Former Bears return man Devin Hester has lit up NFC North opponents throughout his career. Lions coach Jim Caldwell has witnessed the game-changing abilities the veteran possesses, and he believes the current Falcons speedster deserves a spot in Canton. Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press…
“He’s made it an art form and cut a niche in there like no one else has in the game, I think,” Caldwell said. “There’s been some great returners in this game, there’s no question about that. Deion Sanders was one that was one of those guys that was dangerous, in that regard. This guy is equally so, and I think he will be one of the first guys to ever sort of carve that niche out.
“Anytime (Hester) gets the ball in his hand, obviously, he’s a threat to go all the way. A very difficult guy to handle. We’ve faced some very good ones prior to this weekend, and he’s no exception. He’s probably going into the Hall of Fame, so he’s a cut above, maybe, the rest.”
Lions punter Sam Martin echoes his coach’s sentiment.
“He’s undoubtedly the best to ever do it, so that’s definitely something you consider,” Martin said. “But just like I’ve said about every other guy we’ve faced, they’re all dangerous and you don’t want to give any of them an easy return … on kickoffs or punts. Our coverage teams are going to do what they do, and I’m going to try limiting his touches as much as possible. Hit high balls and, hopefully, we shut them down.”
Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC North…
- Mike Florio of ProFooballTalk.com isn’t convinced that Calvin Johnson will finish his career with the Lions. In the writer’s opinion, it isn’t worth dedicating such a large portion of the cap to a player who has struggled with injuries.
- ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling opines that Greg Jennings and Chad Greenway would need to restructure their contracts if they want to play for the Vikings next season. The team could save more than $7MM be parting ways with Greenway and could save about $9MM by releasing Jennings.
- Even with the struggles of Matt Kalil this season, Goessling can’t envision the Vikings drafting a left tackle early in next year’s draft.
- Considering the Packers depth in the secondary, Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel thinks it’d be in the team’s best interest to pawn off one of their cornerbacks.