Around the NFL  

 

Matt Forte no longer workhorse in Bears' backfield?

Print

Over the course of his coaching career John Fox has utilized running back by committee approaches to success.

Along with offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the past two years in Denver a dual-threat approach led to C.J. Anderson (179 carries) and Ronnie Hillman (106) combining for 1,283 yards in 2014 and Knowshon Moreno (241) and Montee Ball (120) going for 1,597 yards in 2013.

Now in Chicago, however, there is a different dynamic, with Matt Forte clearly the lead back (266 carries to just 36 for backup Ka'Deem Carey in 2014).

"Well this is an unusual situation just because Matt has been in such great shape and has been so dynamic as far as staying on the field," said Gase at rookie minicamp over the weekend, via ESPN.com. "We've just got to see how it plays out. In Denver, C.J. would hate me for saying this, but he got tired and was a little chubby sometimes. I mean, he got worn down quick and then we had to rotate backs in last year. Matt's an unusual situation in that position because he's able to play every play, or has."

Ignoring the knock on Anderson, we expect Forte -- when he eventually shows up to the Bears' facility -- to remain the workhorse. Carey showed little under the previous regime, Jacquizz Rodgers is a change-of-pace back and fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford doesn't enter the NFL projected as a load-carrier.

Fox certainly didn't sound opposed to riding Forte this season.

"It's a positive that he's had a number of carries and the production he's had, both catching the ball and running the ball," he said. "We've always been believers in kind of a one-two punch and rolling guys through there whether it's the defensive line; a wave of those guys to stay fresh.

"I've always had the approach the same thing with running backs. But as I tell guys they pick the team -- how they perform -- and it will be no different at running back, who that guy is and how dependable he is and if he earns that number of reps to get in. We're early in the process and hopefully somebody kind of sets themselves out."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the most recent "Deflategate" news and discusses the current state of all 16 NFC teams. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print

Fan Discussion