Devin Hester: I have one foot in Hall of Fame
Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester is arguably the greatest return man in NFL history. His 12 punt returns for touchdowns are the most in NFL history, as are his 18 combined touchdown returns on punts, kickoff and a missed field goal. The numbers speak for themselves, but are they Hall of Fame worthy?
As Pro Football Talk pointed out, former NFL kicker Jan Stenerud is the only player currently in the Hall of Fame based solely on special teams work. Hester believes he will be the next.
“I have one foot in right now,” he told the Chicago Tribune’s Mike Mulligan. “If I take three or four back this year, it should be considered 80 percent chance of making it. But I am not really worried about it right now. I am really focused on this season. After this season, when all the stats add up, hopefully it won’t be a question.”
Taking three or four back in 2013 will be no easy task, but Hester is more than capable of doing it. The problem now is that teams rarely give him a chance to return it, opting to either kick the ball out of bounds on punts or kicking to another player.
In aiming for the Hall, Hester is facing the same uphill battle punters face. Chris Kluwe wore a patch on his jersey last season to campaign for Ray Guy, who is considered to be the greatest punter in NFL history, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. As of now, punters and kick return specialists are not valued enough to be given a spot in Canton — or the 2013 Pro Bowl for that matter. I have my doubts that Hester will be any different.