The elite have a way of making things look easy. Imagine punters purposely placing kicks out of bounds, or eleven tacklers honing in like heat-seeking missiles. When you are averaging a touchdown every nine returns like Devin Hester has this season, getting a chance to even return the ball can be a tall order.
While in Toronto taking on the Buffalo Bills in a much-anticipated showdown between the league’s top returners, Hester was only able to return one punt for a mere three yards against his good friend Roscoe Parrish. Parrish and Hester have a history that stretches back to their college days as teammates at the University of Miami.
When Hester first joined the Hurricanes, it was Parrish who would get Hester started as the greatest returner in the game. “He was there before me,” said Hester. “He kind of showed me what the coaches expect. He said, ‘You’re blessed with talent,’ and you’ve got to go out and have fun and do what you feel comfortable with.”
"Every time he touches the football we’re expecting him to score.” -Lovie Smith, Bears head coach
.As with many cases, the understudy has become the master as Hester looks to continue his pursuit as the NFL’s all-time leader in return touchdowns.
It’s no easy task ahead for Hester and the Bears as they host division rivals Minnesota. The Vikings have yet to give up a punt return for a touchdown this season, a streak that has stretched to twenty-five straight games.
Always up for a challenge - and another opportunity at the record books in Week 10 - it’s safe to say that Hester will be going hard in front of a sold-out Soldier Field. What better way to break a record than in front of 61,000-plus rabid fans? That is, if he gets the chance.
“Lately he has been on his game, back to the point where every time he touches the football we’re expecting him to score,” said Bears head coach Lovie Smith. “Teams are starting to kick away from him, giving him the respect that the all-time guy with returns in the history of the league should get.”
As we continue to track Hester’s chase for the all-time return touchdown record, we leave you with nearly nine minutes of Devin Hester touchdown highlights:
- Devin Hester updates from Week 7 and Week 9
- Video: Hester goes home to Miami
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