Thursday night was a big night for the Atlanta Falcons as they steamrolled Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 56-14, but it was also a historic one for former Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester, as he broke the NFL record for most career return touchdowns.
After the game, Hester sat down with the NFL Network crew to discuss his achievement, and he took the opportunity to fire a shot at the Bears, and specifically, Jay Cutler:
“I’m happy man. You know what, I’m going to say it, man. I wasn’t happy the last 3-4 years in Chicago because things wasn’t going the way I expect. I would always have a great camp, have all the receivers saying and coaches saying I had the best camp of all the receivers. And once the season start off, I’m not there. You know, and I got a quarterback now that man, he loves even the walk-ons, man. And the coaches that know how to get the ball to me, you know, make plays for me. And I’m excited for this season man. This is only the beginning for our team.”
Hester was almost assuredly referring to the team’s decision to scale back his snaps at wide receiver in his final few years with the team, with head coach Marc Trestman completely removing Hester from the offense in his first season at the helm. Hester ended up heading to Atlanta to sign with the Falcons in the offseason, and clearly he hasn’t let go of the animosity that he felt for the team as he headed out the door.
Hester’s achievement is a really cool one and one that will undoubtedly go down in history, but that being said, his railing against the Bears’ for not including him more in the offense is laughable. Smith and a litany of offensive coordinators tried to get Hester involved in the offense, and whether it was the fact that he couldn’t figure out how to run routes or catch the ball consistently, there was always a reason why the experiment would fail.
It’s great to see Hester find success in Atlanta, but he clearly wasn’t going to find that success in Chicago, and it was no one’s fault but his.