The nine-year pro set the NFL record with 20 returns for touchdowns. Hester also scored his first career rushing touchdown, recovered a fumble and had two other long returns nullified by penalty.
When a veteran player has the sort of night like Hester did Thursday, he's allowed to get a few things off his chest.
"I'm happy, man." Hester said of being in Atlanta. "You know what, I'm going to say it, man. I wasn't happy the last three, four years in Chicago, because things wasn't going the way I expect. I would always have a great camp, have all the receivers saying and coaches saying I had the best camp out of all the receivers. And once the season start off, I'm not there.
"You know, and I got a quarterback now that, he loves even the walk-ons, man. And the coaches know how to get the ball to me, you know, make plays for me. And I'm excited for this season, man. This is only the beginning for our team."
Hester's first year with Cutler was his most successful -- 57 catches for 757 yards -- but it deteriorated from there.
Bears fans will point out Hester had a lot of drops and didn't always run great routes. However, Hester's comments tell us he believed the lack of chemistry with his quarterback -- one known for his detached personality -- played at least a part in his reduced role.
Now with a new team, Hester is happy and ready to contribute any way he can.