CHICAGO -- Not since the final week of the 2007 season had Devin Hester done what, in essence, made him DEVIN HESTER. But amid rumors that the Bears were contemplating his removal from special teams altogether, Hester once again electrified Soldier Field.
His 62-yard punt return gave the Chicago Bears their first lead of a game they eventually won 20-17 over the Green Bay Packers. Earlier, he had popped a 28-yard punt and clearly was running with an aggressive purpose.
“I knew what I could do,” Hester said. “I just really had to tune that stuff out. I know deep down inside what type of player I am. That’s the reason why we do the things we do, you know. … At the same time, it was a really humbling experience. I’m not going brag about it now. I’m just going to continue to work hard, and eventually I’ll pop another one and start rolling."
Hester has appeared uncertain and has too often taken off for the sidelines over the past two seasons, running horizontally rather than vertically down the field.
“I was just pressing on it to make sure I really hit it hard this time,” he said, “and don’t second guess myself, and that’s just what I did.”
It was the eighth punt return for a touchdown in Hester's career. Overall, he has 12 kick returns for a touchdown in his career, tied for second-most in NFL history. The record is 13, set by Brian Mitchell.