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Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:57 pm

There's been a lot of talk this week about Devin Hester being Hall of Fame worthy.

I say no.

Hester is a great return man, but do we put return men into the game -- even if they are the greatest of all time?

We've had a lot of great return men in our time, guys like Brian Mitchell of the Redskins and Eagles. Did anybody ever consider him a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Hester is a special return man. He now has 18 returns for scores, one off the record of returns for touchdowns held by Deion Sanders.

But when you consider special teams to be 1/12th or so of the game, how can a player who returns kicks and punts be in the Hall.

Let's call Hester what he is, a special return man who can change a game.

Not Hall worthy.

----Who are the Atlanta Falcons on offense? That's it. They don't know. If you trade up to get Julio Jones in the first round, don't you have to become a pass-first team? But they played ball-control football against the Saints in the first half. It worked. They won the time of possession battle, controlling the ball for llnor. They were also trailing at the half. Matt Ryan threw for 122 yards in the first half as the Falcons used a lot of bunch formations. In the second half, when they were forced to spread things out, even with Jones out with a hamstring injury, they moved the ball better. Ryan finished with 351 yards and a touchdown. Harry Douglas, who would be the slot receiver in a three-receiver set, filled in for Jones and had a big second half. He caught eight passes for 133 yards in the game, all but one catch coming in the second half. I understand the Falcons want to keep the ball away from Drew Brees, but that strategy only works if you score touchdowns. Chunk plays are what they need, not ball-control offense.

---Tim Tebow is 3-1 as a starter. But what position is he playing? It sure as hell isn't quarterback. Tebow completed two passes against the Chiefs Sunday -- and won. How the heck does that happen? I know there are a lot of media members out there singing his praises and lauding Denver for playing to his strengths, which aren't quarterback strengths. But anybody who thinks that's a winning formula in the NFL needs to have their head examined. All the Broncos are doing, maybe in a subtle way, is proving that Tebow isn't the long-term answer. Tebow had one completion for 56 yards and a touchdown -- he looked like an NFL passer on that play -- but he completed just one other pass. He ran for 43 yards on nine carries.  The Broncos are proving a point to everyone without really proving it. Tebow can't be an NFL quarterback. He just can't.

---Can we slow down the Cam Newton hype now? Newton was just OK against the Titans. He threw for 212 yards on 23 completions and was picked off once. He ran seven times for 55 yards. But Newton's numbers are coming down. Are teams figuring him out? He was also sacked five times, three of those from non-down defensive players.

---So Chris Johnson is alive? Johnson looked more like his old self against the Panthers, rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also had four catches for 44 yards. Just remember, the Panthers have real problems stopping the run. But it's a start.

---Enough, already. Curtis Painter is horrible. The Colts need to sit him down and play somebody else. Anybody but him.

--Steelers receiver Hines Ward had one catch for 10 yards against the Bengals. It looks like Ward is being phased out. When Emmanuel Sanders returns from injury, expect the Steelers to make Ward their fourth receiver. That could be interesting in terms of how he reacts.

--- Tony Romo completed 23 of 26 passes (88.5 percent) for 270 yards with three touchdowns. Still have doubts about him?

---Does it really matter who plays quarterback for the Redskins? The Shanahan family has totally botched the handling of that position. Rex Grossman was back in as the starter against Miami and he was 21 of 32 for 215 yards and two picks. The Redskins scored six points.  Ugg.

---I think the Rams would be making a mistake if they fire coach Steve Spagnuolo. It would be unfair with all the injuries his team has sustained. He deserves another year. The Rams are still fighting for him.

--The Jaguars have held opponents under 300 yards in six of their first nine games and the Colts were eighth team to be held below their average against the Jaguars (282.8 avg.) Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has done a nice job with that unit. It won't help his cause that corner Rashean Mathis is now out for the season with a torn ACL. Mathis was having a good season in a contract year. 

---The Cardinals should keep John Skelton in as their starting quarterback. He looked good after an early interception. With the way Kevin Kolb was struggling, why not take a look at Skelton. If he continues to play well, it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals would admit a mistake on trading and paying Kolb.

---Losing Eric Wood is a big hit for the Bills offensive line. He has played at a high level this season. In Wood and guard Andy Levitre, the Bills have two really good linemen.

---If I'm the GM of the Eagles, I am not paying DeSean Jackson. His act this season tells you all you need to know about him. The book on him coming out of Cal was he was selfish. Some teams had him off their board. Now we know why. His teammates should be sick of his act by now.

--It's laughable to think Falcons coach Mike Smith opted to go for the first down from his own 29 because he got a new contract last year. Whoever said that does not know the man. The aggression is part of who Smith is as a man. I respect his decision, even if I disagreed with it.

Category: NFL
Tags: Devin Hester

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:40 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

I think it's laughable how in love with Falcons you are, Prisco. The Saints win and you still make it all about them.

Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:35 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

I just have to say that, yes, I do still have doubts about Romo.  This is coming from a Dallas Cowboys fan who spent a lot of time defending him as a quarterback.  I have no doubt about his ability to produce in individual games but have serious doubts about his ability to consistently string together solid games over a season or multiple seasons.  I believe he can be as good as they come on good days but his consistency is far too lacking to be taken seriously over the long term.

Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:29 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

It's not just the ones he takes back all the way to the house. For every TD return, Hester has at least 3-4 times as many returns that went for 25+ yards that do not result in a TD. This changes field position, gives the Bears a short field. It's also the fact that teams kick away from him, usually resulting in a much shorter punt.

It's all about field positon. Since Hester joined the Bears they are consistently one of the best teams in the league (if not the best) with starting field position. When you consider how subpar the Bears offense usually is, the field position Hester has given them is invaluable. He has changed the position and absolutely been one of our most valuable players for 5 years. He absolutely deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:19 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

If Hester was a player who only contributed on ST's, then you're probably right. Not because he doesn't deserve it, but because the guys who vote (a lot of ex players) don't view ST's as an integral part of the team due to it's lack of on-field time.

But Hester contributes on offense as well. He's not the best receiver in the NFL. He's not even the best on the team. But he's also not just a 1/12th player (as you suggested). He certainly contributes on more than half the downs. So his entire body of work (time played) should be considered. I think his "game changers" are also worth noting. The guy has not only scored, but also changed the complexion of more games than any returner ever.

Just wondering, you did know Hester plays offense, right?

Since: Mar 14, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Gale Sayers is there and it'ain't because of his superior RB play.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:56 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

If you judge Devin Hester on points created......where you not only include punt returns for tds, but points for FGs because he ran in back into FG range, or tds that were created because of his returns, then his stats are even more amazing.
He has 39 punt returns of 20 yards or more.

Since: Jun 19, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:49 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

I can not at all comprehend how Prisco can continue to be so biased towards the Falcons.  The only thing he has talked about from that game, a game he picked the Falcons to win (of course), is how Mike Smith isn't necessarily wrong for being aggressive.  It's hard to take anything from him as valid journalism when he has such apparent favoritism towards the Falcons no matter what goes on in the game.  Whether it's them losing to the Packers, Saints, Bears, or any other legitimate football team, he never gives up on his favoritism for Atlanta.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:33 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Tebow sucks. Anyone sticking up for the guy because he "wins" must be blind. He's a running back playing quarterback. You're telling me there isn't another running back in the league that could go 2 of 8?  Jeez, RAY RICE just threw a touchdown (1 for 1, better QBR than Tebow), why not give him a shot at QB?? He runs better anyway......Also, I respect a fellow cheesehead, but this Jets defense and is going to EMBARASS Tebow on Thursday, trust me.

Re Falcons:  I think they're still trying to figure out who they are..but perhaps Jones hamstring injury limited the big play potential they were going for. They do play again in the SuperDome, let's see how they play there.

Re Cam Newton: It's the rookie wall, mostly players seem to hit it around this time (Dalton felt it yesterday at Pittsburgh and will experience more this week against Baltimore)  Now it's about him making adjustments and trying to improve his game for the rest of the year.

Re CJ0K:  Let's see what he does the rest of the year before saying the man is back. Carolina's run D isn't something to brag about.

Re Painter:  Goodbye. Thanks for "sucking for Luck"

Re Tony Romo:  He deserves praise for the way he played yesterday. I live in Dallas, and they're very quick to jump on this man's back when they lose... Yet all he does is soak it up and play great (17-2 in November).  Hopefully he doesn't fold in December, and he'll have the Cowboys in the thick of the playoff race.

Re Hines Ward:  Never liked him. He'll suck his demotion up, or be gone after the year.

Re Redskins:  This season is a failure, time to pack it in. How many people were jumping on that bandwagon at 3-0??

Re Rams:  Spagnuolo definitely deserves another year.

Re Desean Jackson:  He was a known injury-risk as well coming out of Cal and he's certainly lived up to that as well, so the greedy thing doesn't seem far fetched to me at all. The guy is a deep speed threat, but look at his actual NUMBERS, and tell me he deserves to be paid like a top WR. He doesn't.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

Haven't read one of Prisco's articles in quite some time and didn't read this one (actually going through with my boycott of his articles). Just had to comment on something I'm sure already has been commented on but... a musings column?  Is Prisco trying to be Peggy Hill now?  What a hack.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:24 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on Hester to Hall talk

If you are the BEST EVER at your postion you should go to the Hall. If your "postion" is represented in the Pro Bowl it should be eligible for the Hall. Ray Guy was the best punter ever and should be in the Hall. Brian Mitchell was no where near as good as Hester. It took him nearly twice as long to amass the return stats he did as it took Hester. It is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Fame for Guys WE Think Are Important. Hester is a game changer, you have to gameplan specifically for him (ie don't frigging punt to him but people still do it!). PR/KRs take a ferocious beating and you can tell me they aren't good enough to go in the Hall. Ridiculous! When EVERY single team in the league would love ot have your return guy, he's a Hall of Famer. Period. I hope Prisco isn't a voter.

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