Hester being patient on the brink of record

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester was one missed tackle away from setting the NFL record for most career kick return touchdowns.

Tied with Brian Mitchell for the most all-time combined kick return touchdowns (13), Hester nearly took sole possession of the record on a 30-yard punt return against Detroit, but with one man to beat he got tripped up by Lions punter Nick Harris.

Hester will try to set the mark versus New England on Sunday. The Patriots' special teams allowed one kickoff return touchdown this year, but are holding opponents to only 7.2 yards on punt returns. In 2006, Hester returned only one kickoff 21 yards, and fair caught his two punt return opportunities.

"I looked at it [the Detroit return] like two times, but at the end of the day I got to have faith and patience, the fans got to have patience," Hester said. "I just realized that, I'm starting to appreciate it more than if I would have broken it earlier this year. Now that I see that it's a big thing, I'm really looking forward to breaking this record.

"Now that if I break it, it'll mean more to me. I'm going to be patient with everything and let it happen. "