“Pay Forte”. The line 99 percent of Bears fans repeated over and over last season and this offseason. But why? Is he really worth all the money?
The answer is simply no he is not. When it comes to running the football, Forte is really not that elite. Like any NFL running back should be able to do, Forte can break a long run when his offense line gives him a big whole. But what about when there is not a lot of running room? Correct me if I am wrong, but there are not a lot of times when Forte breaks initial contact and gains extra yards. In last night’s game against the Green Bay Packers, Forte was not there. Yes, he had 7 carries for 31 yards which comes out to a good 4.4 average. But, remember that a few carries were on third and a mile and the Bears called a draw play and Forte got easy yards with the Packers in pass coverage. When the Bears run the ball up the middle, Forte looks lost and waits for a whole to magically appear instead of keeping his legs moving and finding space like any good running back should do. When it comes to strictly running the football, Forte is just alright. Don’t try to tell me you would take Forte over Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones Drew, Arian Foster, Lesean Mccoy, Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, Jamaal Charles, and Marshawn Lynch because it is simply not true.
Forte is also supposed to be a good blitz pick up back. However, I noticed a lot in training camp this season that Forte was not doing good in blitz pick up drills. I recall Craig Steltz putting Forte on his back on a one on one drill. It may be true that Forte is good at blitz pick up, but on the Bears first offensive play last night, Forte let a packer line backer right through and sacked Cutler. I’m not saying if Forte makes this block the Bears win, but it certainly set the tone for a terrible offensive night. Good job, Matt.
The last park of Forte’s game, his receiving ability. Well, yea Forte is great at catching the ball out of the backfield but is this what you want your running back to do? Didn’t we sign Brandon Marshall and draft Alshon Jeffery? I’ll give Forte the credit that he is the best running back catching ball out of the backfield but maybe other running backs are trying to catch their breath after fighting for tough yards on the previous plays.
After Forte’s injury last night, I was more confident with the Bears offensive with a good running back in Michael Bush. The line was not terrific at opening up holes for him but Bush kept his legs moving and fought for tough yardage. Something Forte does not know how to do.
So why did the Bears “Pay Forte?”