Monday, November 15, 2010

Lovie Smith, You Are Ridiculous!!!

Well it only took 2 years, but Devin Hester is back returning kickoffs for the Bears. If you’re like me, you’re still questioning why Hester was ever taken off of kick returns near the end of the 2008 season. After two dominant season of returning punts and kicks, Hester seemed to have lost the magic in 2008. Instead of hitting the holes hard he tended to dance around, often finishing further away from the end zone than when he caught it. He just couldn’t seem to get out of his funk.

But the answer was always simple and was always right there in front of the our faces. They didn’t need to scale back his offensive responsibilities. They didn’t need Brendon Ayanbadejo back blocking for him. They needed to get him running straight ahead as soon as the ball was in his hands. How do you make sure he’s running forward? Simple… You put him back on kickoffs, so he actually has space to run forward before making his cuts.

Hester may have made a name for himself in college by running sideline to sideline evading the opponents coming at him, but you can’t get away with that in the NFL... this isn't Duke. Special teams players are too fast and too strong for returners to be dancing around taking shots from the other team. You need to keep your feet moving and run forward to make it hard for the opposition to take a good angle on you.

Wait about two years and then go ahead and give credit to Lovie… He’s put one of his players in the best position to be successful. He’s put the best weapon he has in a role that will make the most of his talent. If Hester is back to returning kicks full-time, he could be back to being the most dangerous player in the entire league. It’s a shame that something this obvious could be put on hold for so long, but at the end of the day, all that matters is Devin That Dude is back where he belongs…. in a position to be ridiculous.