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Matt Forte's Expanded Role on Offense Is Common Sense

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Matt Forte has already shown versatility in his five seasons with the Bears. His main skill is carrying the ball, of course, but he worked as a receiver in short passes that led to big runs. With Marc Trestman now in charge, Forte is getting ready to catch and carry.

    During OTAs, Forte is looking for a more multidimensional role in the Bears' offense.

    "Coach Trestman said he watched a lot of film on me and has seen me run different routes, so I think we'll get back to catching the ball out of the backfield like we did the prior years before," Forte said after Tuesday's session.

    Under Mike Martz in 2010 and 2011, Forte averaged four catches per game and a total of 1,047 yards, despite missing four games in 2011 because of a knee injury. With Mike Tice in charge of the offense in 2012, Forte had less than three catches per game for a total of 340 yards.

    It never made much sense for Tice to limit Forte's effectiveness by not using him in short yardage passing scenarios. Instead, most of the receiving load was carried by Brandon Marshall. He is the Bears no. 1 receiver and flourished in that role, but putting so much on him is one of the reasons why the Bears' offense stalled.

    "Brandon had a lot of catches and everybody else really didn't have a whole lot," Forte said. "We were kind of one-dimensional last year. There's going to be an emphasis for us this year to spread the ball around so it's balanced and the defense can't just focus on one guy or one position."

    Makes sense, doesn't it? It's still months until we see Forte and the rest of the offense get to execute the latest game plan, but the air of common sense that is running through it is quite refreshing.