RB Matt Forte says new HC Marc 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.
Through five seasons, Forte has averaged 3.56 receptions per game, which yields almost 57 catches when prorated over a full, 16-game season. We have him conservatively projected to catch 54 passes for 471 yards and 1.5 TD, and that makes him the #9 RB in PPR formats. There's some upside here if Forte sees a jump in his per game targets.