Hester Furious at Smith Firing but Should Be Angry at Himself as Well

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2012

My first reaction to Devin Hester going off and threatening to retire because Lovie Smith just got fired was to tell Hester not to let the door hit him in the rear end as he left.

After all, Hester has been nothing but a distraction for the coaching staff since the ridiculous notion entered the coaches' heads to make him a wide receiver. In fact, his failure to grasp concepts like route running and, I don't know, catching the ball are probably part of the reason Smith got fired in the first place.

Certainly the failure factored into Smith's release to some extent considering how much time was wasted in trying to do what was clearly impossible.

Maybe if Hester had been able to perform even the most basic aspects of being a wide receiver, Lovie Smith might still be employed. Probably not, but it would have been one less failure for the team to point to when it let Smith go.

Frankly, Hester threatening to retire is laughable. What does it do? He's not even that effective of a returner these days, and there are definitely fast players coming out of college every year who could be groomed to replace him.

If a middling player retires in the offseason and nobody notices, does he make a sound? I guess he does, but it's more of a high pitched whine than a thud.

Nobody is going to rethink his or her stance on Smith because their occasionally dynamic punt returner decides to retire—or threatens to. Maybe a Tom Brady or Calvin Johnson might have some input on a firing, but even then probably not. Peyton Manning didn't in Indianapolis.

The loyalty shown by Hester is laudable for sure, as was the sadness Jay Cutler displayed when he found out about Smith's firing via text during his radio show.

There's a whole other article to be written about how lame that is too.

However, this is the NFL. It's a league of adults who know how the world works. They know—or should know—that the NFL also stands for "Not For Long."

So, while I appreciate that Hester is hurt to see his coach get fired, it's ridiculous to threaten to retire because of it. It's a job, and when you don't perform up to expectations, you don't have it anymore.

Which, all things being equal, is something Hester should keep in mind in terms of his own job and how he has performed.


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