Inside The Bills

What makes Ravens’ Devin Hester special

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2016 – 8:50 am

Everyone knows that Baltimore return man Devin Hester holds the NFL mark for most return touchdowns in his career with 20 and the record for punt return touchdowns with 14. There’s no debating that Hester is entering the twilight of his career, but at age 33, he’s still a viable return threat. Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg explained why.

“The thing that makes Devin special in my view is he has the ability to break away. He has elite speed,” said Rosburg. “He has change of direction skills that are also elite. He has hands; he has ball skills that are very good. Then, the other thing that people aren’t really aware of when you watch him in some of these big returns is that he will break tackles. He has a strong lower body, and people bounce off him. That is a pretty good combination, and we are looking forward to having that on our sideline instead of trying to chase him.”

Having just signed this past week, Rosburg has been spending a lot of extra hours with his new return specialist.

“We’ve spent some extra time just watching tape together,” he said. “We’ve watched some of his tape, and we’ve talked through some things. He has learned our system very quickly. The difficulty really is having our players play with him and understanding how he plays the game – every one of these guys – especially in a punt return when the play is a work of art. He is going to find space and go. We have to learn how to play with Devin Hester as our returner. And we will, and that’s why we’ve been working hard in practice to try to get to know one another in that regard.”

 


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Rex wary of Ravens special teams prowess

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2016 – 12:29 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan spent 10 years coaching in Baltimore, so he knows the team’s history and their calling cards. Physicality in their play is one of them. The other is creating advantages on special teams to provide their offense and defense with field position advantage throughout games. With their head coach John Harbaugh a former special teams coordinator himself, Ryan knows for Buffalo’s specialists it will be a challenging opening week.

“Their special teams are a major factor,” said Ryan. “They probably have the best kicker in the league, a great punter and they just added (Devin) Hester. So you go into games and this is an area that is usually a big advantage for Baltimore and we’ve got to limit that. So we know going in special teams is a big emphasis this week. And then obviously a challenge on both sides of the ball on offense and defense.”

Buffalo signed return specialist Brandon Tate on Tuesday. A day earlier the Ravens signed the league’s all-time return specialist Devin Hester. It’ll be interesting to see if the Bills decide to make other special teams moves with Baltimore being their opponent Sunday.


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One more Hester-Parrish note

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2010 – 10:05 am

Roscoe Parrish doesn’t get the same national acclaim as Devin Hester because he doesn’t have the touchdown total that Hester does on punt returns, but he’s got Hester beat in career punt return average (12.2 to 11.9). And he’s right there with Hester when it comes to 20-plus yard returns.

Since 2006, Hester and Parrish are first and second in number of 20-plus yard returns. Parrish just had another last week against Kansas City (33 yards). Over the last four seasons and change, Hester has a league-leading 32 punt returns of 20-plus yards. Parrish has 26.

The next closest return man is Jacoby Jones with just 16. The two Miami alums are in a class by themselves.


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