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Devin Hester sets kick return record

by Photo of Connor McCollum

Devin Hester breaks all time NFL kick return touchdown record in Falcons 56-14 rout of Bucs

Devin Hester sets kick return record

Following his offseason move from the Chicago Bears to the Atlanta Falcons, Devin Hester broke a record set by a former Falcon on Thursday Night Football. During the Falcons 56-14 thrashing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devin Hester returned a punt 62 yards in the second quarter for his 20th kick return for a touchdown in his career. His record setting return surpassed former Atlanta Falcon Deion Sanders for most all time.

The relationship between Sanders and Hester goes back to Hester’s days at the University of Miami. Sanders served as an idol and mentor to Hester. His 20th and record-setting return came with a bit of Deion flare as Hester high stepped the last 15 yards into the end zone, much like Deion Sanders did in his Falcon days.

Breaking down Hester’s returns, Hester has returned 14 punts, 5 kickoffs and one field goal for touchdowns. 19 of his returns came between 2007-2012 with the Chicago Bears where he was drafted by then Bears head coach Lovie Smith. His record breaker came against his former coach, who now coaches the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After his return and celebration with his teammates, the touchdown ball was sent to Canton, Ohio, the home of the NFL Hall of Fame. In his career Hester was drafted as a quarterback, converted to a wide receiver and then found his niche as a kick returner. His offensive numbers are not stellar by any means, but as the all-time kick return leader, it seems as if Devin Hester may find a permanent home in Canton.

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