How can the “Windy City Flyer” possibly improve upon his record-setting return numbers?
Easy – it’s about getting better at studying blockers, tendencies, and learning from a legendary return specialist.
“It was like baseball,” said Hester, who turns 29 next month. “He pitched me right down the middle and it gives me great field position to go either way. I can set the defense up, starting one way and go back the other way.
He noted Brian Mitchell, who had 13 return touchdowns during his long and illustrious career, with helping him get better. Hester read an article where Mitchell spoke about the value of studying his blockers and tendencies. Mitchell used to look at old footage of former Denver Bronco Rick Upchurch.
“I think I am getting a little better,” Hester said. “I am still in the middle of my career and to see a Hall of Fame player mentions that, it lets me know ahead of time — start realizing how your blocking scheme is designed. I can improve my games while I am still ahead.
Hester has impressed so much in the special teams department, that even former Cowboys quarterback/FOX NFL analyst Troy Aikman believes #23 deserves consideration for Canton:
“I knew I had the ability to do it, but I didn’t think it was going to go this far. Fortunately, I was blessed with the opportunity to be on a great team like this, you know, with guys on special teams that want the return just as bad as the returner does. And that helps out a lot.”
What a scary disadvantage the opposition is at with Hester getting better – an advantage the Bears gladly cherish and use in their favor.