Devin Hester's Chicago Bears role to be expanded

  • By Kevin Patra
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Devin Hester is happy he won't be a wide receiver in the Chicago Bears' offense this season, but that doesn't mean new coach Marc Trestman will let him just return kicks.

For the second straight practice Wednesday, one of the greatest returners of all time also worked with the special teams coverage units.

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"The biggest thing about a great gunner sometimes is the guy who can get there fastest," special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said, via the Chicago Tribune. "We had a guy in Denver long time ago, he was an Olympic sprinter named Sam Graddy. Sam wasn't the best tackler in the world, but he sure caused a lot of fair catches. So hopefully we can expand (Hester's) role and see what happens.

"He has been a great returner and we want to add to that as much as we can. He's definitely going to be fresher to (cover) and that's something we're evaluating right now."

With three specialty players already on the roster -- kicker, punter, long snapper -- the Bears don't want a fourth player who only performs one duty.

Hester sounded upbeat about his role as a gunner earlier this week. He has to: If he can't play more than one position, he could find himself needing a Band-Aid before the regular season starts.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.