The Chicago Bears are 2-1 with the most talent at the offensive skill positions than at any time in recent memory, but Devin Hester is unhappy. The receiver/returner has just two receptions and two rushes in 2012.
"It's hard being one of the top electrifying players in the league and you're not able to get your hands on the ball as much as you want," Hester told ESPNChicago.com. "They know I want the ball. I just have to keep working at it, keep my head up, and get better every day. And don't let it distract me."
Within the Bears offense, running back Matt Forte (when healthy) and receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are the primary options. Running back Michael Bush is also heavily involved.
The fact is, Hester has never been that great of a receiver. He's as elusive as anyone with the ball and is, arguably, the best return man in league history. But Hester never has been an exquisite route-runner. He's never had the best hands. And at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, he doesn't physically overwhelm defensive backs.
His best receiving season came in 2009 when he caught 57 balls for 757 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears went 7-9 that year. Hester has never caught more than four touchdowns.
The Chicago staff did talk about a "Hester package" during the offseason. Perhaps we'll see it for the first time during Monday night's matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
"Hopefully it'll come one day, but for right now I'm in the same boat as you guys," Hester said. "I'm trying to figure out when it's going to come. It's a disappointing feeling. I know what I'm capable of."
Simply put, the Bears have better receiver options than Hester. The offense struggled those years when he was the most talented pass-catcher on the roster. We assume offensive coordinator Mike Tice will figure out a few more ways to get Hester the ball in space a couple times a game. But just a couple.