Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 9/30/12

Devin Hester is a forgotten man these days. Though still a very dangerous returner — arguably the best in NFL history — his role in the Chicago Bears’ offense has diminished, seemingly by the week.

The four-time Pro Bowler has just two catches thus far, in addition to a pair of rushes. The paltry numbers have dismayed Hester, who expressed unhappiness with the way he’s being utilized.

“It’s hard being one of the top electrifying players in the league and you’re not able to get your hands on the ball as much as you want,” Hester said Friday, via ESPNChicago.com. “They know I want the ball. I just have to keep working at it, keep my head up, and get better every day. And don’t let it distract me.”

Hester is not a primary option in Mike Tice’s offense, a stark contrast from how former coordinator Mike Martz used him. Through his first three games last season, Hester had seven catches for 139 yards as an outlet for quarterback Jay Cutler.

Tice acknowledges plays are being drawn up for him, but it doesn’t always materialize.

“We try to get him the ball. It doesn’t always work out, like that one in the end zone (against the Rams on Sunday) that was designed for him,” Tice said Thursday. “Basically it was a one-man route. We’re trying to find ways to get him the ball. Sometimes the coverage dictates we’re going to go to him, sometimes it doesn’t.”

At 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, Hester likely will never become a true superstar at the position, at least compared to the inane prowess he provides on special teams. However, he offers an invaluable trait — speed — which is not matched by any other player on the roster. In an effort to qualm his feelings and help spark a sometimes stagnant attack, a “Hester Package” apparently is being put together. When it’s unleashed, though, is anyone’s guess.

“Hopefully it’ll come one day, but for right now I’m in the same boat as you guys,” Hester said. “I’m trying to figure out when it’s going to come. It’s a disappointing feeling. I know what I’m capable of.”

While he’s a good team player and incredible talent, Hester can’t compete with the likes of Matt Forte, Michael Bush, and Brandon Marshall, all of whom are Chicago’s main weapons and Cutler’s initial reads. It appears the Bears are willing to use Hester in a similar role to that of the Packers’ Randall Cobb — a do-it-all, gadget-type. Unfortunately for the 29-year-old, that is about the best he could hope for at this point.

(Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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