LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It would be fitting for Devin Hester to set the all-time record for most career kick returns touchdowns Thursday night in Miami.
Besides Hester being a Florida native who attended the University of Miami, Sun Life Stadium is the site of perhaps his most memorable return: The electric 92-yard return on the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI.
Hester is tied with Brian Mitchell with 13 total return touchdowns, even though Hester technically has 15, but for whatever reason, the Super Bowl score and the 108-yard missed field goal return versus the Giants in 2006 are not officially included on that all-time NFL list.
"I think Devin would be excited, and I know his family would be," Bears safety Danieal Manning said. "As teammates, we would love it. I hope we can get it. The guys want to block, and if you got guys like that, it makes it easier for Devin, Johnny [Knox] and myself to run. The way they go after guys, it's something. I mean, all three of us have different styles of running, but the blocking has been great all the way around."
While Hester always grabs the special teams headlines, it needs to again be pointed out that Corey Graham is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Graham leads the Bears with 15 special teams tackles, and has become such a force at the gunner position that he requires a double team on almost every punt.
That extra attention paid to Graham has helped free up things for other core members of the Bears special teams: Garrett Wolfe (11 tackles), Rod Wilson (nine), Brian Iwuh (eight) and Rashied Davis (seven). In addition to the names already mentioned, Nick Roach is coming off his best special teams outing of the year, finishing second in total special teams points to Graham against Minnesota. And the trio of Patrick Mannelly, Brad Maynard and Robbie Gould has been consistently good for years.
"It's just the schemes and stuff that Toub tends to use," Manning said. "We also have those core guys like Corey and Pat Mannelly, who's like a general out there keeping guys poised out there on punt. We just have a great group of core guys."