Drake: 'Frustrated' Hester needs to be more involved
By Vaughn McClure, Tribune reporter
2:08 p.m. CST, January 29, 2013
Former Chicago Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake always took time to stick up for his players. As he prepares to leave town, Drake continues to stand behind Devin Hester as a receiver.
Hester ended the season with an emotional rant during which he indicated he might consider retirement. The most dangerous return man in league history was upset with his offensive role all season and then broken up about the teamís decision to fire head coach Lovie Smith.
"Devin and I talked a little bit because I always want him to make the decisions that are best for him," Drake, who is headed to the Arizona Cardinals to fill the same position, said in a phone interview Monday. "I do understand that he was talking emotionally. But I think Devinís going to sit back and reassess where heís at. I think he has a lot left in him.
"He has to decide if he wants to continue to play, whether itís here in Chicago or somewhere else."
Hester, a three-time Pro Bowler who established his reputation with an NFL-record 17 kick return touchdowns, has experienced a steady decline as a receiver. He caught a career-high 57 passes for 757 yards and three touchdowns in 2009. His reception total dipped to 40 the next season, then to 26 in í11 on down to 23 this past season while playing alongside Brandon Marshall (118 receptions).
"The thing about Devin is, the stars need to align right," Drake said. "What I mean by that is, things have to be in order for him to excel. Thatís just how heís made. If things are right, then heíll excel. If not, then he may struggle here and there."
Drake doesnít believe learning the receiver position while continuing to be the teamís top kick returner complicated matters for Hester.
"That wasnít a lot for him to shoulder," Drake said. "Devin just needs to be involved. When you have a guy of his caliber, youíve got to get him involved. Guys like him feed off success. When he wasnít involved, then he was frustrated. Itís hard to play this game frustrated. Thatís the bottom line."
It was obvious that Hester wasnít always on the same page with quarterback Jay Cutler. Hester even felt he was getting overlooked despite being open, at times, this past season. And Cutler certainly felt he delivered some catchable balls that Hester dropped.
If the 30-year-old Hester remains in Chicago Ė he has another year left on his contract and is due a base salary of $1.86 million Ė heíll obviously need to get on the same page with Cutler in 2013.
"They need to sit down and get to know each other better, which I donít know if that will ever happen," Drake said. "I think itís both of them just being able to understand each other.
"Jay is a tough, tough-minded guy. He looks at things a lot differently. Devin is more of a compassionate-type of guy. Theyíre total opposites. At times, that probably made things a little bit tougher. But could they co-exist? Sure, if they both work at it. But it takes both of them to do it."
Chicago Bears news: Darryl Drake: 'Frustrated' Devin Hester needed to be more involved - chicagotribune.com
Arguing on the internet is like winning the special olympics, even if you win your still messed up.
Restore the roar!
You and everyone else that works for HH, and every fan. Maybe if he had a real WR coach he might have been able to deveop that "potential".
I'm still confused how you were one of the few that got to keep their job during the Lovie years.
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AZ hired Drake to be their WR coach? Wow...
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I'm calming down a bit, now that the season has been over for us, for awhile, and looking at things more objectively. It was such a frustrating season, and I've vented a lot about Hester. But now I think the problem was an offense that was screwed up top-to-bottom. Head coach, OC, Cutler, oline, TE's, WR's (other than Marshall).....you name it, it was screwed up.
I do believe Hester could have been used in better ways by the Bears. I do believe Hester could help a team, and probably will. But I think he needs a fresh start on another team. Cutler gets upset with a player dropping balls, and it's like the guy is "dead to him" on the field after that. It's the same way with other players like K. Davis.
We really have to rebuild an offense from scratch here in Chicago. Build around Cutler, Forte, Marshall, AJ. It's a tall task IMHO.
"The thing about Devin is, the stars need to align right," Drake said. "What I mean by that is, things have to be in order for him to excel. That’s just how he’s made. If things are right, then he’ll excel. If not, then he may struggle here and there."
Sure at work or elsewhere when things are going great, it's easy. It's when this aren't going right, it's what you do then that tells the tell of you.
The passion of a few, to rule the many, that's Washington D.C.. Where else was that said before, about whom?
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We haven't had a coaching staff that could develop offensive players. This is the underlying "disease" that killed us under Lovie Smith. Things like Hester not working out, are more indicative of "symptoms" of that disease.
In the NFL you have to be able to develop talented players. Even when we brought in FA players from other teams, who COULD play decent, they seemed to regress here in Chicago. Cutler is an example of this too.
I am so hoping, that we will finally have coaches who can develop young talent here on the Bears. Lovie just didn't bring in good coaches on offense, and of course it wasn't an area that he understood at all (offense) so he couldn't help the situation himself.
It was tragic.
Or..we keep Devin, remind him that he is the best returner in history by keeping him in that job, and that job only. Now that we have Marshall, Jeffrey and Bennett, we really dont NEED a WR. There's no shame in doing the job that you are best at. Get over yourself Devin and stick to returns.
I'm trying//to let go//of maybe//but maybe's just so//very interesting//Oh, what a thing.
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The only concern I have, is that we'll have at least one WR go down to injury every year. Some years we'll have more than one. We need a #4 WR who is capable of stepping up and playing solid, when one or more players go down to injury, that are higher on the depth chart.
Originally Posted by Jimmors
Hester wasn't that guy IMHO.
Maybe, under this new staff, he can become that guy. Heck, I don't know. But if he can't be that guy, then we obviously need to get that guy. Maybe we already have a guy on the PS that can step into bigger shoes this year. If not, then we need to bring in a youngster who can be coached up to fill that role.
I cant believe how fast he found a job.
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I can't believe he found one in the NFL.
Originally Posted by motownbear
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