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Matt Forte preparing for increased role as receiver

Matt Forte, Brad Jones AP

Among the many complaints about the Bears offense in 2012 was the way the team failed to make full use of running back Matt Forte’s skills as a receiver.

Forte caught 44 passes for 340 yards last year, setting career lows in each stat even after Forte missed four games of the 2011 season. That slump was part of the overall offensive issues that forced Lovie Smith out and brought Marc Trestman in as head coach and it is a slump the team is looking to halt this year.

Forte says Trestman told him he’s watched a lot of film of Forte running a lot of different kinds of routes and that the Bears plan to incorporate a lot of them into their offense. That’s left Forte with “challenging” work to do to prepare himself for a return to a more versatile offensive role.

“It’s easy to learn what you do, but to actually have to learn the concepts of what the receivers are doing and why I have to run this route to get that guy open … it makes it more difficult, but also more intriguing as a player,” Forte said, via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. “I have to learn more than what the ‘H’ does. I’ve got to learn what the ‘F’ does, (and) where he lines up because I may have a situation where I line up as a receiver. I have to learn the receivers’ routes as well.”

An increased role for Forte as a receiver out of the backfield fits with what we’ve heard about shorter drops and quicker throws from the Bears offense this season. It also sounds better than what the team was trying in 2012, although the talk out of Bears camp this year sounded a lot better than the offense looked in 2011. The proof will come in a few months, likely with a healthy serving of Forte as receiver in the mix.

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15 Responses to “Matt Forte preparing for increased role as receiver”
  1. filthymcnasty1 says: May 15, 2013 10:15 AM

    He had a good run with the Bears, but it was obvious last year that he’s done.

  2. metalhead65 says: May 15, 2013 10:23 AM

    it should be fun to watch the bears on on offense this year even if it is not as explosive as it looks like it will be. to see them get the plays in on time and with the right personal on the field will be a huge step forward after what they have done in the past. and imagine the excitement the fans will have knowing they will not go into a prevent offense the min. they kick a field goal! actually trying to score points in game on offense,I am not sure my heart will be able to stand it.

  3. crownofthehelmet says: May 15, 2013 10:37 AM

    If it means less balls to Marshall, dumb move.

  4. vgferenzi says: May 15, 2013 10:45 AM

    People keep trying to say he will take on a Marshal Faulk type role…actualy they’ve been saying that since his second year.

    I see him more as Brian Westbrook. A lot of short designed passes, a lot of “safety valve” passes, and using the passing game to set up big runs.

  5. louiespoon says: May 15, 2013 10:45 AM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    May 15, 2013 10:15 AM
    He had a good run with the Bears, but it was obvious last year that he’s done.

    This dude is the biggest Bears troll on the planet….

  6. zo121179 says: May 15, 2013 11:04 AM

    I would personally like to see him NOT run between the tackles as much. Keeping him on the outside and as a receiver option is a much better idea.

    Let Bush handle the load up the middle and keep Matt’s exposure to big hits at a minimum.

  7. vdogg says: May 15, 2013 11:15 AM

    He needs to stay healthy. If he does that, I think this guy will do well in a system that has been begging for Offensive Line help for years that finally addressed it this off season. He had some good years with on its best day a decent O-Line.

  8. chi01town says: May 15, 2013 12:39 PM

    Chicago’s offense will be better this
    season NOT JUST Forte. the O-line
    will be better and Cutler will have a big year. the defense will be just as good or better because they wont play as much.

  9. LilTmac2003 says: May 15, 2013 1:20 PM

    I remember when we had Martz and Forte had some crazy numbers like he accounted for 46% of out entire offense.

    He became a free agent and Bears knew that had to keep him. Luckily we did.

    Mike Tice than makes him almost a non factor.

    He’s one of the best all around ‘backs in the entire league. Sure, Cutler finally has an o-line for the first time in his Bears career, but so does Forte.

    #InPhilWeTrust

  10. shaggytoodle says: May 15, 2013 1:49 PM

    He is a good player, and I understand they want to get the ball in his hands, but it does kind of stink for a team that their 2nd best WR is a RB.

    Bears fans can correct me if I’m wrong and I am sure they will have no problem doing so.

    Is Forte the only player worth a hoot from that 08′ class?

  11. moeman79 says: May 15, 2013 3:20 PM

    His first two years under Ron Turner he was the best Receiving option on the Bears and most of the time was the leading receiver and led the nfl in Scrimmage yards. He wanted a bigger running role, was not getting the carries he needed. I think if Turners offence was still around he would have be a contender for nfl record, But with Turner there we would have had a 5 win seasons soooo?

  12. voiceofauthority4343 says: May 15, 2013 4:37 PM

    Did you about Cutler’s injury. I guess they are trying to keep it under wraps. Apparently, he was brought to Mercy Medical late last week. He has been undergoing a series of tests and from what people are saying, it looks like he will be ok. It seems that he will be all healed by training camp. I guess the recovery time for a torn uterus is only six weeks. Go filthymcnasty!!!

  13. shwoogy1 says: May 15, 2013 10:47 PM

    I just hope its not all short passes and ten yard outs. They better stretch the field with B Marshall.

  14. pdennis33 says: May 17, 2013 1:35 PM

    I can’t wait to see the first wheel route Forte runs out of the backfield down the sideline, one on one with a linebacker leaving him in the dust.

    That’ll be a welcome sight again!

    If Jeffery stays healthy, I’d hate to be a D-coordinator trying to account for B-Marshall, Jeffery, and now Forte as threats down the field. Oh yeah, and then there’s that Bennett guy at TE :)

  15. larryboodry says: May 17, 2013 2:09 PM

    @shaggytoodle:

    No, they also drafted Earl Bennett, Craig Steltz, and Zack Bowman that year…Chris Williams and Kellen Davis, too, but I’d rather not think about that.

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