Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery has seen something in Devin Hester that makes him believe the former All-Pro returner could regain the form that made him one of the most feared players in the NFL.
"Well he's certainly going to have that opportunity," Emery said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "We're looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds."
The Bears have Hester working exclusively with the special teams instead of splitting time as a receiver, which was a position Hester never seemed to fully grasp.
"He's got a light," Emery said. "He just lights up when you walk around him right now.
"I think he feels very good about where his body is at, where his mind is at, to have that type of season and we're looking forward to watching him."
Hester said as much recently.
"I feel great," he said. "I haven’t felt like this in a while. I’m very excited for the season, what’s at stake this year. I do feel like we do have a great chance to make a run for the playoffs as well as the Super Bowl. I’m more excited than a lot of guys this year coming in and hopefully having fun out there on the field."
Hester is in the final year of his contract and set to earn a base salary of $1.857 million if he makes the 53-man roster and count $2,940,858 against the Bears’ salary cap. That's a lot of money for a return specialist. Asked if he could afford paying a return man that amount, Emery said: "We certainly are."