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Old 05-14-2007, 02:49 PM    (permalink
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Default Bears moving Devin Hester to offense

This isn't a suprise to any real Bears fans(especially after we drafted three defensive backs), but I figured it might spark some discussion in the NFL forum.

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears have added one of the NFL’s most electrifying playmakers to their offense without signing a free agent or making a trade.

Coach Lovie Smith revealed Monday that All-Pro return specialist Devin Hester will switch from defense to offense beginning with this weekend’s full-squad minicamp.


Devin Hester's 83-yard punt return TD gave the Bears a 24-23 win at Arizona last Oct. 16.
“I think Devin Hester is one of the most exciting players in the NFL with his hands on the football,” Smith said. “I think he would be an excellent defensive back also. We just feel that this is in the best interest of us and him for him to achieve his full potential as a football player.”

Hester will work with the wide receivers at minicamp, but he’s also expected to line up in the backfield at times and could be utilized like the New Orleans Saints’ Reggie Bush.

“Right now we’re not going to put any limits on it,” Smith said. “We have a new piece to the puzzle. We’re anxious to see what we can do with him and the role that he’ll develop into.

“There are a lot of different ways we can go. You can make a case for him being a slot receiver. You can make a case for him being a single receiver when we go to our two-tight end, two-running back packages. You can make a case for him from the running back position.

“He’s an offensive weapon right now. That’s the only limit we put on him.”

Hester starred at the University of Miami as a wide receiver, running back, cornerback and return specialist. He told the Bears that he wanted to play cornerback in the NFL much like his idol, Deion Sanders, and conceded that he had to be convinced to make the switch.

“We had several meetings until I just really said that there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’ and however I can help the team I’m willing to do it,” Hester said.

“It’s going to be a great experience. I’m just going to go over there and try to give a little spark to the offense. There will be more opportunities to make big plays and I think it’s a great idea.”

Hester lined up on offense for one play in 2006, but he was unable to snare a low pass from Rex Grossman.

“He’s made it clear that defense is something that he’s always loved,” Smith said. “He’s also made it clear that he likes scoring touchdowns and this gives him the best opportunity. We can get his hands on the ball a few more times this way.”

As you might imagine, no one is more ecstatic about the move than offensive coordinator Ron Turner.

“I’ve been recruiting him for about 13 months and I finally got him,” Turner said.

“He’s an elite player when he gets the ball in his hands and I’m excited about the opportunity to help him get the ball in his hands, not just returning punts and kickoffs, which is a few times a game. Hopefully we can get it in his hands 5-6-7 times different ways—use him out of the backfield, as a receiver, in the slot.

“Definitely our creative juices will be flowing. We’re already talking about it and giving it some thought. Starting out we’re going to teach him the basics. We want him to learn the basics of running some of the routes and doing some of the things we’re doing in our offense. Then as he gets comfortable, we can find ways to get him the ball. As the season goes, we’re going to have to be more creative.”

Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2006 draft, Hester was named All-Pro and voted to the Pro Bowl after setting an NFL record with six combined kick return touchdowns during the regular season.

He then became the first player in league history to return the opening kickoff in the Super Bowl for a TD, dashing 92 yards to give the Bears a 7-0 lead over the Indianapolis Colts.

Hester became just the sixth player in NFL history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a Monday night win at St. Louis. He also set team marks for punt return yards and TDs in a season and punt return and kickoff return yards in a game.

Switching Hester to offense after selecting tight end Greg Olsen and running back Garrett Wolfe on the first day of the draft gives the unit three new exciting playmakers.

“We’ve definitely added a little bit of firepower to our offense in the offseason,” Smith said. “There are only a few guys in the league who can make people miss and do the things [Hester] can do with the football.”
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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DH will be a new position listing, sorta like the designated hitter only that NFL teams will have a Devin Hester.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:55 PM    (permalink
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The stuff out of the backfield really interests me. Our offense has gotten fast but quite a bit smaller at the same time. I guess they are hoping that Benson is enough meat and potatoes that they can mix it up with guys like Wolfe and Hester. Really Moose and Benson are the only two players on offense that aren't "speed guys".
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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I guess it was inevitable considering we're knee deep in young, raw DBs right now but I thought Wolfe would have filled the niche on offense that was imagined for Hester. I would have liked to see Hester work at Corner considering thats where his heart is and also I have much more faith in Defensive coaching staff developing young talent than I do Ron Turner.

I think people made too much about him getting burned by Holt and Wayne. Rookie corners get burned all the time and All Pro corners get burned by Holt and Wayne.

Should be fun to watch this year but I hope we don't get too gimmicky. I still want to see some healthy doses of Cedric Benson up the middle.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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Great idea. I acctually thought they should've done this last year.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:40 PM    (permalink
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Im curious to see if the offensive playbook will evolve away from the 2 TE set into a more iform, TE split wide type of offense.

