Blog Entry

To kick or not kick to Hester?

Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:42 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit

If Pete Carroll is telling the truth, Sunday’s game in Chicago will have an added dimension of excitement. The Seahawks head coach claims that his club will be willing to let Devin Hester touch the ball in the return game.
D. Hester (US Presswire)
“We’ve got to kick the ball to him,” Carroll said on ESPN 1000. “There’s nothing we can do about it. We’d like to not [punt], though. That would help us.”

Another thing that would help is KICKING THE BALL OUT OF BOUNDS. That’s what most teams do when facing the Bears. Carroll himself acknowledged the reason for this.

"What a great, great player," Carroll said of the all-time touchdown returns leader and newly minted single season punt return average record-holder. "What a treasure he is for the Chicago fans, to be able every time someone kicks him the ball, you think he's going to score a touchdown.”

One of Hester’s three touchdowns on the season came against Seattle back in Week 6. This, along with Carroll’s final comments, suggest that the head coach is being understandably conniving when he says the Seahawks will actually kick Hester the ball: “You have to be very disciplined about the way you play him,” Carroll said. “He’s just too good. And he’s so explosive. So we’re going to do a great job, I hope, of covering and placing the ball where we want to and doing all the things that you need to do so we can maximize our chance of slowing him down.”

In other words, Carroll will probably be asking punter Jon Ryan to boot it out of bounds. Ryan happens to be one of the better placement punters in the NFL.

The Seahawks have their own major return weapon in Leon Washington. Perhaps Carroll can work out a deal with Lovie Smith before the game. (You kick to ours, we’ll kick to yours.) More likely, though, the average starting field position for both teams in Sunday’s game will be somewhere around the 40-yard line.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 7:07 pm

To kick or not kick to Hester?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:13 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:37 pm
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Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:30 pm

To kick or not kick to Hester?

You have to pick your poison.  As a Bears Fan, I am not sure either option is all that bad from our point of view.  If you kick to him all game, odds are he will score a TD but will also have some kicks that are covered well leading to a long field for the Bears.  If you do not kick to him you might avoid a TD but will allow the Bears to have great field position all day.  This will probably lead to more points than the TD return and make it easier to control the clock.  Also, with the O-line's 'ability' to leave Cutler open for a few sacks not being backed up it alot safer from a Bears prospective.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:11 pm

To kick or not kick to Hester?

Not only should they, but it should be required. The NFL is a league of entertainment and there is nothing entertaining about watching a ball sail out of bounds. Should be a penalty, punts and kickoffs. 

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