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18.4.14 0056
The W - Football - Why Does Anyone Kick to Devin Hester?
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spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
I know my team of choice, despite their victory yesterday, is not a very good team. The QB is schizophrenic, our RB was fat and is now fat and injured, our WR's have hands of stone, and our defense forgot how to defend.

So why would ANYONE EVER kick the ball to the one guy on our team who seems to be a 50/50 shot to score anytime he gets his hands (which sometimes he doesn't do very well) on the ball? And why in the hell would you do it AGAIN after he burned you once?

Through my frozen lips yesterday I asked my friend who got us tickets for the Bears v. Broncos game "if the Bears win the coin flip, do you kick to Hester, or just kick out of bounds and give the Bears the ball at the 40?" If I were a coach I think I might have just taken my chances letting the Bears try to gain 30 yards for the win.
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kentish
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Since: 19.8.05
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.55
What a weapon that guy is! I haven't seen many Bears games this uear, does he even play on offense?




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spf
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by kentish
    What a weapon that guy is! I haven't seen many Bears games this uear, does he even play on offense?

They put him in a few plays a game. Problem is Devin, while incredible, isn't very sharp, and spent much of his career as a DB. So there are times where other players have to literally walk him to his position on the line and tell him what to do.

Sadly the Bears have not tried my suggestion of lining him up 30 yards behind center, throwing it back to him, and letting him run it like a punt.
dunkndollaz
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.22
Before the final tying drive I said to my buddy in Denver that I would rather give Sexy Rexy the ball at the 50 than give it to Hester at his own 5 yard line - my "all pro" corners proved me wrong....

and I do hope that the Broncos Special Teams Coach spent last night updating his resume.....



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Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
    Originally posted by spf
    Sadly the Bears have not tried my suggestion of lining him up 30 yards behind center, throwing it back to him, and letting him run it like a punt.

As a Packer fan, that thought scares the he!! out of me.

Before the season started, I was listening to the Score in Chicago (that's an all sports radio station for those who might not know), and they were debating the over/under on Devin Hester TD returns this year. I think the Vegas line was over/under 3. I laughed at them talking about how the over was an easy bet, because return TDs are typically flukes. I also figured that if Hester returned 2 at some point this year, coaches would recognize that he WASN'T a fluke, and would be smart enough to not kick to him.

Wrong. Way wrong. Lose the game to them wrong. Don't kick to him!
EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.77
Denver's mistake wasn't kicking to Hester... it was kicking to Hester in the middle of the field. Giving him the ball on the sideline gives him less options for running and makes him easier to block. The Football Outsiders have a fun debate about kicking to Hester in this week's Audibles (footballoutsiders.com).



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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.82
I just hope there's more to Hester than kick returns, otherwise he won't last too long. Return guys usually only have about 15 minutes of fame.

Exhibit A: Dante Hall




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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by It's False
    I just hope there's more to Hester than kick returns, otherwise he won't last too long. Return guys usually only have about 15 minutes of fame.

    Exhibit A: Dante Hall

Well said. Also, the reason you kick to Hester is because he's a fumbler. He's fumbled on 11% of his returns.
Dante Hall's career fumble rate on returns is 3%. Brian Mitchell's career fumble rate on returns was 3%. Allen Rossum's career fumble rate on returns is 3.6%. Desmond Howard's career fumble rate on returns was 1.8%. Deion Sanders' career fumble rate on returns was 2.5%. 11% is a lot.

FootballOutsider's Special Teams stats (which calculate the value of field position gained from returns) don't even have Hester as the #1 Punt Returner or Kick Returner. The #1 kick returner is Joshua Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns. Like Hester, he has two kick return TDs, AND he averages 8 yards more per return than Hester does. And of course his fumble percentage is lower.
The #1 punt return team is the San Diego Chargers, who have seen Darren Sproles and Maurice Hicks average the same yards / return that Hester has (with no fumbles, while Hester has had 4).

(edited by Mr. Boffo on 26.11.07 1849)
spf
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
      Originally posted by It's False
      I just hope there's more to Hester than kick returns, otherwise he won't last too long. Return guys usually only have about 15 minutes of fame.

      Exhibit A: Dante Hall

    Well said. Also, the reason you kick to Hester is because he's a fumbler. He's fumbled on 11% of his returns.
    Dante Hall's career fumble rate on returns is 3%. Brian Mitchell's career fumble rate on returns was 3%. Allen Rossum's career fumble rate on returns is 3.6%. Desmond Howard's career fumble rate on returns was 1.8%. Deion Sanders' career fumble rate on returns was 2.5%. 11% is a lot.

    FootballOutsider's Special Teams stats (which calculate the value of field position gained from returns) don't even have Hester as the #1 Punt Returner or Kick Returner. The #1 kick returner is Joshua Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns. Like Hester, he has two kick return TDs, AND he averages 8 yards more per return than Hester does. And of course his fumble percentage is lower.
    The #1 punt return team is the San Diego Chargers, who have seen Darren Sproles and Maurice Hicks average the same yards / return that Hester has (with no fumbles, while Hester has had 4).

    (edited by Mr. Boffo on 26.11.07 1849)

The problem with stats like that is they really don't tell the whole story.

