Hester wins NFC special teams POW

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in a Week 2 home victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Hester returned five kickoffs for a career-high 249 yards in the Bears' 31-30 win, including returns of 76 and 80 yards.

This is Hester's 13th Special Teams Player of the Week honor, the most of any return man in NFL history.

Watching Vikings return man Cordarrelle Patterson run back the game's opening kickoff 105 yards for a score gave Hester extra motivation, Hester said after the game.

"Man, it [ticked] me off," Hester said. "It [ticked] me off to have someone come into our home turf and to take one to the house. Ooh, it [ticked] me off. I was so [ticked] before the kickoff, I was praying, 'Please, I don't care how deep the guy kicks it, I'm bringing it out.' That's the mentality I took. I told my guys out there we're not going to get punched in the mouth like that and just fall over and back down. If he kicks it 9 yards deep [in the end zone], especially after they take one to the house, we coming out. So don't expect me to take a knee."

Hester also said the wet conditions at Soldier Field on Sunday helped fuel the Bears' return game.

"I think the weather played a big role in what happened [Sunday]," Hester said. "It was a rainy day and the ball was a little heavy, so it kind of prevented a lot of touchbacks. We knew it was going to be a run-and-attack day with the rain. We knew the special teams were going to have to play a big factor in this game, and that's what we did. We stepped up and made plays.

"I was just happy they kicked it to me. Whenever you get an opportunity to get your hands on the ball, even if it's a nice kick and you have to bring it out, it gives me an opportunity to make plays."

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Hester entered the year as the all-time record holder for return touchdowns with 17. A former wide receiver, the Bears removed Hester from the offensive game plan in the offseason so he could focus more on his return duties.