Maximizing Devin Hester
The Chicago Bears need to learn how to use Devin Hester. They insist on trying to turn him into a standard wide receiver and he is now only playing about a third of the snaps. They have spent too long trying to convert him into the prototypical receiver. He is not a good fit for that role and the organization needs to accept it.
What is the best fit for his skill set? He should still be used in the return game because he has the explosiveness to break a big gain when he gets in the open field. As for on offense, there are other ways to get him involved. The Bears could learn from both the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. They both have similar players in Randall Cobb and Percy Harvin. These two players are utilized perfectly on their offense because they line up all over the field. The defense always has pay special attention to where they are at on the field. The Vikings and Packers are much more efficient at getting their play-makers the ball in the open field.
Players with the speed of Hester are extremely dangerous when they are coming out of the backfield. The Bears have struggled protecting Jay Cutler so they need to start running more draw plays and screens. Matt Forte is one of the best receiving backs in the league but with his recent ankle injury, they should allow Hester to get some of the snaps in the backfield.
The Bears should be trying anything they can to get Hester into the open field. If the defense has to hesitate for a second to watch out for Hester, it might open up the vertical passing game for Brandon Marshall. I am not sure that Hester is the key to the Bears offense, but if utilized properly, he could take it to the next level.