Devin Hester: I'm better return man

ByVaughn McClure ESPN logo
Thursday, September 11, 2014

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons record-setting return specialist Devin Hester could not contain his laughter when told about how Cincinnati Bengals' player Adam Jones claimed to be a better return man than Hester.

Jones, speaking to the Cincinnati media this week, made the bold claim prior to Sunday's Falcons-Bengals matchup.

"I'm sorry: He's a good returner, but he's not better than me," Jones said of Hester. "He's played more games than me, way more games than me. I don't feel like there's anybody better than me when I'm right there. I've said that a long time before right now."

Hester was going to brush off the comments but decided to fire back.

"He said that last year when we played them," Hester said of his former team, the Chicago Bears, facing Jones and the Bengals in Week 1. "Every year I've played him, he's said something like that.

"He's all right. He's a quick guy. But how many returns does he have? Maybe four? I can't compare myself to him."

Hester has an NFL-record 18 combined kick-return scores in 124 career games, including an NFL-record 13 punt-return touchdowns. Jones, formerly known as "Pacman," has five career punt-return scores in 85 career NFL games.

"Every return man is going to try and compare himself to me," Hester said. "That's just the way it is. If you look at the stats, I'm on top of the list. So everybody, when it's time to play me, is going to try and want to be the next Devin Hester."

Falcons teammate Roddy White weighed in on the controversy.

"Oh my god," White said of Jones' claim. "You're talking about Hall of Famer and then [Jones]. I don't even know how many Pacman's got. It's like apples to oranges, man. Devin, everybody knows what he can do in the return game.

"It's good for [Jones] to feel that way. We'll see on Sunday. We've got a couple more days before we get out there. And then him and Devin can have their matchup in the return game."