2013 began with Bears head coach Marc Trestman insisting that Hester would do no more for the Bears than just returning kickoffs and punts. That is what Hester indeed did during the season. Hester returned a total of 18 punts for a total of 256 yards to go along with 1 touchdown. As for kickoffs, Hester returned a total of 52 kickoffs for a total of 1,442 yards and no touchdowns. Hester remains tied with Deion Sanders for being the all-time leader with 19 career return touchdowns.
The problem is those return touchdowns have been few and far between recently for Hester. Hester only has 1 return touchdown total in the past 2 seasons.
At first, the problem was Hester would spend too much time going east and west as opposed to north and south. Last season, a new problem surfaced. In 2013, Hester would often call fair catches when there was room for him to make a play and try to make a play when he should have called for a fair catch. Beyond that, it seemed during different points of the season that Hester would lose his field awareness.
Hester had one job with the Bears after failing his previous ones as cornerback and then a wide receiver. The one job Hester has to do is return kicks successfully. Hester failed at that job during the 2013 season.
That would be why Hester may have played his last game as a Bear. This day and age in the NFL, it is unheard of for a team to keep a player on their 53-man roster for the sole purpose of being a return specialist. The Bears can easily find a return specialist in the upcoming draft and one that is also capable of playing on offense or defense.
Hester was once a special player for the Bears and perhaps that player would have been worthy enough of simply being a return specialist. But the fact remains that “The Windy City Flyer” is simply somebody that we used to know.