The most dangerous return man in NFL history, with an NFL-record, 17-career kick-return touchdowns, has been rather quiet through the first five games. Hester realizes he's way overdue.
"We've been close and close for the past five weeks,'' he said. "We're always one man short away from breaking one. It's bound to hit any minute now.
"We just have to be patient, make sure I don't make any stupid errors to cost the team a win with a turnover. You just have to play smart and continue to press on.''
Coach Lovie Smith subtly has put the press on Hester and the special teams unit to make an impact in the return game. Hester's last kick return for a score was Nov. 13 of last season, when he ran back a punt 82 yards against the Lions at Soldier Field.
The Lions happen to be the Bears' next opponent a week from Monday. And on paper, they seem like the ideal opponent to kick-start Hester.
During a 44-41 loss to the Titans in Week 3, the Lions surrendered a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown to Darius Reynaud and a 65-yard punt-return score to Tommie Campbell on a trick play. Their next game, the Lions again allowed two kick-return scores in a loss to the Vikings: Percy Harvin's 105-yard kickoff return and Marcus Sherels' 77-yard punt return. According to Stats, the Lions are the first team since at least 1940 to give up a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns in consecutive games.
Hester expects to see improved Lions' coverage units.
"You can't look at it as (easy) because teams play each individual differently,'' Hester said. "We could get a different type of special teams mentality when those guys come to play us. Guys may chill against other teams and play more laid-back, but we know when they step on the field against us, those coaches are going to have those guys hyped up.''
Hester believes opposing coverage teams are playing more disciplined and spacing wider apart to keep him from hitting the edge.
"We might change up our returns a little bit, call a middle return here and there to get those guys to squeeze in,'' Hester said. "We know what has been good and helped us out before, so we've been trying to stick to our basics. But we're capable of doing other things.''
It's not as if Hester is overexerting himself on offense, although his role as a receiver might increase now with Alshon Jeffery (fractured hand) sidelined. Hester stands 11th in the league in kickoff return average at 26.9 yards per game, with a long of 38 yards. He is 20th in punt returns with an average of 7.8 yards and a long of 23.
Hester believes in his blockers, but six of the players on the field for his last score versus the Lions are no longer on the team. Corey Graham, now with the Ravens, threw key early blocks on both Hester's 82-yarder against the Lions and his 98-yard kickoff return versus the Vikings last season.
"Yes, Corey Graham is one of those great special teams guys, and you never want to lose a guy like that,'' Hester said. "It lingers in the back of your mind. But at the same time, you just have to adapt and adjust to it.
"Sometimes, yeah, it can be hard to adjust. Sometimes, I feel like we're not all on the same page. It could be on me. And sometimes, it could be on the other players. Once we get on the same page and understand how we play and how we think … it comes with time. It doesn't happen overnight.''
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub expects Hester to break one soon no matter how much the recent kickoff rule limits returns and no matter how many times opposing punters try to kick away.
"We went two years without getting Devin a touchdown. Other guys got touchdowns instead,'' Toub said. "We're not hitting the panic button by any means. But the guys know when we get the ball in our hands, we need to make a play.''