Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Toub: Hester needs to have fun again
Devin Hester had just 23 catches for 242 yards and one touchdown this season.
Dave Toub, who left the Chicago Bears to become the Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach on Tuesday, said Devin Hester just needs to get his mind right and start having fun to return to the form that made him one of the most dangerous players in the NFL.
"He still has a lot of talent," Toub said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "You see it in practice.
"It's more mental with him. He has to get his mind right, and once that thing starts clicking, he's going to be fine."
Hester went from being the league's most dangerous return man to being a mediocre receiver, who had 23 catches for 242 yards and 1 touchdown this season. His receptions have decreased since the Bears have tried to convert him from return man to receiver.
Those struggles on the field, along with the recent firing of Lovie Smith, apparently have conspired to take the fun out of football for Hester, who said after Smith's firing that he's contemplating retiring. He later tweeted that the retirement thoughts have nothing to do with Smith's ouster.
"His response at the end, that was an emotional day with Lovie getting fired and him saying he wants to retire," Toub said. "You have to give it some time and go back and talk to him. He'll change that attitude. He's still got a lot more to give and he just needs to have fun back on the field again. When Devin is having fun, that's when he's dangerous."
Why wasn't he having fun?
"Just certain things," Toub said. "The thing about him is getting off to a good start. If he has a big return, you better watch out for the rest of the day because it's going to be all day long.
"We just could never get that jump start. We were kind of snake bit. We had two years in the nine years when I was here with Devin, where we didn't get any returns at all, and it was kind of the same deal. We just couldn't get over the edge. We set the bar so high that if we're not getting touchdowns we're not any good."