Adam Jones Claims He’s A Better Returner Than Devin Hester


Is Adam Jones really a better returner than Devin Hester? Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals’ cornerback Adam Jones recently told the media that he feels he’s the better returner when compared to Falcons’ wide receiver Devin Hester.

"“I’m sorry: He’s a good returner, but he’s not better than me. 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.”"

Here’s an article by Vaughn McClure which sums up Hester’s response.  It includes a statement by Hester saying:

"“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.”"

To which Jones replied, via Twitter:

It’s undoubtedly a bold statement from the Bengals cornerback, but now the question becomes, is there any legitimacy to Jones’ statement?  Let’s examine.

Aug 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) runs for a touchdown during their game against the Tennessee Titans at the Georgia Dome. The Titans won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Hester is a highly decorated return man who’s skills and performance in this role may land him in the Hall of Fame one day.  He’s the all-time leader in return touchdowns with 13 punt return TDs (an all-time record) and five kick return TDs (tied for 8th all-time).  You can see his wikipedia page for the rest of his records.  Hester even opened Super Bowl LXI (between his Bears and the Colts) with a 92-yard kickoff return for a TD.  Hester has been electric in this role throughout his career.

Jones basis for being a better return man lies in his argument that Hester has “played more games than me.” (translation: way more returns).  He also cites the numbers, so let’s break them down.

[table id=10 /]

  • **KR/TD = Kick Returns/Touchdown
  • **PR/TD = Punt Returns/Touchdown

With those numbers in front of us, there’s no doubt Jones is right…he’s had far fewer returns.

Unless Jones considers the 0.1 better kick return average as signifying that he’s the superior return man, there’s little doubt that Hester is the better return man.  I love the Bengals, and I think Adam Jones is a quality NFL player both as a cornerback and returner, but I’m a realist most of all; Hester is simply the superior returner based on Jones’ argument.

But with that in mind I will say this; I love Adam Jones’ confidence.  At least for this upcoming game, he’s right, we will see who better ON SUNDAY.  As much as Devin Hester has clearly been the superior returner over the course of his career, I would love to see Adam Jones make an impact in this role on Sunday, out do Hester, and contribute to a Bengals win.  Either way, all fans will want is a “W” on Sunday regardless of what happens between Hester and Jones within the return game.