Devin Hester is statistically the greatest kick/punt returner of all time and many teams have faced the gauntlet of whether the kick the ball to the electrifying athlete or not, the Ravens have categorically stated they will not kick away from him.
The greatest returner
The Ravens are set to face the Atlanta Falcons this weekend and one of their biggest tasks is how to deal with the special teams phenom that is Devin Hester, however Baltimore are not scared of number 17.
Back in 2007, Super Bowl XLI was battled between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears in Miami. In wet, windy conditions the Colts bravely announced that they would not be frightened of the playmaking ability of Hester (then with the Bears) and headed the opening kickoff right into his awaiting lap.
On the grandest stage of them all, Hester took the opening Super Bowl kickoff and returned the ball 92 yards for a touchdown through the Camera flash shower in Miami.
Since that date, not many have been bold enough to proclaim ignorance to Hester's unrivalled return ability, he now holds the all-time record for return touchdowns with 20 and every team's weekly game plan is to attempt to keep the ball out of his hands.
Despite all the gathered evidence, Baltimore Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg is ready to take on the challenge head on.
Rosburg told the Baltimore Sun: “We have faced a lot of good returners this year already, When we play Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, we face very good punt returners of that caliber and of that type. We have a lot of confidence in our punt game. We have good gunners, we have a good punter and we have good inside core guys, so we are going to do all we can to try to contain him with what we do.”
“It’s up to our guys. They relish a challenge, And playing against the best returner touchdown-wise that there’s ever been, that’s a great challenge for our guys. They look forward to that challenge, but they also have a great deal of respect for whom we are playing. . . . He has the perfect combination of skills for a returner. He’s fast, and he has incredible change-of-direction skills. He can run up and smell somebody’s breath and then disappear. The other thing he can do, which people aren’t really that aware of, he can break tackles. He’s a strong runner. So, he really has the three-way combination to be the outstanding returner he is. Every time you give him the ball, he’s a threat to take it to the house, and that’s his goal.”
We hope Rosburg realises what he is attempting to do, many have tried and many have failed to stop Hester, his legacy continues to grow as opposing special team coordinators still can't work out how to stop him.
If you need reminding just how great Hester has become, surpassing Deoin Sanders recently for the NFL record, he truly is one of the most exciting athletes the game has every seen, the 19 scores before he broke the record, check out this video.