Devin Hester making the most of his chances on offense
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org October 9, 2012 7:36PM
Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester (23) is brought down by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Julian Stanford after a reception during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)
Updated: October 9, 2012 8:10PM
Devin Hester had extra motivation to push him in making the Bears’ most impressive catch for a second consecutive week.
In the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Hester was flagged for a facemask penalty on a punt return that netted a two-yard loss.
‘‘I just put us in a bad position on the punt return,’’ Hester said. ‘‘I was trying to make a play. But unfortunately, I cost us a penalty, and I knew if I got a chance, I’d go get the ball.”
Two plays later, on second-and-six from the Bears’ 10-yard line, quarterback Jay Cutler faked a handoff, then launched a ball down the right sideline for Hester. Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis was beaten on the play, but Cutler’s pass was too far ahead of Hester.
Hester laid out for the ball — and hauled it in.
‘‘That was my whole mentality,” he said. ‘‘If it was coming to me, I was going to go and get it, no matter what.’’
Hester landed hard on his chest and stomach. He said his helmet just slid and hit him in the eye. Otherwise, he was fine.
If Cutler had hit him in stride, Hester would have scored. Still, the 39-yard play keyed a drive that was capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall.
Cutler is thrilled to have Hester as a big part of the offense.
‘‘We’re putting him in spots to be successful,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘When we put him in there, we’ve got to be creative and find ways to get him the ball. When he has the ball, when we give him chances, he makes things happen. We just got to keep getting better and better at that, and he’s got to be excited about it.’’