There are some people who believe that Atlanta Falcons return specialist Devin Hester has lost a step and is no longer one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. That simply isn’t true.
Some may point to Hester’s age (31) or his stats as a sign that his ability is on the decline. For example, Hester scored 11 return touchdowns in his first two seasons and has “only” run back seven since. People who would say this just don’t understand how much luck is involved in running a kick back to the house. Of course Hester is not going to have another season like 2007. In fact I don’t think any returner is ever going to duplicate a year like that.
That’s besides the point – Hester still has extraordinary explosiveness and he’s capable of racking up tons of return yards.
During the 2013 season Hester had 1,436 kickoff return yards total on 52 attempts. Both of those were career highs. If you’re not convinced by stats then maybe you could use a visual demonstration. Here’s a video that shows the best of Hester’s 2012 season. Have a look and tell me again how he’s lost a step:
Even if he has, the good news is that he had at least three more steps than the average human being to begin with. Lovie Smith knows that Hester remains a veritable rocket ship. Now you do too.