Has Devin Hester lost a step?


Devin Hester has been on a return touchdown slump.  On his first punt return of the game, it looked like he was going to break that slump.  Hester put on some great moves and broke through the cluster and was just dropping into gear when all of a sudden, the punter tackled him.  That’s right, you read it right.  The Browns punter, the last man Hester had to beat, brought him down.

Do you think that Hester would have ever let an opposing punter bring him down when he was an his record setting pace during his first 2 seasons?  Me neither.   Late in the game, Hester seemed to bring one back to the house, but a phantom holding call on Rashied Davis negated his return and you could see the frustration on Devin’s face.  He thought he had broken the slump.

Aside from his struggles in the return game, Devin has been making solid strides in the passing game.  His first 100 yard receiving game last week was overshadowed by the pathetic loss to the Bengals last week.

Hester showed off some of his receiving skills on a nifty play late in the game.  Hester caught a little slip screen from Cutler and broke through.  Nothing but green grass in front of him.  Touchdown, right?  Wrong!  Hester was caught from behind.  The world class speedster Devin Hester was caught from behind.  Check it out for yourself:

So you have to ask the $64,000 question: Has Devin Hester lost a step?  You hate to even think it, but the evidence is mounting.  Hester hasn’t had a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown in 2+ seasons.  Once might argue that it coincides with his move to offense, but does learning to run routes affect his speed?  Has he lost a step or is he pressing?  Now that he’s getting caught in the open field, I’ve got to ask.