Lovie Smith says Bears need to “find more ways” to get Devin Hester the ballContinue reading.
Devin Hester mulls retirement after Lovie Smith firing
Bears star kick returner Devin Hester was visibly upset that the Bears fired Lovie Smith. Not long after Smith informed the team of his departure, Hester cleaned out his locker at Halas Hall, defended his only coach in the NFL and criticized the media and fans for wanting Smith’s ouster.
But Hester also said he’s contemplating retiring.
“I’m going to go home and get away from football right now,” Hester said. “I don’t even know if I want to play again, man. It’s [been] on my mind now for two years now.”
Asked if football was still fun for more him, Hester said, “It’s not.”
“I’ve got my workers’ comp papers in my pocket,” he said. “We’ll see how I feel. I’m gonna go home and talk to my wife, my family. We’ll see where we go from there. I have two beautiful kids, man. Two boys. A lot of stress has been on my mind lately.”
Hester said the most frustrating thing has been “not being able to showcase my talents the way I wanted [them] be showcased” this season.
In his regular-season career, Hester has 12 career punt return touchdowns, five career kickoff return touchdowns and one missed field goal returned for a touchdown in 107 games played.
Hester, though, did not have a return touchdown this season and he’s made mistakes. He also recently saw his involvement in the Bears’ offense dramatically decrease.
Would a change of scenery help him?
“Who knows?” Hester said. “If it’s the right place. If not, I feel like I’ve done enough in the league to establish myself to be one of the elite players to ever play the game. God blessed me with seven years. The average years of an NFL player is about three.
“At the same time, I’m a Bear for life. This is where I was born and raised from the start of football.”
Hester said he wasn’t hurt physically, “but mentally.”
Asked about his workers’ compensation paperwork, Hester said, “I have had injuries here or there. That is part of football. Who walks away without being injured?” Hester missed a game with a concussion this season.
Hester did say he’d consider playing for special teams coach Dave Toub again.
“Coach Dave is one of my top coaches too,” he said.
But Hester was clearly bothered by Smith’s firing.
“He was the coach who took a chance on me [when] the other 32 coaches wouldn’t,” Hester said. “I’m hoping I did him right. … We had some great moments.”
Hester said he didn’t voice his opinion to general manager Phil Emery.
“I mean the media, the false fans, you all got what you all wanted,” Hester said. “The majority of you all wanted him out. As players, we wanted him in. I guess the fans — the false fans – out-ruled us. I thought [Smith] was a great coach, probably one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around.”