KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dave Toub brought this on himself. The Kansas City Chiefs special-teams coordinator is the one who stood up before the draft and urged his team to pick Tyreek Hill, whom he compared in terms of ability as a kick return specialist to Devin Hester, perhaps the greatest at his craft in NFL history.
Early in training camp, Toub said Hill was faster than any return specialist he’s ever coached, a list that includes Hester.
With the Chiefs preparing for Saturday’s preseason game in Chicago against the Bears, Hester’s team for the most productive seasons of his career, the comparisons are again inevitable. Toub didn’t back away from his earlier comments, but tried to take some of the pressure off of Hill.
“I said that, but Tyreek has a long way to go to be in the same category as a Devin Hester," Toub said. “You’ve got to do it on the field. He hasn’t broken out yet. It hasn’t happened in a game. We’ve seen some spurts in practices and stuff like that."
Hester served notice what his career would be like in his first game as a rookie for Toub and the Bears in 2006. He scored a touchdown on an 84-yard punt return against the Green Bay Packers.
“It was crazy," Toub said. “He was crazy good. It’s a high standard and it’s a high level to put a guy to compare to. But I guess I’ve done that already."
Hill in the preseason has returned two punts for four yards and three kickoffs for 74 yards. Those numbers aren't in Hester's league, though it’s very early.
Hill admitted to some jitters for the opening preseason game against Seattle.
“On the big stage," he said, “everyone is watching."