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Is Devin Hester Worthy Of Hall Of Fame Enshrinement?


DirtyBird8711
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Moments after Devin Hester high-stepped his way to a record-breaking 20th career return touchdown on Thursday night, Ian Eagle -- calling the game for Westwood One -- excitedly referred to the Atlanta Falcons veteran as a "future Hall of Famer."

It was an thought-provoking description. Guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning -- those are safe figures for play-by-play guys to describe as certain Canton inductees. Had Devin Hester really reached that same plain?

First, the facts. Hester's 20 return TDs moved him past Deion Sanders on the NFL's all-time list. Sanders, of course, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Rod Woodson, next on the all-time list with 16 return scores, slipped on his gold jacket in 2009. Ronde Barber, fourth with 14 return scores, will have a very strong case when he becomes eligible in a few years.

That's fine company, but even Hester would admit he's an outlier in that group. Sanders was a dominant shutdown corner in addition to his return skills. Woodson's 11 Pro Bowl nods are the most ever for a defensive back. Barber was a five-time All-Pro corner and star of one of the greatest defenses in NFL history (the 2002 Bucs).

Hester had some decent receiving years with the Chicago Bears and appears to have a healthy role with the Falcons offense this season. But he's never sniffed a 1,000-yard campaign. He was never a true No. 1 receiver in Chicago. He's the fourth receiver in Atlanta.

That begs the question: Are 20 big plays enough to get somebody into the Hall of Fame?

We know he has Primetime's support. Bears kicker Robbie Gould, a 10-year NFL veteran, said Hester is "maybe one of the greatest players I've ever played with of all time." Matt Forte, another former teammate, said Thursday's 62-yard return against the Bucs put Hester over the hump.

"He's Hall-of-Fame worthy now," Forte said, according to ESPN.com.

Barring a late-career production surge, it still feels like a stretch to put Hester in Canton. Then again, a lot of people thought Ray Guy would be on the outside looking in forever.

Edited by DirtyBird8711
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Hall of fame is about the best player at his position during his era. There was a graph online last week that showed how much better Hester has been than every other return man. The Bears averaged 36 yard line starting position with Hester no one else was even close.

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The thing is, Hesters touchdowns all came on special teams, unlike the other three, which included interception returns. He owns the punt return TD mark by a mile. I don't think anyone will ever touch it. And I can't see why he couldn't add to that number. Only time will tell, but no one with an unbiased opinion could say that Devin Hester is not the best kick returner in the history of the NFL.

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But is he elite?

That truly is the question that should be asked here.

He's born again here. He already, to paraphrase, high stepped his way into the record books. Now that he has that under his belt, he is motivated to make a name for himself as a wide receiver. Will it be enough? Again. Only time will tell. But it really is like he has a second chance here. He's scored touchdowns on 5 of 7 ways. Kick return, punt return, missed field goal, receiving, and running. The only two he is missing is interception return and fumble return. Which is kind of ironic, since he was a corner coming out of college.

Still... he is hands down the best special teams player to ever play the game. That cannot be denied. So is he elite? Yes he is.

Edited by dirtybird2k5
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He's born again here. He already, to paraphrase, high stepped his way into the record books. Now that he has that under his belt, he is motivated to make a name for himself as a wide receiver. Will it be enough? Again. Only time will tell. But it really is like he has a second chance here. He's scored touchdowns on 5 of 7 ways. Kick return, punt return, missed field goal, receiving, and running. The only two he is missing is interception return and fumble return. Which is kind of ironic, since he was a corner coming out of college.

Still... he is hands down the best special teams player to ever play the game. That cannot be denied. So is he elite? Yes he is.

It was sarcasm for crying out loud! Making fun of all the fools on this message board always talking about x and y player being elite or not. Man people take things way too seriously at times.

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