Potential cut victim Devin Hester has eyes on Hall of Fame

Devin Hester is pretty sure the Chicago Bears aren’t going to cut him before the start of the 2013 season and even more sure that a spot in Canton awaits him.

The 30-year-old return star talked to the Chicago Tribune about his Hall of Fame chances.

“I have one foot in right now. If I take three or four back this year, it should be considered 80 percent chance of making it. But I am not really worried about it right now. I am really focused on this season. After this season, when all the stats add up, hopefully it won’t be a question.”

Once again, Hester isn’t a lock to make the Bears final roster, though it’s assumed the team will retain him, since his contract ends after this season and his cap hit isn’t unwieldy. Even so, he talks about taking “three or four” back for a touchdown like it’s nothing. He’s completely nonchalant about it. Hester might as well have been asked how many pieces of pizza he was going to have at dinner.

Hester has the second-most return TDs in NFL history. With one more, he’ll tie Deion Sanders at the top. But even getting that isn’t assured. In the past five years, Hester has six total return TDs. In three of those years, including 2012, he’s been completely shut out. In other words, returning kicks for touchdowns ain’t easy.

That’s not to say Hester is out of line with his bravado. All the great return men have it. Think of Deion and Brian Mitchell. They were the best and weren’t afraid to tell you. It takes a certain kind of personality to be a great returner. Hester needs to go into this season thinking that getting three or four return TDs is nothing. If he doesn’t, he’s like a fighter pilot who lacks confidence or a rapper with self-esteem issues. It’s hard to succeed. These are traits that are inherently necessary to success in certain endeavors.

Hester has his swag. Will the touchdowns, and a spot in Canton, follow?

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