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With a juke and a sprint and blockers in place, Devin Hester became the all-time NFL leader in kick returns for touchdowns last night scoring for a 14th time on a kick or punt return. At the end of the day, this guy is as elusive as James Bond.
Think about it. Film after film, James Bond finds himself in certain-death situations. Week after week, Hester catches the ball with an army of enemies racing toward him. And every time, these men find a way out. They get to safety. Then they blow up the bad guys with explosives and touchdowns.
You'd think their enemies would learn by now. After the Colts talked tough and kicked off to Hester in the Super Bowl, the entire world saw just how dangerous he was. And yet, coaches still allow their punters to boot it to him in open space. Why not load a gun, aim it at your head and hold it there until Bond arrives?
The great thing about Hester is that he is an instant game-changer in every sense of the word. When the ball goes up, the game looks one way. When Hester dashes into the end zone, the game is different. Your lead? Erased. Your field position? Irrelevant. Your job security? Shaky. That man just made you look like a fool. It's enough to make a coach build an evil lair and hire henchmen.
Return men tend not to last in this league. They often have one or two seasons before the flash fizzles and the legs get heavy. But like Bond, Hester keeps coming back again and again. No defensive weapons can stop him. He's locked on the end zone. You're in his way. And now you're on the ground with an armful of air.
Time will tell whether Hester is enough of a secret weapon to help the Bears back to the Super Bowl. But at the moment, he is the greatest return man in history. A man with a license to kill.