Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is one of the league’s most productive backs. When he gets into open space, he has the moves and speed to make things happen. He is also a dangerous receiver out of the backfield. Last season, despite missing the last few games, Forte led the team in receptions. Granted, the addition of Brandon Marshall has made Forte less of an option in the passing game this season, but he is one of the best receiving backs in football. It’s kind of scary for opposing defenses that the option of Forte catching passes remains in Jay Cutler‘s bag of tricks.
The Bears search for change-of-pace backup running back the last three seasons has been interesting. Two years ago, Chester Taylor was signed away from the Minnesota Vikings. He never panned out. Last season, Marian Barber was supposed to take that role. His stepping out of bounds against the Denver Broncos goes down as one of the worst moments in Bears regular season history. So when Michael Bush became a free agent, head coach Lovie Smith made no secret that he wanted the bruising back. And Smith got his guy.
Between Forte and Bush, the Bears have one of the league’s most dangerous running attacks. Forte and Bush bring two totally different styles to the table. And while Forte is the featured back, there are plenty of teams that would love to have a Bush as their starting running back. But luckily for the Bears, he decided to share the running burden with Forte. The Bears need to run the football to be successful. It is a formula they recognize but don’t always implement. When the Bears are at their best, they are using the running game to set up the pass. While it’s tempting to throw the ball more often with Cutler and Marshall, the Bears need to continue committing to the run.
Here’s the thing with the Bears. Unlike a lot of other teams around the league they keep things simple. The Bears defense works so efficiently because they essentially run three of four defenses. The offense needs to implement this same philosophy with the running game. Hand the ball to either guy and let them work for yards. And just when you think you will see another run, hit them with a throw. It will make the Bears unpredictable yet simple on offense. But it all starts with running the darn football.
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