Maybe more splitback looks?


I think they'll spread it out more compared to last year.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:40 PM    (permalink
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Hopefully he won't be up to speed by week 3.....
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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This gives them more versitality to run different formations with three running backs, etc.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:44 PM    (permalink
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Ive been saying forever that Garrett Wollffe can be a great WR/RB hybrid if taught properly. I think he can be a poor man's reggie bush. Line him up wide on some plays, do reverses, fake reverses, run routes, 3rd down back etc.

I was hoping he'd fall to us in the 6th, I was stunned when the Bears took him in the 3rd. I didn't expect that at all. But I love the player, I think he'll be great.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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I don't know BBD, he is to slow IMO.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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U of M part 2. and people wonder why he's a jack of all trades, master of none. hope it works out for him, but he's got to at least start to get frustrated with this happening for the past 5 years or so.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:51 PM    (permalink
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Ah yes. The stuff you hear at this time every year. Kinda like the vikings blabber about Peterson and Taylor in the backfield at the same time, etc. etc. He may play a little wide out for a while until they realize that he's just not good at it. Like Ted Ginn.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Achilles33 View Post
I don't know BBD, he is to slow IMO.
He has a decent burst. Im not saying he'll be a all pro WR, but he can be a solid slot/pass catcher out of the backfield.

I think putting him on the field, what youre basically doing is trying to take advantage of mismatches. He may not be the fastest in the world, but he can still take advantage of a safety or LB on him. So if you use him in a hybrid role, he can still be productive. You have to use him in unique situations. He won't hold up as a RB. Moving him around like NO does with Bush is their best bet.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:02 PM    (permalink
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U of M part 2. and people wonder why he's a jack of all trades, master of none. hope it works out for him, but he's got to at least start to get frustrated with this happening for the past 5 years or so.
I think he has pretty much mastered Kick Returning.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:12 PM    (permalink
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Let's see... DB with excellent return abiltity and stunning speed becomes a WR... sounds like someone I know from the past draft... Even though Ted Ginn did it coming into Ohio State, I think it does show that it's possible for a raw db to make a raw WR as well.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:18 PM    (permalink
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If only Hester had the mental competence to understand the playbook then this would be a good move.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:19 PM    (permalink
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Ah yes. The stuff you hear at this time every year. Kinda like the vikings blabber about Peterson and Taylor in the backfield at the same time, etc. etc. He may play a little wide out for a while until they realize that he's just not good at it. Like Ted Ginn.
If Devin Hester can turn into a Ted Ginn type reciever he'll greatly exceed my expectations. I'd be happy if he made one big play per game.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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If only Hester had the mental competence to understand the playbook then this would be a good move.
Hester may not be the sharpest tool in the box but I'm pretty sure he'll get what to do on offense.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:48 PM    (permalink
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Is he gonna be like a RB/WR tweener?
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:05 PM    (permalink
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Is he gonna be like a RB/WR tweener?
Right now I think he's a poor man's Reggie Bush, but as he learns what to do he'll be a very nice asset for us on offense.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:09 PM    (permalink
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So are we going to list him as a RB or WR. Cuz the league won't let him keep his number if he is going to be a WR.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:11 PM    (permalink
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So are we going to list him as a RB or WR. Cuz the league won't let him keep his number if he is going to be a WR.
He'll stay a RB. Can't get rid of the #23, no way. It's a signature number in Chicago.
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Despite looking better against an underachieving Eagles team, I still think the Bears are one of the worst teams in the NFL. I smell a blowout victory by the Lions this week and a division sweep.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:27 PM    (permalink
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He'll stay a RB. Can't get rid of the #23, no way. It's a signature number in Chicago.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:32 PM    (permalink
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He'll stay a RB. Can't get rid of the #23, no way. It's a signature number in Chicago.
Or he can just play both ways. I wouldn't consider it impossible to have him as the 5th CB and just line up on offense a little more often.

He'll have a limited amount of plays to work through, he doesn't have to know the full offense, so, the fact that he may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, doesn't really bother me. he's a guy who WILL bounce to the outside, bounce back inside, and then keep bouncing, I don't know if he has the gas to do that forever. Wolfe will be a bounce once, push push push. and Benson is just. Show me the holes between the tackles. AAARRRRRGH!

But this offense is getting faster. And faster. And faster. Which is weird, because that totally doesn't seem like turner's offesive style. But, when you have weapons, you use them. I would be scared as hell to be manned up on Hester in the open field. The boy'll make two guys miss and still have enough acceleration to pull away. With great vision, great speed, good acceleration. He could make something happen out of nothing (or he can get tied up in the backfield and go for a big loss of yds)
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:57 PM    (permalink
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not sure if hester will have as much impact on O than he had on special teams... it always seems like when these super athletic guys are put on offense, they are overhyped and dont meet those lofty expectations

-ie. bailey, sanders, woodson
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