LAKE FOREST, IL - JUNE 12: Don't panic -- this is just Devin Hester passing during practice. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Devin Hester is one of the best return men in the league, and the Bears still intend to use him this way. Dave Toub, the Bears special teams coordinator, laid to rest any discussion about diminishing Hester's role on special teams.
"[Hester’s] still our No. 1 kickoff returner," Toub said. "So when we need a big one Devin is going to be in there."
Chicago signed Pro Bowl return man Eric Weems in the off-season. Instead of replacing Hester, Toub sees in Weems an overabundance.
"We have the luxury of having Eric Weems, so there will be times when we have them both back there. We'll kind of trick people as to who exactly is going to get the ball… we'll kind of move one guy up late. We'll also try to make them kick it away from Devin, maybe he can get the ball to Weems at times. There will also be times when just Weems is back there with a fullback. He's definitely a luxury for us."
Last season, the Bears ran a trick play on a punt return late in an early season loss to Green Bay. Hester was used as a decoy, and the Packers fell for it. While their special teams coverage all moved to stop Hester, Johnny Knox was already halfway to the end zone. The touchdown was called back because of a penalty, but it showed off the creativity Toub is capable of.
Now, he has two Pro Bowl return men. Let's hope the Bears defense can force as many punts as possible so we can see what else is up Toub's sleeve.