Extra special

Ted Ginn's return skills could prove to be pivotal for the Niners this postseason. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS since Devin Hester burst onto the NFL scene, making every kickoff an event. In that time, the Bears Pro Bowler has set the all-time record with 17 touchdowns on returns, and leaguewide statistical trends show that despite two rule changes meant to curb returns, Hester has helped transform special teams from a chore for scrubs to a platform for stardom. "Kids now see special teams as a glamour position," says Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub.