No disrespect to Devin Hester, but I have been calling for the Ravens to go elsewhere for their return specialist needs all season. It happened too late.
It is hard to argue with the Ravens decision to waive Devin Hester. Hester had terrified Ravens fans all season on punt returns. I was ready to say goodbye to the ex Chicago Bear when he muffed a punt against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has done practically nothing for the purple and black this season.
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Hester has returned 25 punts this season for 180 yards. He has called 15 fair catches and his longest return has been 25 yards. On kickoffs he has had 19 returns for 466 yards. While he did have a 60 yard kickoff return, that is one of the few positives on his Ravens resume.
It was clear from the beginning that Hester was a shell of the return specialist he used to be. With the Chicago Bears he was an x-factor that scored 18 touchdowns as a return man. Hester still has speed, but it isn’t what it used to be. Most of all, he lacks confidence. Too often he lets a ball bounce just because he doesn’t want to make a mistake.
This tendency cost the Ravens dearly against the New England Patriots. The Ravens were pinned on their own one yard line early in the first quarter, when Hester let a ball he should have caught bounce. It resulted in a safety. Field position was a battle the Ravens lost all night, mostly because of poor decisions from Hester.
This may mean that Michael Campanaro could return to the team. It’s hard to imagine anybody could do worse than Hester did. If all the Ravens need is a guy that can call a fair catch and secure the football, I know a guy who could do that. I don’t mean to make light of the situation, but the Ravens did not ask Hester to do an awful lot.