Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Bears would be silly to let Hester become next Jacoby Jones

About the Author

Recent posts by Arthur Arkush

Colts add OT Cherilus, CB Toler

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:31 p.m.

Bills bring back McKelvin

Posted March 09, 2013 @ 1:45 p.m.

Saints re-sign Galette

Posted March 09, 2013 @ 1:31 p.m.

Steelers part ways with OLB Harrison

Posted March 09, 2013 @ 12:40 p.m.

SS Moore is staying with the Falcons

Posted March 09, 2013 @ 9:36 a.m.

Related Stories

2013 NFL draft order

Posted April 25, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

2013 NFC free-agent moves, by team

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

2013 AFC free-agent moves, by team

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

Warmack, Cooper scouting reports

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 11:02 a.m.

Elam, Vaccaro scouting reports

Posted April 12, 2013 @ 9:26 a.m.

Milliner, Mathieu scouting reports

Posted April 11, 2013 @ 1:48 p.m.

Te'o, Ogletree scouting reports

Posted April 10, 2013 @ 12:57 p.m.

Lotulelei, Werner scouting reports

Posted April 09, 2013 @ 3:13 p.m.

Joeckel, Long scouting reports

Posted April 08, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m.

2013 preseason schedule

Posted April 04, 2013 @ 4:07 p.m.
Posted Feb. 05, 2013 @ 1:24 p.m. ET
By Arthur Arkush

Devin Hester, the greatest kick returner in NFL history, told the Chicago Tribune one day prior to Super Bowl XLVII that he was looking for a fresh start.

Think Jacoby Jones’ performance on Super Sunday further stoked Hester’s flames of desire for a change of scenery?

Jones’ riveting performance Sunday, in which he set a new Super Bowl record with 290 combined yards, including a 108-yard kickoff-return TD and 56-yard receiving TD, is a tremendous example of how a player can quickly go from goat to glory.

Remember, Jones was run out of Houston last offseason by Texans fans wielding pitchforks, following his horrid performance against who other than the Ravens, last postseason.

A simple change of scenery has meant all the difference for the once-maligned Jones.

He easily could have been named Super Bowl MVP for his heroic effort Sunday. He is undoubtedly one of Baltimore’s more unsung contributors in 2012, with three return TDs during the regular season, before his memorable TDs against Denver and San Francisco in the postseason.

There are two lessons to take from all of this.

One: Roger Goodell might have designs on eliminating the kickoff from NFL games, but until then, it’s quite obviously alive and well. There is little question what type of impact an explosive return man like Jones can have on a game: At the time, Jones’ 108-yard explosion seemed like nothing more than the final nail in the Niners’ coffin, but it ended up being imperative to Baltimore’s Super Bowl celebration.

Two: Be careful what you wish for, Bears fans. Living in Chicago, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard sports talk radio hosts and callers playing the role of Texans fans, trying to run Hester out of Chicago.

I get it. He has been a shadow of his former self returning kicks the past few seasons, spending much more time dancing and making moves horizontally than finding a crease and exploding upfield.

He has been an unmitigated disaster as a receiver (I fault former GM Jerry Angelo and head coach Lovie Smith as much as anyone for this).

Even so, I assure you, Jones looked just as bad during much of his tenure in Houston. Yet, what do you think Texans fans were feeling while watching his redemption song in the Super Bowl?

It says here the Bears will wind up regretting it if they ship Hester out of town this offseason.

Besides, doesn’t the arrival of Marc Trestman signify a fresh start? Maybe the permanent removal of Hester from the offense — and a move to solely focusing on helping him return to greatness as a return man — will distance him enough from Jay Cutler to make him happy?

There is little doubt in my mind that 31 teams took notice of Ozzie Newsome’s low-risk, ridiculously high-reward move to sign Jones, after the incredible impact he had all throughout the 2012 season for the Ravens.

Thus, the Bears are likely to receive some intriguing phone calls on Hester’s services. But unless they are completely blown away, I think they should focus on making Hester happy while keeping him in Chicago.

Jones needed a new city to reach his full potential. Hester might just need his role redefined to get back to impacting the game as a returnman like no one else before him.

Comments ()


ABOUT TRUST ONLINE