Aug/28/12 08:43 AM Filed in: Devin Hester
A former player who’d lived on the roster margin with the Dallas Cowboys once told me how he came in even on his off days to watch extra film, at that time of special teams. Sometimes he went to the Cowboys’ facility well before sunrise on those off days.
“What always amazed me, though, was I never, never got there that there wasn’t light coming from a film projector in one room down the hall,” he said. “No other lights on in the place.
“And there would be Deion Sanders, all by himself, watching, re-running, watching again, studying, studying, studying. It was no wonder he was great, when you put that kind of effort together with natural ability.”
When rookie Greg McCoy came to the Bears, he knew about Devin Hester, knew the natural ability that made Hester unlike any return man in the game, perhaps ever.
What McCoy didn’t know, however, was how much work Hester did in order to be Devin Hester.
“I see greatness, right there in front of you – greatness,” McCoy told CSNChicago.com. “You’ve got to watch him. His attention to detail, how he strives for greatness, it’s so good to be around and it’s rubbing off on me.
“I look at that and why not learn from the best?”
Hester’s natural instincts – even his wayward ones sometimes – are what they are. That can’t be taught.
“But it’s definitely more than that,” McCoy said, shaking his head. “It’s attention to detail on things like how he catches the ball, his feet placement, how he sets up blocks. That’s not instinct – that’s just smart football.
“And there’s discipline. How he knows when to slow down, when to cut, when to make his burst, it’s so much hard work and attention to detail.”