Forte, Hester the center of latest Bears' mystery

CHICAGO | There are two stories taking shape this Bears season that won't cause coach Lovie Smith to lose any sleep, though he may keep one eye open.

What's the deal with running back Matt Forte and return "specialist" Devin Hester? One is on fire but repeatedly overlooked it seems, while the other is slumping worse than those Detroit Tigers.

All this talk about being the game's greatest return man ever and a can't-miss Hall of Famer is less frequent now because Devin Hester has gone from "Beast" to "Bambi."

Sunday, he was invisible with two punt returns for 11 yards. You could do better carrying a bowling ball.

Hester didn't return a kickoff, of which the Bears had seven for a 6.3 average.

A few games back, Hester told us he needed to be more aggressive on returns; had to quit running east-west and more north-south.
He hasn't done either.

Hester insists wide receiver duties haven't interfered with his kick return duties. He's adamant about that.

In the 13-7 win over Detroit on Monday Night Football, Hester signaled a fair catch on a punt he fielded at the Lions 47-yard line.

Special teams coach Dave Toub was spitting razor blades, he was so angry, saying Hester had a sure sideline touchdown if he had just taken off.

Hester hasn't had a return touchdown since Nov. 13 of last season when he took a punt 82 yards against Detroit.

He is ranked in the high teens among punt and kickoff return leaders, quite a drop for the man whose 17 career kick-return touchdowns are an NFL record.
"I know Devin, lately, hasn't had a lot of big returns for touchdowns but it's just a matter of time," Lovie Smith said.

Hopefully, soon. Ever try sleeping with one eye open?

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