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Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Hester forgotten man in Week 1

By Jeff Dickerson

Devin Hester
Devin Hester saw just one pass goes his way on Sunday against the Lions.
One game does not make or break a season. Keep that mind when analyzing the role of Devin Hester in the Chicago Bears' offense.

Mike Martz could easily make a concerted effort to get Hester the ball on Sunday in Dallas, which would force many of us to reconsider our placement of Hester in the hierarchy of Bears wide receivers.

Because right now, Hester looks like the third option at wide receiver, at best.

"Targets" is a somewhat misleading stat in the NFL. Sometimes a player can be "targeted" for a pass that is simply uncatchable, thrown out of bounds or thrown into a crowd of defenders. Although the statistic can be flawed, there is no way to overlook how Jay Cutler distributed the ball on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Here is the breakdown of Cutler's 35 pass attempts against Detroit in terms of "targets".

Devin Aromashodu: 10
Johnny Knox: 7
Matt Forte: 7
Greg Olsen: 6
Chester Taylor: 4
Hester: 1

But here is another example of why things are never black and white in the NFL. One might make the argument Hester isn't getting the ball because Cutler doesn't trust him to be in the correct spot, at the correct time, in this highly synchronized passing system.

On the other hand, this could be a case where Hester is doing his job and getting open, but for whatever reason, the quarterback simply refuses to look his way.

Or maybe it was just a fluke.

The Bears insist this system allows for a different receiver to step up in any given week and lead the team in receptions or yardage. That very well could be the case, but because the opportunities presented to Hester versus Aromashodu and Knox were so out of whack last week, it raises legitimate questions.