Found March 29, 2012 on Bears Backer:

PR/KR/WR Eric Weems was brought in this off-season to complement Devin Hester in the return game.

Hester ranked first in the NFL last season in punt return average (16.2 yards).

Weems ranked 21st in the league with a kick return average of 23.5 YPR, and ninth in the league with a punt return average of 9.8 YPR.

With Johnny Knox being a big question mark to return 100 percent healthy for the upcoming season, Weems will be the likely beneficiary of his absence.

According to GM Phil Emery (via, Weems was added to the mix because the Bears have a ”very strong tradition of having multiple returners and having more than one weapon as a punt and kick returner.”

Former Bear Danieal Manning was a solid returner, but became expendable with Knox in town.

Now that Weems is signed on, he could be that second guy in the one-two punch Emery was referring to.

Everyone is aware of Hester’s success in the return game. He scored three touchdowns on returns a season ago in limited action and has scored 17 in his six years in the NFL.

Weems has scored two touchdowns on returns, both coming in 2010. He didn’t become a full-time returner until his second year in the league with Atlanta in 2009.

“It’s going to be great to work with a guy like him,” Weems said (via “I’ll learn a few things from him, see how he works every day and why he’s such a great player. He’s a future Hall of Famer, so I’m looking forward to interacting with him and picking his brain a little bit.”

Both players having incredible speed and ability on returns. The Bears could be a hard team to stop on returns this upcoming year.

Don’t forget recently signed WR Devin Thomas carries a 24.1 YPR career average on his resume.

This season could potentially be one of the best for coach Dave Toub’s special teams unit.

Hester and Weems could be a deadly combo. Look out.

Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.


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