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Remembering Devin Hester’s Super Bowl opening-kickoff return touchdown

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‘Uncle Dave’ says he has talked to Mecole Hardman about the moment this week.

Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts v Chicago Bears

13 years ago, the Indianapolis Colts played the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. At the time, current Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub was the special teams coordinator of the Bears, guiding who many consider the best returner in the history of pro football, Devin Hester.

Hester, then a rookie, had recorded five return touchdowns (three punt, two kick) during the season, combining for 1,128 return yards. The Colts were well aware of Hester’s talents when the Super Bowl began.

“The whole week, everybody — media included — were talking about, ‘Are they going to kick to him or are they not going to kick to him?’” recalled Toub. “What I told the guys on Saturday night was, ‘I mean, it’s the Super Bowl. All the cameras are going off. They’re not going to kick a squib kick. They’re not going to kick it out of bounds or anything like that, so they’re probably going to kick it to you.’

“And that’s what we talked about, and they kicked it right to him, and then Devin did what he does — and he’s a special guy. Nobody’s been like him, ever.”

This year, that rookie might just be Mecole Hardman, who has shown promise this season and finally registered his first return touchdown Week 17 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Toub confirmed the two have discussed that possibility ahead of next Sunday’s game.

“We talk about stuff — me and him on the side, how cool that would be,” said Toub. “You want him to picture stuff like that.”

Poll

Who should return kicks for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV?

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  • 87%
    Mecole Hardman
    (2998 votes)
  • 12%
    Tyreek Hill
    (411 votes)
3409 votes total Vote Now