Monday, November 14, 2011
Updated: November 15, 1:05 PM ET
Brian Urlacher has Devin Hester in Hall
After every Devin Hester touchdown return, the debate surfaces over whether the Chicago Bears specialist belongs in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Urlacher cast his vote on Monday.
"It's just pure stupidity, if you ask me," Urlacher said, when asked to address those who say a return specialist doesn't belong in the Hall.
Hester notched his 12th punt return touchdown on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Hester now has 18 return touchdowns -- including one on a missed field goal. That puts him one behind Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, who accomplished the feat in 188 career games. Hester has played in 85 games.
But Sanders also was a standout cornerback, and Hester's inability to develop into an elite receiver fuels the side of the debate arguing against his inclusion in the Hall. Jan Stenerud is the only pure kicker in the Hall, while there is no pure return specialist.
"He changes every football game he's in," Urlacher said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "You can punt out of bounds or you get ready to give up a touchdown. That's the bottom line. He changes everything you do.
"He's the greatest of all time at what he does, and in my opinion, when you're the greatest of all time at your position you should be in the Hall of Fame. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion. He's going to have 30-something touchdown returns if people keep kicking to him. It's a no-brainer for me. I just don't see how people can not agree with that."
Urlacher said when Hester drops back for a return, the Bears not in the game have their eyes glued.
"Every kickoff return or punt return I'm standing on the sideline watching," Urlacher said. "Everyone gets off the bench and goes up and watches.
"You know something special is about to happen. If you kick it to him, it's going to be a touchdown."