His last TD return came on a kickoff against New Orleans in the 2007 season finale.
Hester said this yesterday after practice:
“I kind of put all the pressure on myself and say that it is kind of my fault that the return game is not the way that (it was).”
“I put all pressure on me because at the end of the day, I’m the one with the ball in my hands. I have to be the one to figure it out and pick up the slack. If something breaks down, that’s why they rely on me.”
“As far as the return game, I have to be the one to step up and make big plays. It hasn’t been the way it’s been, so I kind of take some of the blame for it.”
Hester is two TD returns short of Brian Mitchell’s NFL career record of 13 regular-season TDs on punts or kickoffs.
Hester actually has 13 total returned kicks for scores, but one came on a missed field goal and the other was a postseason kickoff return to open the 2007 Super Bowl.
Hester hasn’t had a punt return longer than 9 yards since the opener.
His long kickoff return is 51 yards against Philadelphia, and he hasn’t had another longer than 28 yards.
Lovie Smith on Hester’s career:
“The type of career he has had so far, he assumes he is going to score every time he touches the football.”
“I can see why a guy like that would think that way, but it has been a lot more than just Devin. We need to do some things to help him out—mainly, block better to give him more opportunities. It’s just a matter of time. The second half of the season, Devin like the rest of our football team, can make a lot of improvement and I expect that to happen.”
Many people have said Hester is tired because of his extended play as a WR, where he has 18 catches and two touchdowns.
To be honest, I’m not tired when it’s time to return kickoffs and punts, so I wouldn’t say that’s a reason why it’s not like that.”
Hopefully Hester will return one this weekend against the Lions, so he can be in a great mood.
Just kidding, hopefully he improves as a key offensive weapon for Kyle “Neckbeard” Orton.