CHICAGO - OCTOBER 17: Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears returns a punt 89 years for a touchdown in the 4th quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on October 17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-20. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Devin Hester
In 2010, Devin Hester reemerged as a scoring threat on every return during the 2010 campaign.
But because he spent so much time and energy on returns, Hester's production on offense went down. He didn't have as many catches, yard-per-catch or reception yards as he did in the previous year.
Hester wasn't happy about his lack of catches, according to Lovie Smith.
“He didn’t get into the mix as [a receiver] as much as he would have liked [during the 2010 season],” Smith said. “I liked what he was able to do in the return game. I just think it’s hard sometimes balancing the both of them."
Of course, Hester wants to be a receiver. It's a glamor position, but that's missing the bigger picture.
Hester had 1,466 yards from scrimmage in '10, with seven touchdowns. The yards were fairly balanced between receptions, punt returns and kickoff returns. He stayed healthier, too. He didn't miss a start this past season.
Contrast that with 2009, where he played in 13 games, made 57 catches and had only 1100 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Less than half of those yards came from returns.
If Hester is a threat to score every time he's in the backfield waiting for a kick or punt, why mess with that? The balanced approach works.