Ladies, nurse get a good look at the back of that jersey, viagra because the unthinkable has happened…our beloved Devin Hester is on his way out of Chicago. Despite losing a record-setting player, sildenafil I see a bright future for the Bears on special teams, as management makes some much-needed moves.
Just a couple of days ago the Bears released veteran punter, Adam Podlesh, and yesterday No. 23 posted his goodbye to Chicago on Facebook for all of his fans to see. I’ve posted the sentimental parting words for you below.
I am going to be very (embarrassingly) honest when I say that I teared up a bit when I read the “we will have all broken it together” part. Maybe that isn’t so embarrassing though? At his best, Hester did provide us with some of the most exciting football moments Chicago fans could have ever asked for.
Let’s break down Hester’s 8-season career in the Windy City, to remind us why it’s going to be so hard to never see him in the Soldier Field end-zone again (well, not as a Bear at least).
- The return-wizard, as many call him, has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times due to his impressive performance on special teams. Hester scored a total of 32 touchdowns for the Bears, 13 of those being punt returns (the current NFL record) and five being kick returns. But in the end, it’s more about quality than quantity with No. 23.
- In 2010, he averaged 35.6 yards on every kick return and in 2011 he tallied a spectacular 98-yard return. What made watching him such a treat was his ability to navigate the field and make what seemed impossible to us fans, possible, and unfortunately that can’t last forever.
- Hester was drafted by the Bears in 2006 as a cornerback and has obviously moved around a great deal since then. Although he didn’t find success in every position he was put in, his dedication to making Chicago the best team it could be, despite how it may have affected him personally, was very apparent.
There are a couple of players you should keep an eye on to take over on returns. Chris Williams is one of them. The Bears signed the receiver/return specialist, who formerly played with the New Orleans Saints, as well as in the CFL, near the end of last season. Other candidates, who are already on Chicago’s roster, include veterans Eric Weems and Earl Bennett.
One thing is for sure, Hester’s shoes will not be easy ones to fill and according to Chicago Tribune’s Steven Rosenbloom they may not need any filling. In an article yesterday, Rosenbloom pointed out that the league’s move a couple years back to try to counter head injuries has done more than just please Congress.
“The NFL neutered him (Hester) a couple years ago when the league moved kickoffs up five yards. That increased touchbacks. That devalued Hester. The NFL calls it safety. That’s a crock.”
Whether that is true or not, Hester will be moving forward with his football career and it looks like he is hoping to do so with a familiar face…Lovie Smith, who is now the Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It’s possible,” Hester said on the on the NFL Network’s Total Access show. “I know Chicago wants to go a different route with me…Tampa, I look at Lovie as my No. 1 coach right now. He’s the one that took a chance on me coming out of the draft. He has all my respect. If he’s a guy that’s going to shoot at me and want me to come play with him again, my arms are open.”
It is hard to say, but I do think Emery and Trestman made the right choice releasing Hester. Seeing him break the record in Chicago would have been nice, but his productivity had dwindled and a shake-up on special teams seemed long overdue. I really do hope the return-wizard ends up somewhere he wants to be. And as a diehard Bears fan, I am extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication he displayed over the past eight seasons with the Bears.