Countdown To Kickoff (3 Days) NFL Kickoff Weekend

(Sept. 1, 2008 – TMRZoo.com) He checks the flags atop the goal posts, surveys the coverage team in front of him and positions himself accordingly. The ball floats through the air, falls into his hands and he’s off! Chicago Bears Pro Bowl return specialist DEVIN HESTER (left) is on his way to another electric return.

Only two years into his career, Hester is already one of the most exciting and effective returners in history. With 11 touchdowns in only 152 kick returns, it’s no wonder that Bears special teams coordinator DAVE TOUB calls it “an event” every time Hester touches the football.

“He kind of has a weird, uncanny ability to almost run sideways,” says DAVID TYREE, special teamer for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. “When he side-steps a guy, he doesn’t lose speed.”

What’s the secret to success for the man DEION SANDERS calls “the most exciting player in the league?”

“I see colors,” Hester says. “When we’re wearing white jerseys, I look for the darker colors. Where the darker colors are, especially in the red zone, I don’t go that way. I kind of just try to read the colors and it helps me out a lot.”

The ability to perceive colors quickly, combined with lightning speed and the talent to shake defenders with ease has made the often routine act of changing possession a heart-stopping proposition in the Windy City.

Hester’s 11 combined kick-return touchdowns in his two-year career already ranks fourth in NFL history.

Following is the list of players ahead of him in the category:

PLAYER

KR-TDs

PR-TDs

COMBINED KICK TDs

Brian Mitchell

4

9

13

Eric Metcalf

2

10

12

Dante Hall*

6

6

12

Devin Hester*

4

7

 11

*Active

 

At the NFL ROOKIE SYMPOSIUM each summer, all draft picks learn about everything from how to deal with their new-found fame, to managing their finances, to continuing their education.

In addition, the rookies take part in panel discussions on topics including “Life As A Rookie” and “Success On & Off The Field.”

All of that studying certainly makes a guy hungry! So following are the quantities of food consumed by the rookies from this June 29-July 2 at the LaCosta Conference Center in Carlsbad, California (as overseen by Executive Sous Chef JULIAN QUINONES):

LET’S EAT!

ITEM

AMOUNT

Eggs

500 dozen

Bacon

500 Pounds

Chicken Wings

1,000 Pounds

Potatoes

600 Pounds

Pasta

200 Pounds

Beef

900 Pounds

Vegetables

600 Pounds

Chicken Apple Sausage

200 Pounds