I almost always read Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column. Sports Illustrated’s top football guy always has some interesting nuggets.
This week I was struck by a quote King got from Chicago return man Devin Hester, who lit up the Detroit Lions this weekend with an 82-yard punt return touchdown and numerous other long returns.
Hester told King he wants to be the first returner in the league to get voted into the Hall of Fame. I thought the comment was interesting for a couple reasons. First, it’s an acknowledgement on the part of Hester that he is known almost solely for his return work, as his play at wide receiver has been average, at best.
Second, it made me think about the increasing importance of special teams in today’s NFL. Kickers who can boot kickoffs through the end zone are vital, but less hard to find with kickoffs now back to the 35 yard line.
Return men who can break through crowds and bust long runs when the kickoff team starts five yards closer are all the m...