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Chicago coaches not concerned about Matt Forte’s absence

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Although Bears running back Matt Forte hasn’t signed his franchise tender, does not appear to be close to an agreement on a long-term contract and hasn’t participated in minicamp, Organized Team Activities or anything else this offseason, his coaches aren’t worried.

Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer said that despite Forte’s absence and the change from Mike Martz to Mike Tice as offensive coordinator, Forte will be able to step right in and be ready to play in the Bears’ offense, whenever he’s ready to sign the Bears’ contract offer.

“There’s a little different terminology, but Matt is smart enough that he should be able to pick it up,” Spencer said. “Some of our things we’re doing with the same name. We’re doing some of the same things with a different name, too. So once he masters that he should be OK. He should be very functional when he comes in.”

Bears head coach Lovie Smith also indicated that he’s not worried, hinting that he expects Forte to be with the team by training camp.

“Can’t wait to get down to training camp, to get a few more of our guys back out there in the mix,” Smith said. “Brian Urlacher, get Matt Forte back out there, those guys.”

The optimism from the coaching staff mirrors that of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who said he’s sure Forte will sign before the start of training camp. The problem, however, is that Forte hasn’t said anything that sounds quite so optimistic about a deal getting done. And until Forte does say he’s ready to sign, the Bears’ optimism may be misplaced.

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28 Responses to “Chicago coaches not concerned about Matt Forte’s absence”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 15, 2012 12:11 PM

    They have other back who will hold the Forte until Matt returns.

  2. adamj1pkrfn says: Jun 15, 2012 12:14 PM

    A contract dispute like this is what separates the Bears and the rest of the NFL elite…..

  3. realdealsteel says: Jun 15, 2012 12:15 PM

    Their not concerned because they have Michael Bush…THAT’S why their not concerned.

    The runningback position has been devalued so most runningbacks don’t have the leverage they had a decade ago.

    Michael Bush is going to move to the upper level of runningbacks in the NFL if he gets the carries that Forte got last season.

    Sorry Forte, but you will never get the amount of money that you want.

  4. blaksteele says: Jun 15, 2012 12:19 PM

    They would be worried if they didn’t have Michael Bush.

  5. rockbottom37 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:21 PM

    Without forte this is 5-6 win team…check the stats I believe Forte was 46% of the Bears Offense last yr and DEF has some age!

  6. brady100 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:25 PM

    RB’s are a dime a dozen…never break the bank on a running back, especially one with little tread left on the tires…

  7. hatesycophants says: Jun 15, 2012 12:28 PM

    Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and guess that the Tice offense isn’t very complicated.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  8. tdk24 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:32 PM

    They’ll start to worry when they figure out that M.Bush can’t pick up a block.

  9. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jun 15, 2012 12:36 PM

    rockbottom37 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:21 PM

    Without forte this is 5-6 win team…check the stats I believe Forte was 46% of the Bears Offense last yr and DEF has some age!
    _____________________________

    Yea that’s because Cutler had no one to throw to. Now he does.

  10. gslumbers says: Jun 15, 2012 12:37 PM

    This guy should just go where he’d be appreciated (but definitely not paid what he wants) and head to sconny to play for the packers. The packers w/ MF would be absolutely unstoppable. He more than likely get two SB rings, and he’d be appreciated everyday. When it comes down to it, what more could you want?

  11. bears0492 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:51 PM

    “The problem, however, is that Forte hasn’t said anything that sounds quite so optimistic about a deal getting done. And until Forte does say he’s ready to sign, the Bears’ optimism may be misplaced.”

    This is stupid MDS. Do you not know how contract negotiations go? Its all about leverage, and Forte expressing that he’s ready to sign would lower any leverage he has. Obviously, he’s going to say he’s not going to commit to anything to ensure the Bears are concerned about him and getting him a new contract.

    If he did say he were ready to sign, I’d be questioning Forte’s smarts. Clearly though, he’s a smart guy who knows how to go about his business. Even if he is asking for about 1m per year too much (Bears offered him a 5 year, 40 mil contract….and that was before his first pro bowl year in 2011)

  12. purpleguy says: Jun 15, 2012 1:08 PM

    I really don’t think Bears fans have much to worry about — particularly if the concern is Forte’s ability to intellectually catch up on an offense designed by Mike Tice.

  13. eaststsfb says: Jun 15, 2012 1:22 PM

    With Bush, Forte is trade bait. If he signs the one year deal, I could see the bears getting rid of him, especially if they truly are worried about his knee issues. The compensation they would get for him would be good for the Bears.

  14. darthhitman77 says: Jun 15, 2012 1:26 PM

    They’re not worried ’cause they have Michael Bush and Brandon marshall huh? Bush has shown he is good splitting carries…how is he carrying the load? As for Marshall, are either he OR Bush in the NFL Top 100 of 2012? 2011? Forte IS, neither of them are. With Forte in the backfield I worry about their offense…without him, I LAUGH AT IT. TRUTH!!!

  15. bdawkins20 says: Jun 15, 2012 1:56 PM

    without forte all they have is stone hands masrshall

  16. textexington says: Jun 15, 2012 1:58 PM

    21-14.LOLZ.

