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Bears pulling plug on Hester's returns?

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08:02 AM ET 04.10 | Eric Weems and Devin Thomas present the Bears with the makings of a dilemma. Should Devin Hester be relieved of all kickoff-return duties in 2012? "We have that versatility now," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. ... The Bears had the luxury of limiting Hester's kickoff returns during the 2009 season, when Johnny Knox and Danieal Manning combined for 60 returns. Hester had just seven kickoff returns that year as he caught a career-high 57 passes. The Bears seem even more intent on making Hester an integral part of the offense at wide receiver -- even despite the addition of top target Brandon Marshall -- which is likely to encourage them to limit or totally eliminate Hester's work on kickoffs.

Chicago Tribune

Lovie Smith, Getty Images Lovie Smith, Getty Images
April 10, 2012  08:08 AM ET

I don't know why. He's not good at catching passes nor was he good as a Cornerback.

April 10, 2012  08:22 AM ET

Is he a good enough receiver to be more than a role player at receiver? A #1? Or is he just fast....sling it and hope he catches it. Not sure that is the best passing game formula to bet on.

April 10, 2012  08:26 AM ET

Who's going to score ?

Comment #4 has been removed
April 10, 2012  08:36 AM ET

"We want to minimize our scoring opportunities." -Lovable J. Smith

April 10, 2012  08:40 AM ET

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why in the world would you ever want to prevent (arguably) the best return man to ever play the game from returning kicks?? ... it causes other teams to plan for him... kick around him... etc... he's much more of a weapon as a returner than he is a receiver... like this kills me... are they brain-dead in Chicago or just plain stupid??

Comment #7 has been removed
April 10, 2012  09:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why in the world would you ever want to prevent (arguably) the best return man to ever play the game from returning kicks?? ... it causes other teams to plan for him... kick around him... etc... he's much more of a weapon as a returner than he is a receiver... like this kills me... are they brain-dead in Chicago or just plain stupid??

+1

April 10, 2012  09:31 AM ET

In other news, Brett Favre is contemplating coming out of retirement again to play for the Bears in order to give them a better chance of getting Hester more receptions to justify the move from returner. Film at eleven!

April 10, 2012  09:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why in the world would you ever want to prevent (arguably) the best return man to ever play the game from returning kicks?? ... it causes other teams to plan for him... kick around him... etc... he's much more of a weapon as a returner than he is a receiver... like this kills me... are they brain-dead in Chicago or just plain stupid??

That's just Lovie being Lovie....He gets his players to play hard for him but makes dumb moves like this

April 10, 2012  09:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

In other news, Brett Favre is contemplating coming out of retirement again to play for the Bears in order to give them a better chance of getting Hester more receptions to justify the move from returner. Film at eleven!

Id that the cheesehead in you writing this or the cat in you?

April 10, 2012  09:49 AM ET

Never in my life?????????????

April 10, 2012  09:54 AM ET

Some Bear's coaching genius - probably Lovie - has had it in his pea brain that Hester should be a wide receiver. He's a pretty bad receiver, but the ego of the coach is so great that that doesn't seem to matter. (I think Hester said "okay" to it, too, because he could get more $$$ as a receiver.) Hester is a return man - perhaps the best ever - but that doesn't seem to matter. He's better at kick-off returns, but apparently will still be the punt returner.

April 10, 2012  10:07 AM ET

They are pulling the plug? I guess that means Hester's career is about to go down the drain.

April 10, 2012  10:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Is he a good enough receiver to be more than a role player at receiver? A #1? Or is he just fast....sling it and hope he catches it. Not sure that is the best passing game formula to bet on.

It's not.

The Bears expended a lot of effort on this a few seasons ago (I think because Jerry Angelo was too lazy/cheap to find a true #1 WR) and it just didn't work. All they did was neutralize a special teams Beast. If Hester still has the mojo, turn him loose and stay out of his way, Lovie.

April 10, 2012  10:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why in the world would you ever want to prevent (arguably) the best return man to ever play the game from returning kicks?? ... it causes other teams to plan for him... kick around him... etc... he's much more of a weapon as a returner than he is a receiver... like this kills me... are they brain-dead in Chicago or just plain stupid??

Lovie's just stubborn that way.

"Rex Grossman is our quarterback" was another instance where he was too stubborn for his own good.

April 10, 2012  10:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

That's just Lovie being Lovie....He gets his players to play hard for him but makes dumb moves like this

+1

April 10, 2012  10:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Id that the cheesehead in you writing this or the cat in you?

The cat. My wife is the cheesy side of the family.

April 10, 2012  10:23 AM ET

Best weapon on the team and you want to take that off the field? WHAT????

 
April 10, 2012  10:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Best weapon on the team and you want to take that off the field? WHAT????

Naw. Just relocate him. He's an awesome re..... um.... He's a great rec...... um..... One day he may be a pretty decent rec...... Oh, who am I kidding???

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