January 18, 2022

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Devin Hester named finalist for Hall of Fame Class…

2 min read
Devin Hester named finalist for Hall of Fame Class...

Hester set an NFL single-season record with five kick return touchdowns as a rookie in 2006 and then eclipsed the mark with six TDs in 2007.

In addition his punt-return TD against the Packers, as a rookie, Hester lifted the Bears to stunning 24-23 comeback victory over the Cardinals with a late 83-yard punt return TD; and set a single-game franchise record with 225 kickoff return yards in a win over the Rams, including TDs of 94 and 96 yards.

Hester then capped his remarkable rookie season by becoming the first player in NFL history to return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl for a touchdown, dashing 92 yards in an eventual 29-17 loss to the Colts.

In 2007, Hester returned four punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. In a 37-34 overtime win over the Broncos, he scored TDs on a 75-yard punt return and 88-yard kickoff return.

Hester returned three punts for scores in 2010, two punts and one kickoff for TDs in 2011 and one punt for a touchdown in 2013. He remains the Bears’ all-time leader in punt return yards (3,241), kickoff return yards (5,504), total kick return yards (8,745), punt returns (264) and kickoff returns (222).

Hester told NFL Network that the most influential coach he had in the league was Dave Toub, who served as Bears special teams coordinator during Hester’s first seven NFL seasons from 2006-12.

“This guy had more faith in me than I had in myself,” Hester said. “He really made me feel like I was unstoppable, I was untouchable, that I was more of a Superman. When I realized and understood what he was getting to and what my ability was to play in the league and I was capable of doing, then that’s when it clicked. He really, really instilled into me that I could change the game as a returner.”