LAKE FOREST -- Early in the week, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said he wants to see more out of his team’s kick return game. Then Devin Hester echoed those comments. But special teams coach Dave Toub is staying the course. He knows things will come if the Bears don’t panic.
“You have to be careful,” Toub said after practice on Friday. “You have to be careful you don’t go back and start second guessing yourself and have guys start pointing fingers. We have to stay the course, do what we’re doing. Keep playing hard and it will happen eventually.”
Monday night against the Detroit Lions is as good a time as any. It’s been well documented how porous the Lions are on special teams. They’ve given up two punt returns and two kick-off returns for touchdowns.
“This is a team we see some opportunities there,” Hester said on Wednesday. “At the same time we have to be patient ... It's seven years for me now, and I know once they hit they come in a bunch. When it comes it comes.”
Hester’s last punt return for a touchdown came against these Lions last November.
“He’s an old veteran now,” Toub said of Hester. “He’s been down this road before. You watch the tape. If he was getting pummeled, and as soon as he touched the ball he was getting hit on punt returns, those things aren’t happening. Guys are blocking ... He’s been real close.”
Toub knows expecting touchdowns in the return game is normally a ridiculous notion. They’re nice to have but can’t be counted on from week to week. But Hester is different. It’s not unreasonable to expect one after a long drought. The Lions might provide that opportunity.
“With him you do (expect it),” Toub said. “It’s just the way it is. He’s just so dangerous. When he’s feeling it, there’s no stopping him.”