Bears Running back Matt Forte is well aware of THE Hill.
The 92 foot hill in Arlington Heights where Walter Payton put in grueling workouts. One reason "Sweetness" only missed one game his entire career.
"It did wonders for him" Forte acknowledged.
And a good enough reason for Matt Forte to find his own hill. After a hamstring injury slowed him down his sophomore season with the Bears, Forte was determmined to report to training camp lile his old self.
"I went back to working out with the same guy I did before the NFL Scouting combine" Forte said. "I really wanted to get my speed and quickness back."
So after rehabbing and working out down south in the offseason, Forte returned to the Northern Suburbs before training camp, and went in search of a hill like Payton's.
Offensive quality control coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker would occasionally run with Forte and told him about a hill in Vernon Hills. Forte found it within walking distance of his home, and started running the front side of the hill for speed, and would add weights on his way down the backside to build up his power.
A few weeks of of these runs three times a week, sometimes with a teammate like Greg Olsen, but mostly alone, are paying off. Forte's speed is back. And so are the numbers he put up his rookie year.
151 total yards in the Bears week one win earned Forte "NFC Offensive Player of the Week" honors. He has scored 3 touchdowns two games into the season.
Forte says he knew his own hill couldn't hurt his training, now he knows just how much it has helped.