Devin Hester announced his retirement on Tuesday, putting an official end to the greatest career a return man has ever had in NFL history. That’s not an opinion borne out of a view through Bear goggles. Consider his accomplishments: — Most punt return touchdowns (14) of anyone in NFL history, and it’s not particularly close. Eric Metcalf is second on that career list with 10. — One of five players to return at least 300 punts and average 10 or more yards per return. Hester’s career average of 11.73 yards per return is the highest among that group; among players with at least 200 punt returns, it’s fourth — still a sign of remarkable consistency over an 11-year career. — What he did in 2010 was other-worldly: He’s the only player in NFL history to return at least 30 punts and average 17 or more yards per return in a single season. He took three punts back for touchdowns that year, and also averaged 35.58 yards per kick return, the sixth-highest single-season average of any player to return at least 10 kicks in a given year. — One of two players with five or more kick return touchdowns and five or more punt return touchdowns. The other player, Dante Hall, had six kickoff return scores and six punt return scores; Hester combined for an NFL record 19 return touchdowns in his career. He returned a missed field goal for a touchdown, too, giving him 20 total non-offensive touchdowns – another NFL record.
Why there shouldn’t be a debate: Devin Hester belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
NBC Chicago | Dec 12