Devin Hester Appreciative Of Place In Bears History

June 08, 2019 - 11:40 am

ROSEMONT, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Since arriving to the Bears as a second-round pick in 2006, Devin Hester has understood and appreciated the team's lasting legacy. 

But as Hester joined the Bears' centennial celebration at the Donald E. Stephenson Convention Center this weekend -- one of around 197 former and current players -- the realization of his place in the organization's history hit home.

"I'm just walking among living legends," Hester said Friday evening. "From the Richard Dents to all the guys here, it's a great honor to be a part of this organization."

The Bears have had 28 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during their 100-year history, and Hester could join that immortal company when he's eligible for Canton in 2022. The significance isn't lost on him.

Hester received a raucous ovation as he emerged to the stage inside the main ballroom dancing to Soulja Boy's "Crank That" -- as he did before so many electrifying returns at Soldier Field.
Bears fans still remember those 18 return touchdowns Hester had for their team.

Devin Hester, still ridiculous. #Bears100

— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) June 8, 2019

"It still feels like yesterday," Hester said. "I'm still young, there is still a replay here and there. They talk about it a lot. Just with the organization of the Bears, the football tradition that these guys built around here, our legacy will go on.

"It was said the things I did in college with returns, it was impossible to do in the NFL. I just wanted to come into the NFL and show everybody not only could I do it in college, but in the NFL as well."

He sure did. 

Hester returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns as a Bears rookie in 2006, and he kept running on a special career. Hester retired with a record 20 total return touchdowns, including 14 punts taken to the end zone.

"As a player, as a kid growing up, I couldn't have asked for a better career than I had," Hester said.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.