Former NFL Kicker Shares Why Devin Hester Was The Best Kick Returner He's Seen
Former NFL Punter Chris Kluwe shares his thoughts with The Schmo on why it was so difficult to scheme against Devin Hester as a punt returner. Watch this clip as Devin Hester jukes four Minnesota Vikings defenders to break free and score a long touchdown. Hester's speed an vision was insane!
Hester is touted has the best return man in NFL history. He is the NFL's career leader for kickoffs and punts returned for touchdowns with 5 and 14, respectively.
We can surely attribute much of Hester's success to God-given ability, however we are sure that his footwork and speed work training during the off-season played a huge part. Developing great acceleration/deceleration speed, all while keeping your eyes downfield, and making quick decisions are all key factors in becoming a dangerous return man.
To enhance your ability as a kick returner, we suggest that you setup several cone gauntlets across a 40 to 50 yard space, and sprint through each station while focusing on acceleration and deceleration, each of which are key components to being an effective return man.
You cannot waste any steps as a kick returner because, as you know, the defense is in hot pursuit from multiple angles. Make quick, decisive, explosive movements that propel you vertically up the field. Remember - get vertical & do not dance around running side-to-side or backwards. The opposing pursuit is coming downhill on you so your best bet to get ahead is to get vertical....ASAP!