Of all the Chicago Bears players that were interviewed in the wake of Lovie Smith being fired as the Bears head coach, there is no question that the firing had the greatest impact on wide receiver Devin Hester. Hester praised Smith as being like a father figure to him, and after the season concluded, the wide receiver questioned his desire to continue playing the game that he once loved. After admitting to reporters that he was considering retiring, Hester has broken his silence and spoken with Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. Hester no longer is considering retirement, but there is a possibility that the receiver has played his last game as a member of the Bears’ organization.
“I’m going to try to get two or three more years in,” Hester told the Tribune on Saturday. “I think I have that much left in me.
“At the same time, I think I do need a fresh start.” Chicago Tribune
Whenever a player mentions the idea of a fresh start, that generally is the pre-cursor to a trade request. Hester was asked if he would request a trade from the Bears:
“It’s a possibility,” he said. “I’m loyal to my team. But the fans and my teammates have to understand where I’m coming from.
“I don’t want to walk away from this game with another season going the way it ended this year. … It might have to take a fresh start somewhere else.” Chicago Tribune
There has been some speculation that the Bears will look to trade Hester, but every indication given from the Bears’ front office is that Hester is part of the plans for the 2013 season. If Hester is seeking a fresh start, then it may be in his best interest to remain with the Bears. The Bears have an entirely new offensive coaching staff that will bring with it a new offensive scheme. A scheme that will be a variant of the west coast offense, an offense that features finesse instead of power. A speedy receiver like Hester would ideally benefit from a west coast system. The problem is that Hester believes he is a receiver, which is why he feels he needs an increased role on offense. The only reason why Hester is a receiver is because the Bears couldn’t commit $21 million to kick returner who was drafted as corner back who rarely saw the field on defense.
Hester was naive enough to believe his offensive coaches with the Bears when they told him he could be a receiver. The fact of the matter is that Hester is not a wide receiver. Hester is a great return specialist with tremendous athletic ability but anything more than that may be an overstatement. Hester could very well request a trade, but at this point in time, it does not appear to be in the Bears’ best interest to trade the return specialist.