Will former Bears returner Devin Hester get into the Hall of Fame?
With the Bears 2022 season ending, there is much to look forward to in 2023. One of those reasons could be whether or not Devin Hester is among the newest members into the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Hester was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami as a wide receiver. Throughout his 10-year career, he played eight seasons with the Bears and made a lasting impact as a returner.
As a returner, Hester set the NFL record with 20 special teams touchdowns, including 14 career punt return touchdowns. He holds the single-season record with 4 punt return touchdowns in 2007 and is the first player to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl history.
With those stats, it leads to the main question: Is Devin Hester a Hall of Famer? Dan Hampton and Tom Thayer discuss on this week’s Bear Essentials episode.
“He as a single entity in a football game can change the entire dynamic,” Hampton said. “We all know what happened on the opening kickoff in the Super Bowl, things didn’t work out, but it changed the entire dynamic of that game. All that being said, I don’t know if this is the year, but I have to tell you I like his odds.”
Hester is one of six finalists along with Jared Allen, Andre Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Joe Thomas and Reggie Wayne. It’s the second straight year that Hester is a Hall of Fame finalist.
Thayer believes that Hester will get into the Hall of Fame and become the last returner to get into Canton.
“To me I think Devin Hester is going to get into the Hall of Fame and I think he’s going to be the last returner with the possibility of getting into the Hall of Fame because now with the reluctance to allow these kick off returners to take the ball out of the endzone,” Thayer said. “They should reduce the salary of the special teams coach if you don’t let your returner come out. Devin Hester is going to get into the Hall of Fame because they allowed him to make his own decisions on kickoff returns and he was one of the best punt returners in the history of the NFL.”