualified for that job. He just has a little bit more on his mind now. It’s also worth nothing that, as a wide receiver, he has been getting hit anywhere form 5 to 15 times more in a given game than before.
If Chicago really wants that Devin Hester magic back, they’ll put him back on defense and give him the chance to focus on punt returning. They can only spread a guy so thin, and Lovie Smith will have to decide how badly he wants to maintain the most dangerous weapon in the NFL.