The Bears’ Pro Football Hall of Fame is considering a former Bears All-Pro kick returner, and he’s coming for your spot.
Devin Hester is a former Bears All-Pro who has been considered the GOAT kick returner. He was also one of the first players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Chicago Bears had the advantage of having one of the most dangerous ball carriers in NFL history on their roster. Devin Hester established a name for himself as a kickoff and punt returner. Hester, a modern-era candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2022, is certain that he belongs among the greats.
The Bears legend also makes a strong argument.
Devin Hester has successfully transitioned from defense to special teams.
Devin Hester was a five-star recruit and the No. 3 athlete in 2002 when he graduated from high school, according to 247 Sports. He was a standout athlete at West Palm Beach’s Suncoast High School.
Hester drew interest from big college football teams such as Florida State, Georgia, and NC State because of his speed and general athleticism. According to Shannon Sharpe of the Club Shay Shay podcast, he eventually selected the University of Miami (FL) to be near to his family.
Hester spent more time on defense than offensively with the Hurricanes. He began playing defensive back as a sophomore and quickly rose to the position of starting cornerback. In 2004, he had a team-high four interceptions.
Miami’s defensive coordinator didn’t enjoy all of the attention Hester was getting going into his junior season, according to Hester. He was relegated to third-string cornerback by the coach.
Hester soon shifted his focus to the special forces. He said, “I’m going to be the greatest kick returner and punt returner there is.” He didn’t return the stare.
After his domination with the Bears, Hester claims to be the best return specialist of all time.
The Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester returns a kick against the San Diego Chargers | Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel
Devin Hester was selected with the 57th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He was signed to be a dynamic wide receiver and return specialist for the Bears.
As a rookie, the Florida native hardly saw action as receiver, but he quickly established himself as a viable return threat. He has a total of 528 yards and two scores on 20 kickoff returns. Hester also had a 600-yard punt return and three touchdowns on 47 punt returns.
Hester was named to the 2006 All-Rookie Team and was selected to the Pro Bowl after leading the NFL in punt return yards and touchdowns.
In Chicago, the former Hurricanes standout spent eight seasons. During his time with the Bears, he had 3,241 punt return yards, 5,504 kick return yards, and 18 total touchdowns.
In Super Bowl XLI, Hester returned the opening kickoff for a score against the Indianapolis Colts, making it one of his most memorable moments in a Bears jersey.
“Most certainly,” Hester said firmly when asked whether he thinks he is the GOAT return specialist.
Devin Hester should be inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
What are the NFL’s safest records? Devin Hester has the most kickoff touchdowns in NFL history… The kickoffs are no longer returned… Why bother with kickoffs at all? Place the ball near the 25-yard line to avoid unnecessary kickoff coverage and blocking.
October 5, 2021 — Mychal Thompson (@champagnennuts)
Devin Hester played for the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, and Seattle Seahawks before retiring. However, it was with the Bears that he caused the most of his damage.
The 38-year-old was named to the Pro Bowl four times and was named to the NFL All-Pro team three times. He now holds the NFL record for most non-offensive touchdowns (20), surpassing legends like as Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson, and Ed Reed.
Hester is also No. 46 all-time in all-purpose yardage with 14,455 yards in a 10-year career.
Devin Hester stands out among the 123 modern-era candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2022. He earned his money as a return guy, while being classified as a wide receiver.
Devin Hester is a one-of-a-kind returner who may never be duplicated. There will undoubtedly be guys who are as skilled as, if not more so, than the former Bears great. In today’s game, though, the league has altered the way kicks are returned.
Kickoffs were shifted higher in the NFL, enabling kickers to kick the ball out of the end zone more often. Due to the increasing focus on player safety, wedges are also no longer permitted.
It’s unlikely that Devin Hester’s records will ever be broken. He revolutionized special teams and is a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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The 2022 hall of fame ballot is a list of players that are up for consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was released on December 31, 2021 and will be voted on in 2022.
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