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Hester Has History in Miami

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It was the most electrifying moment in recent Bears history:

    On Feb. 4, 2007, Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI, going 92 yards for a touchdown and becoming the eighth player in NFL history to return a kickoff in the championship game for a score.  He was the the first to do it on the opening kick.

    Hester's had a lot of those moments:

    Nov. 12, 2006:  Hester tied then-teammate Nathan Vasher's franchise record for longest play with a 108 yard missed field goal return for a touchdown in New York.

    Sept. 10, 2006:  In his NFL debut, he became the first Bears rookie in 51 years to return a punt for a score in his first game.  He went 84 yards for a touchdown on enemy turf -- in Green Bay.

    So where does the Super Bowl kickoff return rank?

    "it's up there in the top three," Hester said after Bears practice Tuesday.

    Just top three?

    "Top two," he corrected himself with a smile.

    It was the Super Bowl, he was reminded.

    "Maybe top one," Hester laughed.

    Hester was named NFC Special Teams Player of the week after returning to the Bears kickoff return unit and picking up 103 yards on two returns.  He remains tied with Brian Mitchell for most-combined kick returns touchdowns in NFL history: 13.

    But even more impressive, while Mitchell set that record in 223 games, Hester did it in 69 games.

    Has he thought about breaking the record?

    "Oh yeah, I thought about it," Hester said.  "About two years ago!  I'm still working on it.  I have a couple years more under my belt.  Hopefully by the time I retire it'll be broken by then."

    Or maybe on Thursday where his number one return came?

    Dave Toub, the Bears special teams coordinator, said they don't bring up the record in team meetings.  But Lovie Smith said the entire team wants to be a part of history.

    "We want to get it for him," said Smith.  "We don't talk a lot about individual goals, but this is one we want to get that record for him."