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Devin Hester admits training fell off, trying to get 'swagger back'

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

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Devin Hester says he's fine with not playing offense this season. (USATSI)

Devin Hester has averaged 36 receptions over the last six years.

He won't be playing offense this season under new Bears coach Marc Trestman. And Hester says he's fine with that.

Hester, 30, wants to re-assert himself as the game's premier return man. He said he's trying to regain his explosion through offseason training, admitting in a radio interview, "That's where I fell short of the past couple years."

Speaking on The J Mack and Nate Vash Show on WLS-AM in Chicago, Hester said, “I know that I'm going here first into this season as the main kickoff return man. As of right now, that's my main focus -- to get my swagger back."

With an NFL-record 18 return touchdowns, Hester told fans, “Don't lose faith in me because I'm always full of surprises.”

Hester ranked 10th with a 25.9-yard kickoff return average and 22nd with an 8.3-yard punt return average last season. He had no return touchdowns after getting three in 2011, the year the NFL moved kickoffs to the 35-yard-line, causing touchbacks to skyrocket.

Hester apparently was unhappy with his limited offensive role last season, when he caught 23 balls, and Lovie Smith's firing. After the season, he said he might retire.

But now he seems encouraged by Trestman's more “hands-on” approach. Hester said he likes the way Trestman is mixing offensive and defensive players in the locker room.

"He's trying to stop the separation of guys hanging out with their position," Hester said on the radio show, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "Now the team, everybody is just hanging out with each other. ... That small little thing is kind of helping out a little bit. I can tell."

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