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Hester to Still Return Punts in 2009

Bears Minicamp Camp
Worried about Devin Hester not returning punts anymore? Don’t be. Coach Lovie Smith spoke out on the subject today, and said that he still plans on having the playmaker awaiting punts come the 2009 season. “Devin has the chance to score every time. If one of those [rookies] is a better returner than Devin, then we will put them back there,” Smith said.

There are a couple other players on the club, all rookies, that could possibly fill in for Hester in the punt return game – Juaquin Iglesias, Johnny Knox and D.J. Moore. They all saw some time during the mini-camp returning kicks, and if called upon could fill in for Hester in a pinch.

“D.J. Moore is probably the most polished [punt returner] right now,” special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. “Johnny Knox’s got potential. Obviously, the speed is there. He just has to catch more punts. It takes a lot of work. And then Juaquin, he’s really a kick returner. He’s really a good kick returner, when you go back and watch his college tape.”

For now though, the Bears don’t want to take away their best player that can score at anytime, so expect to see Hester back there returning kicks a lot once again in 09.

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