(WSCR) By the numbers, he’s the most prolific return man in the history of the National Football League.
But should Devin Hester really be considered a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate? One Hall of Fame quarterback seems to think so.
“I would say yes,” Troy Aikman told The Mully and Hanley Show when asked if Hester deserves Hall of Fame considerations. “I think special teams is every bit as important as the other facets of the game. This guy has been a dominant player in that regard. He’s been the best there has ever been with the return game. I would say yes, he absolutely deserves consideration.”
LISTEN: Troy Aikman on The Mully and Hanley Show
With his 69-yard punt return for a touchdown in Sunday’s victory over the Panthers, Hester moved into first place — past Eric Metcalf — with his 11th career punt return for a touchdown.
A three-time Pro Bowler through five seasons, Hester is the league’s all-time leader for combined touchdowns on kick returns with 15.
Bears Defense Is Aging
Aikman also discussed the age of the Bears defense, saying some players are not quite what they used to be.
“When you think of the Bears, you think, OK, great defense, tough, they’ll fly around the ball and create turnovers and those types of things,” he said.
“That’s still what they’re about it. (But) we’ve talked about it; it’s hard in this league to win like that. This defense has aged. There’s no question about that. They’ve gotten older in some areas. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs Charles Tillman, are those guys still good players? Absolutely they’re still good players. Are they as good as they were five years ago? No. It happens to everybody. At some point you start to slow down.
Aikman believes the Bears defensive isn’t as dominant as it has been in the past. Although he said the league is shifting to a more offense-driven league — something the Bears are falling behind in.
“Are there the dominant defensive teams that we’re accustomed to seeing at other times?” Aikman asked. “I don’t really think that there are, because there is so much offense. The problem is, you’re not getting that offense from the Bears. So to try to win with defense becomes very difficult to do against some of these offensive teams.”