As a Bears fan, my loyalty cannot be questioned and it will never waver. For better or worse, this is where my allegiance lies. Although my loyalty to the “Monsters of the Midway” will last forever – my opinions are not to be forced. There haven’t been many great times for this franchise and many will latch on to glimmers of what they see and hold on to it as truth. Matt Forte, was one of those false ideals held in high regard by many of the Chicago faithful.
“Look at his numbers.”
That’s the argument you’ll get from Matt Forte supporters.
My response has always been “smoke and mirrors.”
I’ve seen every game Forte has played in. Every single one. I was sold in his rookie season, over 1700 total yards and 12 touchdowns. I had to believe. Bears fans long for the greatness at the running back position – and why shouldn’t we? We’ve had Walter Payton and Gale Sayers – two of the all time greats at that position. Since then we had three good years by Neal Anderson before his body gave up on him and Thomas Jones gave us three solid seasons but was never fully appreciated for what he brought to the table.
Forte was great for fantasy football fans. He would get you the yards, get you the touchdowns – but those yards and touchdowns should’ve been more. Forte had an innate ability to drop at the first sign of an oncoming tackler. He was awful in short yardage situations, and although game-announcers would say he was a good pass blocker – I’m sure we’ve seen him miss more blocks than not.
The Chicago Bears, for all our history and tradition – NFL fans see us as second fiddle to the Packers, and a long shot to win a Conference Championship. Sure, we’ve popped up and caught the league off guard a few times, but it’s been in spurts – it’s never been consistent. With that being said, fans around the league will look at numbers and not the actual in-game-performance of Forte and formulate the theory of “The Bears aren’t doing him any favors.”
The Bears did him the favor of not being that good, and making him look better than he was. The real reason behind his reception and receiving yards: Bears quarterbacks usually have to ‘check down’ to the backs because the offensive line can’t hold up or receivers are running the wrong routes.
There is no doubt, Forte will get picked up by some other team and it’ll be worth it to them. Dallas has an o-line that can cover up Forte’s softness and New England’s system makes everybody on offense look better than they are – these should be two possibilities for Forte and his camp. He said he’s not about the money, he’s about getting to a championship so let’s see how that works out for him. . .
Anyhow, in terms of the future of the running back position for the Bears, Jeremy Langford proved in Forte’s absence last year that he is more than capable of being a feature back. Ka’Deem Carey would be the number two, and one would assume a free agent like the speedy Ronnie Hillman would be someone the Bears and John Fox would take a look at. The Bears have a lot of work ahead of them but at least the future of the running back position seems good to go.
Getting over Matt Forte will be a lot easier than Bears fans think it will be. BearDown and BearWitness. . .