Stud of the Week: Devin Hester

On a day when the offense once again gave many Bears fans a legitimate cause for concern, the special teams proved that they can sometimes provide the only scoring this team needs to win. Rookie Devin Hester electrified the Soldier Field faithful returning punts and kickoffs on Sunday and found the end zone for a fourth time. Hester is the Bear Report Stud of the Week.

Devin Hester has a long way to go before he'll ever make it in the NFL as a cornerback. What he's accomplished so far in his football career he's done on pure athletic ability, no question about it. For the good of the team, Hester might even be moved to the other side of the ball and play offense next season.

But when the rookie out of Miami gets his hands on the football in the open field, fans hold their breath, teammates anticipate the excitement, and opponents tremble in their cleats.

Hester proved once again that he can single-handedly turn around a game on Sunday, returning a poor Chris Kluwe punt 45 yards for a touchdown. It was his third punt return for a TD this season and fourth return score overall. Hester tied a league record in Week 10 against the Giants by returning a missed field goal 108 yards to paydirt, equaling the longest play in NFL history.

With the Bears offense not able to put anything together against the Vikings on Sunday, Hester's touchdown got his team a 7-0 lead that they never relinquished. He returned another punt 25 yards later in the game and even averaged 22.7 yards on three kickoff returns after Rashied Davis fumbled to begin the game. For his dazzling dancing all over the field, Hester is the Bear Report Stud of the Week.

Special teams coach Dave Toub is one of the best in the business and has his coverage units among the tops in the league year after year. Now that he has a weapon like Hester at his disposal, the Bears are arguably the best special teams unit in the NFL and forcing teams to gameplan against their return game. And even if the offense continues to shoot blanks the rest of the season, Hester's rare ability to score every time he touches the ball will give the Monsters of the Midway an edge once the postseason arrives.


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