When Bears players heard of Lovie Smith's firing, they were understandably upset and shaken up.
Receiver/returner Devin Hester was the most outspoken, calling those who wanted Smith fired "false fans." He also said he is unsure if he ever wants to play football again.
A day later, the 30-year-old isn't changing his tune, but did clarify that Smith's firing wasn't the only reason:
Let me make myself clear the reason why I feel like retiring has nothing to do with Lovie Smith Getting fired.— DevinHester (@D_Hest23) January 1, 2013
It's hard to play this game when you're not happy or having fun At what you love to do in life.— DevinHester (@D_Hest23) January 1, 2013
The Bears' late-season collapse and Smith's firing is still fresh, so who knows if the NFL's all-time leading returner will wind up calling it a career, but it's not everyday you see a player wanting to walk away from the game.
2012 marked just the third season of Hester's illustrious career in which he did not score a return touchdown, and he continued his downward spiral in the passing game. For the third straight year, he saw declines in receptions, targets, yards and first downs. He also scored just one receiving touchdown for the second straight season.