If you're watching your team play the Browns, do you feel worried if your coach kicks the ball to Cribbs every time? What about if you're watching them play the Bears, and the coach announces he's kicking to Hester every time? Right now Devin Hester is the only return guy in the league who makes teams change their approach. And while obviously there's no guarantees, if teams kicked to Hester at the same rate they kick to Cribbs or Sproles, I would bet the farm that he would have a few more TD returns. The difference is Cribbs has an offense that can actually punish a team for giving them good field position to avoid a kick. You can squib it or kick it out of bounds with near impunity against the Bears. I mean, the Broncos bounced it down the field in OT. If anyone had the brains to just grab it and fall on it at the 40, they'd have basically been saying "we'd rather give you a short field than take a chance on letting Hester run it back from his own goal line." When teams give Cribbs that treatment week in and week out then the conversation gets interesting.

Eddie Famous
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Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.45

"Return guys usually only have about 15 minutes of fame."

Vai Sikahema made a career out of it, and he wasn;t as dangerous as Hester.



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Since: 2.11.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
Stats on average punt returns mean little, as evidenced by Reno Mahe's place atop the standings a couple years back. They don't account for guys like Hester facing directional punts which have a low net but give little chance for returns.

The fumble thing is worth thinking about. 11% if accurate is stupid high, and I wouldn't be to upset about kicking to a guy who's more likely to give me the ball back as he is score.

Not inside the last few minutes of a game though. Then you do everything in your power to make sure Rexy gets his paws on the ball and sit back and watch him do stupid.
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Could you put Hester in the backfield and long snap it to him and legally have enough guys back with him in order to set up some blocks for him to run behind?

What's the minimum number of guys that have to be up on the line for Offense?




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Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Could you put Hester in the backfield and long snap it to him and legally have enough guys back with him in order to set up some blocks for him to run behind?

    What's the minimum number of guys that have to be up on the line for Offense?


Seven.

They could do something like you're suggesting.
They could do a "Full House" formation



TE LT LG C RG RT TE


HB QB HB
DH



Have a 2 TE tight formation with 2 HBs plus Hester (DH) in the backfield. The QB could be anyone, even a WR/HB to take the snap and they could run an option sweep.

Swap the TEs for WRs and you could option pass or play action.


(edited by Zeruel on 27.11.07 1642)


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Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.45

    Originally posted by Zeruel
      Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Could you put Hester in the backfield and long snap it to him and legally have enough guys back with him in order to set up some blocks for him to run behind?

      What's the minimum number of guys that have to be up on the line for Offense?


    Seven.

    They could do something like you're suggesting.
    They could do a "Full House" formation



    TE LT LG C RG RT TE


    HB QB HB
    DH



    Have a 2 TE tight formation with 2 HBs plus Hester (DH) in the backfield. The QB could be anyone, even a WR/HB to take the snap and they could run an option sweep.

    Swap the TEs for WRs and you could option pass or play action.


    (edited by Zeruel on 27.11.07 1642)


Who would you put as QB? Kyle Orton?



As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
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OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
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As of 2/27/06: 202 pounds "I've lost a heavyweight"
As of 7/31/06: 224 pounds

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Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
      Originally posted by Zeruel
        Originally posted by Guru Zim
        Could you put Hester in the backfield and long snap it to him and legally have enough guys back with him in order to set up some blocks for him to run behind?

        What's the minimum number of guys that have to be up on the line for Offense?


      Seven.

      They could do something like you're suggesting.
      They could do a "Full House" formation



      TE LT LG C RG RT TE


      HB QB HB
      DH



      Have a 2 TE tight formation with 2 HBs plus Hester (DH) in the backfield. The QB could be anyone, even a WR/HB to take the snap and they could run an option sweep.

      Swap the TEs for WRs and you could option pass or play action.


      (edited by Zeruel on 27.11.07 1642)


    Who would you put as QB? Kyle Orton?

Bernard Berrian or Rasheed Davis. Garrett Wolfe. Anyone. I think the idea would be to throw something totally nuts out there and see how the defense handles it. If you get some broken field action out of it, that's the way you best simulate the return game.

However, as has been said, you need to make sure that DH understands what his role is and what he's supposed to do / where he's supposed to line up. The playbook is in a foreign language is my understanding.
StingArmy
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Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
    Originally posted by It's False
    I just hope there's more to Hester than kick returns, otherwise he won't last too long. Return guys usually only have about 15 minutes of fame.

    Exhibit A: Dante Hall

Let's not forget that Hester isn't just this year's flavor-of-the-week awesome kick returner like Dante Hall and others. He's like 2 returns-for-touchdowns short of becoming the all time leader in only the second season of his career.

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Since: 11.12.01
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


The Giants only kicked to him once yesterday as Feagles kept punting it out of bounds. The one time Tynes kicked off to him (real short), I thought Coughlin was going to have a coronary on the sidelines.




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Since: 2.1.02
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by pieman
    The Giants only kicked to him once yesterday as Feagles kept punting it out of bounds. The one time Tynes kicked off to him (real short), I thought Coughlin was going to have a coronary on the sidelines.

Y'all are lucky that Devin still has trouble catching a ball while running under a throw. Otherwise that game's over.
TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
    Originally posted by pieman
    The one time Tynes kicked off to him (real short), I thought Coughlin was going to have a coronary on the sidelines.


That was after Tynes had put two straight kickoffs out of bounds, which also gave Coughlin coronaries Tom's my favorite current coach to watch when things go wrong, with his 1,001 faces of exasperation/disbelief.

I think New York owes Chicago a thank you for saving the jobs of Isiah Thomas and now Eli Manning in the space of two weeks.

Or is this a cunning plan to force them to stay???



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