No. 23 finally believes Bears are serious about a Hester package

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No. 23 finally believes Bears are serious about a Hester package

When talk started about a Hester package being created for him in the 2012 Bears offense, coming from different levels within the organization, one guy wasnt all that excited about the buzz:

Devin Hester.

The reason was simple. Hes heard it all before, whether from Ron Turner or Mike Martz or whomever. For the last five, six years, coordinators professed big plans for the returner-turned-receiver, yet nothing ever really came to pass, so to speak.

That was pretty much it, Hester said Wednesday.

Until now.

With organize team activities moving through their second week, plus casual time in the film and meeting rooms, Hester is perhaps for the first time allowing himself to begin believing that talk of a specific plan inside the offense to utilize his skill set will happen.

With this offense, I really do truly think that Mike Tice and Jeremy and those guys want to put this in this year. Im looking forward to it and Mike Tice is more excited than anybody in this organization about putting in this Hester package so more than anything, hes going to be the guy thats going to control that.

Precise details of any Hester Package are not going to be made public. And it will change.

Using broad strokes, however, the plan is for Brandon Marshall to command a major amount of double coverage from defenses. That is logical: Receivers with no fewer than 81 receptions over the past five years get that kind of attention.

But the subtlety, depending on situations and personnel, is turning that into opportunities where Hester in fact is the primary target based on anticipated single coverage always the quarterbacks default prime setting.

That's going to leave me backside one-on-one, and when I come up and make some big plays, the coverage is going to roll over, and that's when it's going to open up to him, Hester said. It's going to be a rotation thing.

And a simple thing.

Asked for his own description of a pack, Hester paused, then simplified: Getting an athlete the ball, getting the ball to a guy who can do damage with the ball in his hands.

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

Despite the Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought, Miguel Montero made offseason headlines for all the wrong reasons when he complained about his role in the Cubs' 2017 championship campaign.

Montero criticized Maddon's communication skills, catching rotation and bullpen decision-making after the team's Grant Park celebration. Maddon brushed off the criticism, and last week at spring training Montero said he hadn't spoke with the Cubs' skipper.

That tension appears to be all but a thing of the past, as Montero posted this picture of him and his manager sharing a drink together sporting nothing but smiles.

It's safe to say Montero would describe his relationship with Maddon now as: #WeAreGood.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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