Devin Hester may be the greatest kick returner the NFL has ever seen and he says the league is trying to take his job away.
Judging by the league’s new touchback rule that will go into effect in 2016, it’s hard not to agree with him. The new kickoff rule will move touchbacks to the 25-yard line this upcoming season, and the competition committee will re-evaluate the rule after next season. Here is why Hester is hoping they change their minds.
Why Devin Hester hates new touchback rule
Hey, if you’re the greatest return man of all-time, why would you like this rule? Guys like Hester collected paychecks just from returning kickoffs. But now that the league has gone great lengths to take away what guys like Hester can do, it’s definitely something you’d be fed up with if you were him too.
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Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Hester strongly voiced his displeasure for the rule. What’s important to remember is that this is done for safety precautions. If you’re someone like Hester, however, you’re always willing to risk injury by having the chance of making a huge play.
“It’s like taking away a job from people. I got a concussion making a block at receiver. But I never got hurt taking hits back on kickoffs,” Hester said.
As McClure points out, Hester has five kick-off return touchdowns in his career, and everyone remember his 92-yard touchdown to open up Super Bowl 41 for the Chicago Bears against the Indianapolis Colts.
Yes, it’s frustrating for fans, knowing how the league is becoming as soft as the NBA in some ways when it comes to contact. But the players are risking their own lives and health for our entertainment. No matter how much we may hate these changes, they’re a necessary evil, and they apply to Devin Hester as well.