Originally selected by the Chicago Bears in the 2006 NFL Draft, Hester was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent in March of 2014 and quickly became an asset on both offense and special teams.
Falcons WR Devin Hester has seen a lot in his nine years in the league, but Sunday will be a first, facing the Chicago Bears team that drafted him in the second round (57th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. Eight years in the Windy City proved more than beneficial for Chicago, feasting on Hester's special teams success, including a combined career-return 19 scores in a Bears uniform.
Hester also recorded 217 receptions for 2,807 yards and 14 touchdowns in Chicago and became the first player in NFL history to return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl for a touchdown, going 92 yards for the score in Super Bowl XLI, facing the Indianapolis Colts.
With all those years, stats and memories, of course Sunday's Week 6 matchup is going to be emotional for Hester, but as fast, elusive and dynamic as he is as a receiver/returner, he's as equally talented at managing his emotions, offering proper perspective on the contest against his former team.
"It's going to be fun, kind of exciting," Hester said. "I'm so used to going against those guys in practice; it'll be the first time for me to go against them live. (I've) been around those guys for a long time; so, it's kind of like playing against your brother."
Hester now has a new band of brothers with the Falcons, signing a free-agent deal on March 20, 2014 and since then, he's been allowed to display his more-than-a-returner skillset that he's pretty much had since birth, featured as a wide receiver, in addition to his special teams responsibilities.
In 2014, Hester has grabbed 14 receptions for 212 yards and one touchdown, as well as a 20-yard end-around rushing score. The transition has been seamless for the all-world receiver/returner, who set the all-time NFL record for return scores (20), following his 62-yard punt return score in Week 3. Hester has also logged a special teams tackle, forced a fumble and recovered it (during Week 3) in a Falcons uniform.
"I'm pretty much the same guy," Hester said of his 2014 success. "The Falcons coaches do a great job of creating more opportunities for me, getting me in matchups and finding plays that fit me to get me out in space, where I can do damage."