  17. 49erstim says: Jun 15, 2012 2:03 PM

    They should be concerned. It isn’t the intellectual part, but the physical part. Almost every time something like this happens and a guy is really late into camp he either gets hurt or plays poorly. They need football conditioning! Sign him or work it out some other way, but get him reeled in NOW. To the people above thinking M Bush is gonna carry the Bears, I just question your football IQ and sanity. Forte is an upper-tier RB. Those are not a dime a dozen. Half the league would kill for a Matt Forte.

  18. thedano says: Jun 15, 2012 2:05 PM

    Michael Bush has nothing to do with them being worried or not. He’s a quality “split carries” guy. Everybody knows that.

    They aren’t concerned because in this history of threats to sit out for an extended period only a small, small percent ever miss any games. He isn’t going to throw away $7.7 mil this year. Everybody also knows this. That’s why they aren’t worried.

    This is no longer a running league. So those of you that think they could get a kings ransom in trade, you’re wrong. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd rounder, at best. So then he’s more valuable to CHI and thus not getting traded.

    Those that blame managment for not signing him……have we heard what they are offering? I would bet it’s a competitive contract that would give him more money than he could ever need.

    If he wants to hold out for $22 mil guaranteed instead of $18 mil guaranteed (or whatever it is), that’s his right.

    Let’s move on. We’ll see him before the regular season, hopefully he doesn’t get injured like some other past holdouts.

  19. leftyqb says: Jun 15, 2012 2:14 PM

    All you have to do is look at Denver during the Shannahan yrs. Plug in running backs. The days of elite RB’s are over. And 7.7 million isn’t a bad paycheck.

  20. larryboodry says: Jun 15, 2012 2:25 PM

    adamj1pkrfn says: Jun 15, 2012 12:14 PM

    A contract dispute like this is what separates the Bears and the rest of the NFL elite…
    _______________________

    Right, because the rest of the NFL elite has NEVER had a star player mired in a contract dispute.

  21. claydefayette says: Jun 15, 2012 2:26 PM

    Even as a Bears fan I wouldn’t be too concerned, especially seeing Forte run with that 100 lb sled.

  22. west4420 says: Jun 15, 2012 2:28 PM

    I was trying to decide whose comment was more amazingly terrible:

    rockbottom37 says:
    Jun 15, 2012 12:21 PM
    Without forte this is 5-6 win team…check the stats I believe Forte was 46% of the Bears Offense last yr and DEF has some age!

    OR

    bdawkins20 says:
    Jun 15, 2012 1:56 PM
    without forte all they have is stone hands masrshall

    At some point you have to look at yourself in the mirror and just admit that you are a total tool.

  23. larryboodry says: Jun 15, 2012 2:41 PM

    rockbottom37 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:21 PM

    Without forte this is 5-6 win team…check the stats I believe Forte was 46% of the Bears Offense last yr and DEF has some age!
    __________________________

    Here’s the thing…They don’t need him to be 46% of the offense anymore, if the Bears end up with Bush getting most of the carries, and Marshall and Jeffery getting most of the passes, they’ll be fine…With Devin Hester returning kicks, plus Robbie Gould kicking FGs at his usual rate, special teams will be fine…And while I agree that our defense is getting older, I see them continuing to play at a high level. The Bears – with or without Forte, and barring injuries to key players – should easily win 10-12 games in 2012.

  24. adamj1pkrfn says: Jun 15, 2012 2:52 PM

    Larry its not just Forte. They have had lengthy battles with Lance Briggs the last few years. Brian Urlacher has been quoted that he would consider free agency after this upcoming season. The Cutler addition was tremendous. Jerry Angelo has done absolutely nothing to build around this guy. He is back there running for his life with no one to throw to. The only guy he had to rely on was Forte and the defense keeping these games competive. When your mainstay guys aren’t taken care of and you can’t draft very well this is what seperates you from being really good and elite.

  25. pleazenufalready says: Jun 15, 2012 2:54 PM

    Some awfully brave comments being made about not really needing Forte. The Bears have had plenty of time to take care of this little mess and haven’t accomplished squat. Maybe it will all work out OK, the Bears better hope so…..cause the window on their chances won’t be open too much longer with their defense getting older and older

  26. niubears says: Jun 15, 2012 3:07 PM

    Forte’s and MJD’s agent seems to be the dumbest one around. Both of those backs need to be getting better advice.

  27. thedano says: Jun 15, 2012 4:46 PM

    pleazenufalready says:Jun 15, 2012 2:54 PM

    Some awfully brave comments being made about not really needing Forte. The Bears have had plenty of time to take care of this little mess and haven’t accomplished squat. Maybe it will all work out OK, the Bears better hope so…..cause the window on their chances won’t be open too much longer with their defense getting older and older

    ________________________________

    The folks indicating he isn’t needed or valuable aren’t really dialed in. He is very valuable to the Bears. But you point your finger entirely at the organization (without knowing what they’ve offered him)…..they can’t overpay to keep him, long term, in a passing league. The franchise tags give them leverage.

    They have him the next two seasons to work it out. It’s a two way street, it’s not just the organization, it’s the player too.

  28. thedano says: Jun 15, 2012 4:49 PM

    And….the two years they have the franchise tag ability…..should just about max out the shelf life on the old D……so that’s not really the concern. The front office needs to start adding young D playmakers regardless.

    Maybe a reason to be careful not to allocate too much salary cap money to RB???

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