Stud of the Week: Devin Hester

The Bears have been looking for a game-breaker for quite some time, and it appears they finally found one. Second-round draft pick Devin Hester may not be a cornerback or a wide receiver in this league, but when he gets his hands on a punt, the Miami product has special talent in the open field. After yesterday's electrifying introduction to the NFL, Hester is the Bear Report Stud of the Week.

The Bears pretty much had the game in hand at the beginning of the fourth quarter on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Rex Grossman was having a good day throwing the ball, the defense was suffocating Brett Favre on every possession, and Robbie Gould was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts to extend the lead to 19-0. But it was rookie return man Devin Hester who drove the final nail in the coffin.

Hester fielded Jon Ryan's punt at his own 16 yard line and weaved his way 84 yards, virtually untouched, into the end zone for the exclamation point of a 26-0 Bears beatdown of the Packers. The former Hurricane has now suited up for five NFL games, four exhibitions and Sunday's season-opener, and he has one punt return of at least 19 yards in each contest. Hester earns the Bear Report Stud of the Week award.

Everyone knows that the Bears can play defense. Anyone who doubted that just has to look at their Week 1 performance. Brett Favre is in his 16th professional season, but until Sunday, he had never been the victim of a shutout in his NFL career. If the Bears can generate any offense whatsoever, they have the ability in a cloudy NFC playoff picture to make a Super Bowl run. And even if that offense does sputter from time to time, Hester just might be able to light up the scoreboard all by himself.

JC


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