LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner wants to avoid repeating some of the mistakes made in the punting game by Chicago’s opponents, and says his team has a plan for defending Devin Hester, the NFC’s special teams player of the week.
Turner acknowledged Hester is “a problem that people have been trying to solve for a number of years now,” but said the Chargers “have an outstanding punter” in Mike Scifres and improved coverage teams.
“But it’s not a deal where you want to put your guys out there and say, ‘Go cover him,’ ” Turner said. “We have to have a plan, and we do have a plan. That plan has to be flexible because we’re aware that we’re in a stadium [at Soldier Field] where the elements will be a big part of it.”
It’s also wise to not underestimate the potential impact a Hester return can make on the outcome of a game. Since 2006, the Bears are 13-4 when the Hester takes a return for a touchdown, including a 3-0 record in 2011 through the first nine games.
Over the past two seasons the Bears are 5-1 when Hester posts a return TD.
“A lot of it as far as how you kick the ball and your approach is where you’re punting from,” Turner said. “We just have to look at all the scenarios and have a plan for each one. But certainly I’m not anxious to give him a nice softball down the middle, let him catch it between the hashes and let’s see how we can cover.”