Jay Cutler and Devin Hester had the opportunity to play with each from 2009 to 2013. During that time, they were on the Chicago Bears. A quarterback needs to have good chemistry with his receiving core. That can determine whether the offense has success or not.
During his time with the Bears, Hester split time playing receiver and returner. He was one of the most dynamic returners in NFL history. Hester recently talked about his time playing with Cutler, and he was not afraid to talk about what he didn’t like about him.
Devin Hester was an electric player during his NFL career
Hester played for four teams during his career. He spent most of his career with the Bears. Chicago drafted him in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft. The Bears originally drafted Hester as a cornerback, then switched him to a return specialist. In his rookie season, Hester became one of the Bears’ top players. He returned a punt for a touchdown in his NFL debut, and he finished the season with six return touchdowns. The 2006 season was a special one for Hester. He set an NFL record for most non-offensive touchdowns in a season with six (three punts, two kickoffs, one missed field goal).
As a rookie, he was selected to the Pro Bowl, named first-team All-Pro, and was the NFL Alumni Special Teams Player of the Year. After his rookie season, Hester spent time playing wide receiver. He continued to have success as a returner throughout his career, setting numerous NFL records. Hester spent his first eight seasons in Chicago, and he set a handful of franchise records during his time there.
He finished his career spending two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and one season with the Baltimore Ravens. Hester finished his career with 11,028 return yards and 20 return touchdowns and also finished with 3,311 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns.
Jay Cutler was the Bears’ top quarterback for a number of years
Cutler started his NFL career with the Denver Broncos. At the start of the 2006 season, Cutler was the second-string quarterback behind Jake Plummer. Cutler became the starting quarterback later in the season and finished with a 2-3 record. He kept his starting quarterback position the next two seasons and had one of his best seasons statistically in 2008. Cutler finished with a career-high 4,526 passing yards and threw 25 touchdown passes.
After three seasons in Denver, Cutler was traded to the Bears. The Bears finished with two winning seasons with Cutler at quarterback. His best season with the Bears came in 2014 when he threw for 3,812 yards and a career-high 28 touchdowns. That year he also led the league in interceptions with 18. After eight seasons with the Bears, Cutler finished his career with the Miami Dolphins.
Devin Hester thought Jay Cutler lacked leadership skills
Hester recently talked about his experience playing with Cutler in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion. Now Hester has a lot of respect for Cutler and said he was talented and skilled at the quarterback position. But Hester thought that Cutler was the worst quarterback he’s played with when it came to one thing.
“As a quarterback, like, I’d tell him to his face today that, to me, my years in the NFL — I played 11 years. He’s the best quarterback when it comes to accuracy, power, knowledge of the game,” Hester told Tesfatsion. “The best quarterback, hands down, I ever played with. Now, when it comes to leadership, the worst.”
“He don’t know how to communicate. He don’t know how to get his teammates involved. For me to be, like, at that time, one of the No. 1 or No 2. receivers, like, you are supposed to have my back regardless.” Hester blamed Cutler for him not being used more as a receiver during his time in Chicago. Now because Hester was so talented as an athlete, he went on to have a lot of success as a return specialist. But when it came to him at the receiver position, he didn’t have much success. Though Hester called Cutler the worst quarterback when it came to leadership, he didn’t hate playing with him. Leadership is an important skill to have, especially at the quarterback position.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference