Devin Hester Video: Watch Bears Star Break Punt Return Record

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One of the more inevitable broken records in the NFL was broken just today.

In the Bears' game against the Carolina Panthers, Devin Hester brought back a punt for a touchdown, the 11th of his career. The return broke the old record of 10 set by Eric Metcalf.

It's hard to argue against the fact that Hester is the greatest return man in the history of the NFL. No return man has been as big a weapon in the return game for his team as Hester is for the Bears.

There was a time when Dante Hall of the Kansas City Chiefs was a huge weapon for them, but his time as a top return man was short-lived. The "human joystick," as they called him in Kansas City, gave us some great highlights, but Hester has been at the top of his game for a much longer period of time.

You have to feel good about Hester breaking this record. The NFL's new kickoff rules were supposed to greatly reduce Hester's role on his team, but Hester has continued to make big plays on punts.

This particular punt return was vintage Hester. He is decisive once he catches the ball, he makes the first defender miss and then he's gone. Once he gets out in space like he did at the end of this return, there's not a player in the league that can catch him.

Even with Hester's continued success returning punts, you have to wonder what the Bears' plans are for him long-term. If the kickoff rule is not changed, Hester's value is more limited than it once was. He has yet to really become a huge threat in the passing game.

The Bears may have a Hester replacement already on the roster in Johnny Knox. He has proven to be an electric return man in his own right and he is a much better receiver than Hester is in terms of raw receiving skills.

Those are issues for another day, however. Today should be a day to celebrate Devin Hester. He is officially the greatest return man in the history of the NFL.

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