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Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:57 pm

There's been a lot of talk this week about Devin Hester being Hall of Fame worthy.

I say no.

Hester is a great return man, but do we put return men into the game -- even if they are the greatest of all time?

We've had a lot of great return men in our time, guys like Brian Mitchell of the Redskins and Eagles. Did anybody ever consider him a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Hester is a special return man. He now has 18 returns for scores, one off the record of returns for touchdowns held by Deion Sanders.

But when you consider special teams to be 1/12th or so of the game, how can a player who returns kicks and punts be in the Hall.

Let's call Hester what he is, a special return man who can change a game.

Not Hall worthy.

----Who are the Atlanta Falcons on offense? That's it. They don't know. If you trade up to get Julio Jones in the first round, don't you have to become a pass-first team? But they played ball-control football against the Saints in the first half. It worked. They won the time of possession battle, controlling the ball for llnor. They were also trailing at the half. Matt Ryan threw for 122 yards in the first half as the Falcons used a lot of bunch formations. In the second half, when they were forced to spread things out, even with Jones out with a hamstring injury, they moved the ball better. Ryan finished with 351 yards and a touchdown. Harry Douglas, who would be the slot receiver in a three-receiver set, filled in for Jones and had a big second half. He caught eight passes for 133 yards in the game, all but one catch coming in the second half. I understand the Falcons want to keep the ball away from Drew Brees, but that strategy only works if you score touchdowns. Chunk plays are what they need, not ball-control offense.

---Tim Tebow is 3-1 as a starter. But what position is he playing? It sure as hell isn't quarterback. Tebow completed two passes against the Chiefs Sunday -- and won. How the heck does that happen? I know there are a lot of media members out there singing his praises and lauding Denver for playing to his strengths, which aren't quarterback strengths. But anybody who thinks that's a winning formula in the NFL needs to have their head examined. All the Broncos are doing, maybe in a subtle way, is proving that Tebow isn't the long-term answer. Tebow had one completion for 56 yards and a touchdown -- he looked like an NFL passer on that play -- but he completed just one other pass. He ran for 43 yards on nine carries.  The Broncos are proving a point to everyone without really proving it. Tebow can't be an NFL quarterback. He just can't.

---Can we slow down the Cam Newton hype now? Newton was just OK against the Titans. He threw for 212 yards on 23 completions and was picked off once. He ran seven times for 55 yards. But Newton's numbers are coming down. Are teams figuring him out? He was also sacked five times, three of those from non-down defensive players.

---So Chris Johnson is alive? Johnson looked more like his old self against the Panthers, rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also had four catches for 44 yards. Just remember, the Panthers have real problems stopping the run. But it's a start.

---Enough, already. Curtis Painter is horrible. The Colts need to sit him down and play somebody else. Anybody but him.

--Steelers receiver Hines Ward had one catch for 10 yards against the Bengals. It looks like Ward is being phased out. When Emmanuel Sanders returns from injury, expect the Steelers to make Ward their fourth receiver. That could be interesting in terms of how he reacts.

--- Tony Romo completed 23 of 26 passes (88.5 percent) for 270 yards with three touchdowns. Still have doubts about him?

---Does it really matter who plays quarterback for the Redskins? The Shanahan family has totally botched the handling of that position. Rex Grossman was back in as the starter against Miami and he was 21 of 32 for 215 yards and two picks. The Redskins scored six points.  Ugg.

---I think the Rams would be making a mistake if they fire coach Steve Spagnuolo. It would be unfair with all the injuries his team has sustained. He deserves another year. The Rams are still fighting for him.

--The Jaguars have held opponents under 300 yards in six of their first nine games and the Colts were eighth team to be held below their average against the Jaguars (282.8 avg.) Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has done a nice job with that unit. It won't help his cause that corner Rashean Mathis is now out for the season with a torn ACL. Mathis was having a good season in a contract year. 

---The Cardinals should keep John Skelton in as their starting quarterback. He looked good after an early interception. With the way Kevin Kolb was struggling, why not take a look at Skelton. If he continues to play well, it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals would admit a mistake on trading and paying Kolb.

---Losing Eric Wood is a big hit for the Bills offensive line. He has played at a high level this season. In Wood and guard Andy Levitre, the Bills have two really good linemen.

---If I'm the GM of the Eagles, I am not paying DeSean Jackson. His act this season tells you all you need to know about him. The book on him coming out of Cal was he was selfish. Some teams had him off their board. Now we know why. His teammates should be sick of his act by now.

--It's laughable to think Falcons coach Mike Smith opted to go for the first down from his own 29 because he got a new contract last year. Whoever said that does not know the man. The aggression is part of who Smith is as a man. I respect his decision, even if I disagreed with it.

Category: NFL
Tags: Devin Hester

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:37 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Hester is the best there's ever been at returning kicks and punts,opponents have to prepare a game plan to stop him or not to kick to him.He's done over a significant period of time.It's not only the ones he returns for TD's, it's the feild position he gives them over and over.He is a GAME CHANGER.Hall of Famers are GAME CHANGERS.GALE SAYERS played 5 years but he in the hall why? He was a game changer.Why do you think Goodell changed the kick off rules?It wasn't for player saftey,it was to slow down the BEARS,he doesn't like them never has.He is a Packer fan plain and simple.

Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:17 am

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Terrible argument, Pete. That's like saying Peyton Manning is just a special passer who can throw touchdowns. Jerry Rice is just a special receiver who can catch most balls that are thrown his way.

Devin Hester is the best there ever was at his posistion. And it's only his fifth season. I shutter to think what his final number of returns for TDs will be. 25? 30? 40? How bad does he have to shatter Deion's record for the naysayers to change their tune?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:59 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Prisco I dare you speak on Devin Hesters career like it is average, you must be joking or smoking some good stuff. When the Bears went to the super bowl Tony Dungy did not kick to him again after he returned the opening kick off for a touchdown (which is a record). Hey Prisco how many records does Hester have to break to make it to the hall. He already owns three. This guy changes the dynamic of the game. His value in determining field position alone is game changing. Prisco stop hating on the Bears. Heres some real hate. Guess who is not going to make the Sports Writers Hall of Fame for being a knee-jerk, non-thinking shadow of a sports columist. I think the only reason CBS keeps you around is because people want to read what dumb a** article you will come up with next.

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:31 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

The key word was potential....

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:30 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Yea I am aware of what Deion played and he was good at it......but first time ballot, I don't think so, maybe later down the line.  Alot better players desrve to be in there before Prime Time.  Thats all I am saying.    He difinitely didn't get in for his tackling skills. 

Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:11 pm

Childish Argument

Pete Prisco's contention that Devin Hester is not Hall of Fame worthy is absolutely laughable.  Not that it is necessarily an unreasonable opinion to have, but his argument is beyond weak.  The extent of it is basically to say "Brian Mitchell isn't, so why should Hester?" Pete, did you EVER watch Mitchell play?? No disrespect to him, he had a fine career, but he was NEVER a game-changer to the level Hester has been virtually his entire career.  Mitchell's success was primarily a product of consistency and reliability.  

Hester has more explosiveness and vision with the football than all but 10 or so players in NFL history, IMHO.  He has a massive impact on every special teams play in which he is involved, and is certainly game-planned for more than any other special teams player (with no success).

As for the other main aspect of Prisco's argument, that special teams is only 1/12th of the game and therefore NO special teams player can make the HOF- rubbish.  First of all 1/12th is an underestimation.  Second of all, and most importantly, I really liked the point made by another commenter- the best wide receivers in the league get targeted 8-9 times a game, on average, and catch maybe 6 (again, a rough average).  6 times a game they have the ball in their hands.  Now, I don't disagree with the idea that a special teams player would have to be REALLY special to make the HOF. The bar has to be significantly higher.  But Hester is that special.

Final note: the guy is only 29, and has shown no sign of slowing down.  Premature much, Prisco?? 

Since: Mar 17, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:08 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

There you go, bringing facts into a discussion that Prisco obviously wants to rest on gut feeling. I'd only add that I suspect Prisco's contention that special teams is 1/12 of the game is a bit low as well. Excellent post.

Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:58 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

I'm not going to argue that it's at least too early to put Hester in the Hall of Fame, but it's an insult to compare him to Brian Mitchell.

Lets look at the facts:
Mitchell never had more than 2 return TDs in a season. Hester has had 3+ for times, including 5 and 6 in his first two years.
Mitchell had a total of 9 punt return TDs and 4 kick return TDs in 14 seasons. Hester already has 12 and 5 in only 6 seasons.
As an offensive player, Mitchell made only 16 starts in 14 years. Hester has started 40 games at WR over the past 4 years.
Mitchell had 16 offensive touchdowns over his 14 year career. Hester already has 13 in only 6.
In Mitchell's best offensive season, he had 625 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs. Hester has had 700+ twice.

Hester already has 4 more kick returns than the next best guy in NFL history. By the time he retires, that margin will likely be huge. If he can continue to start at WR for several years as well, he will certainly be worthy of HOF consideration.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:46 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Why is this even debatable???  Let the man at least get close to his twilight then bring this up! It's silly to debate halfway numbers at this point! Besides if this being brought up now wait until he retires and look at the staggering numbers! Get a clue!

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:41 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

I am a Lions fan, hated watching Hester run back ANOTHER kick for a TD last weekend...

I think Devin Hester is easily a Hall of Famer. First, if you were going to assemble a team made of the greatest players at every position, pick the best QB, best WR, best RB, best CB, etc, eventually you will get to special teams. The NFL unfairly discriminates against special teamers. There are punters who belong, kickers who belong, and returners who belong. They all play football. Football is offense, defense AND special teams.

When any team plays the Chicago Bears, who is the one player they should always account for? Hester. Who is the one guy on the team that they deliberately do their best to avoid? Hester. I totally buy the argument that Hester changes the game. When you are the greatest player at your position to have ever played, you are a Hall of Famer. How can you not be? There has never been anyone in the history of the game who could do what you do as well as you do, but you aren't worthy? What? It's ridiculous. It's all just position discrimination. Hester is a Hall of Famer. So is Jason Hanson, Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson, Adam Vinatieri, Brian Mitchell, Mel Gray and a bunch of other special teamers who will never get the recognition they deserve.

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