Devin Hester: Criticism of Bears WRs 'the nature of the beast'

Devin Hester has heard it all before. The Chicago Bears receiver understands how criticism mounts after a bad loss and how fingers start pointing at the receiving corps when the offense sputters.

"It’s the nature of the beast," Hester said Wednesday. "Whenever the passing game is not going, people tend to look at the receivers and say, 'Well, the receivers are not doing their jobs.’ That’s just basically how it goes.’’

Hester would be the first to admit that he dropped a catchable ball on third down in the second quarter of Sunday’s 30-13 loss to the Saints. The fact that he caught just one pass but was targeted nine times was a bit deceiving, however, with only two catchable balls thrown his way.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, playing under duress the entire game, fired at least two balls over Hester’s head and threw another out of bounds in Hester’s direction. Cutler also threw a screen pass intended for Hester into the ground. Not to mention the Saints defenders got into the passing lanes or deflected balls several times.

"At the end of the day, people go off stats and they judge you,’’ Hester said.

"Watching film of the drop, I came in and it was a hot route. The guy kind of grabbed me a little bit and it threw me off balance. I slipped at the same time trying to catch it. But I still should have made that catch. Other than that, the other one that was catchable was the 17-yard route I caught."

Despite the factors that contributed to the offense’s futility – poor blocking, rushed throws, dropped passes -- Hester knows the receivers, as whole, have to step it up against the Packers. Sure, Green Bay is last in the league in pass defense while surrendering 400 yards per game and has lost safety Nick Collins, but the Packers still have Charles Woodson and could have Tramon Williams back from a shoulder injury.

The Bears receivers have struggled against the Packers' press coverage, although Johnny Knox has averaged 23.5 yards per catch against Green Bay while Hester has averaged 15.7 yards per reception.

"As receivers, we just have to create more separation,’’ Hester said. ``The type of defense Green Bay’s plays, we know they’re going to play a lot of man. We have to have separation earlier in the play.’’

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