Chicago Sun-Times

Forte sticks out immediately in rookie minicamp

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If there’s been one person who has stood out in rookie minicamps over the last several seasons, it’s Matt Forte.

He looked the part Friday afternoon in the Walter Payton Center as the Bears assembled with 50 players on the field. Yes, 50. All 12 draft picks, 10 undrafted free agents and 28 players in town on a tryout basis were on the field. The big numbers allows the coaching staff to come as close as possible to simulating a real practice with players that have never set foot on an NFL field.

The running back from Tulane, drafted in the second round, stood out immediately.

``It felt good,’’ he said. ``Everybody's excited and they've got the adrenaline going so really what we came out here to do is get the playbook down right and go full speed when you know what you're doing.’’

Forte got his hands on his playbook Thursday when players gathered at Halas Hall for an orientation and jumped into it that night in his hotel room. His crash course paid off and he’s expected to push Cedric Benson immediately. Consider today Day 1 of that push.

``Guys come in they tell you they want you to start and they want you to do all this and create controversy and all that but I'm really just here to create competition in the backfield because competition is going to make each and every one of the running backs better,’’ Forte said. ``We're here for the team, to make the whole team better.’’

We'll put together some more nuggets a little later on.

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17 Comments

Since mid last season when Benson went down with yet another injury, I've been following different college runners on various scouting reports on the net who I wanted the Bears to maybe draft and Matt Forte has seemed to stick out the most to me. Forte was a 2000yd back so you knew he could play, but when I finally got to see Forte in action in the senior bowl and his MVP performance I knew I wanted the Bears to definitely draft him, so I thought it was pretty cool when they did. I also read on different scouting reports that Forte had a good head on his shoulders and that he was a hard worker, this might not sound like much but after the Benson fiasco....yeah. I ain't gonna lie I wanted Benson back in 05. When he was late with his rookie contract there by late getting into camp I didn't think anything of it. So when Benson rode the bench for his rookie season I said well maybe next season Benson will come on. In Bensons second season I got excited because he looked good spelling Jones, heck he had a 4.0 yd avg rushing. But this season I was like what the heck!? Benson was slow, could not catch the ball consistently, and wasn't the blocker I thought he could be. In a nutshell he was a bust. Now with Forte who seems so far like the real deal will hopefully push Benson, which by the way is pathetic, because to me if a team is paying you millions of dollars this should be motivation enough and god forbid love of the game could motivate Benson. I know this is just the first rookie mini camp but so far so good with Matt Forte GO BEARS!!

Forte has already said more intelligent things than Benson has in three years.

Well said, prophet. Between this and the pass protection comments from Forte... I'm just giddy. The guy has got his head screwed on straight.

He seems to have pretty much the exact opposite personality of Benson. can't wait to see him on the field.

Hey Kevin Im going to say Benson is the "NUT" in the nutshell.
I can only hope that the Bears will find some way to convince Benson to go on the I.R. and rehab and get into game shape. All of his injurys has been to his legs. His lower body has to be weak.
As we all know Jerry Angelo always in every draft picks up a gem.One that every team has already passed on.For all the real Bears fan we all know who these players are. If someone want to challenge me than I will post the players. Creighton before you get excited and want to talk about all the first round bust, Im talking about players that ALL 31 teams have passed on.To make it more clear Creighton that would be from the second round and so on.
I could see the Gem that comes into this year and produce is Matt Forte. The Bears have no clear cut starter.We have already seen that AP is decent but not a 20+ carry back. Benson well he is what he is. Wolfe is just no an evey down back. So Forte seems to be the one who is going to carry the load. Im not going to predict any numbers, Im not going to predict how good he can be, but I will predict that he has a big possiblity that he be the leading rusher for the Bears. I could see him leading all rookies in rushing.Im going to go as far as saying that if Orton is the QB he might lead the NFC in reception by a running back.
Now that the Bears might have a TRUE all around back I could see the Vikings and the Bears get into a running match.Remember the Vikings AP has never played against a healthy Bears Defence and a Defence that has a healthy Mike Brown. I believe that the Bears turnaround on D will be because of Mike Brown!

Billy Ray- I agree that this guy might be a ultra-productive RB in this league. He's got humility and just wants to help the team win. In the other article he said he understands that the quickest way onto the field is being a good pass blocker. Finally someone who gets it!

can anyone tell me how much money the bears would save if they just cut benson right now?

They would save more money by putting him on I.R.

I am hoping for some rotation time with Forte and Benson. I am hoping that competition will make Benson at least OK as a running back for 2008 and that after the SuperBowl win the Bears will have some trade value for him and send him packing with hopefully something back in return in the draft etc.

I don't think many teams would give anything for Benson now.

That was on big run on and on and on setence dahiliama

dahlillama,

I'll take two of whatever you're smoking ... I do agree though that Benson is pretty much worthless right now. I was hoping we were going to trade him for something more valuable than a bag of balls, but it looks like we're just going to have to cut him and add him to the list with Curtis Enis. Hell, at least Rashaan Salaam had one good year to hang his hat on.

What I don't understand is how Angelo could have ever risked a pick on the guy. I said it when he was drafted that he had A LOT of wear on his legs already. Also, he was the same guy who basically robbed the LA Dodgers by signing a contract, taking the money and then disappearing ... Sound familiar Chicago fans???

Da Coach,

I love hearing people like you saying they shouldn't have drafted Benson in that draft.

I'm curious. Who did you want.

ANd don't come on here and say you wanted Merriaman or some other version of history.

I didn't want Benson. The player I wanted was Mike Williams. Possibly Derrick Johnson, but a distant third

Some people preferred Carnell Williams.

The fact is, when you looked at team need, The obvious selection was Benson, or either one of the Williams with that selection.

They didn't need a corner. They just picked up Manning Jr.

Could they have used a LB? Sure. But they would have needed to trade down. And the only LB that would have made sense is Johnson. Merriman and Ware are both DE types.

If you look through a lens, trading down makes sense. But don't come on here and throw Angelo under the bus for making a decision that seemed logical at the time.

Because the other realistic options have not done well either.

And if you look at the way the draft broke, combined with the team

So Brando, you are saying Anglo discovered a gem in Forte. Someone who all 31 other teams passed on. So he found his gem, is that it. Ok so Forte a highly touted prospect who was predicted to go in the second round or maybe even the first round and your telling me Angelo discovered this guy. OK how many guys has Angelo passed on that other teams have picked. Tell you what, you list all his Gems from 2002 through last year and I will find players on other teams that all the other teams passed on who are better than Angelos picks, except maybe Hester in 06. You do realize other teams get major players outside the first round as well don't you. You ever hear of Tom Brady?? Tell you what I will put up Angelos record the last 6 years against lets say 6 other GM's and I bet he comes in dead last in finding good players. The man has had one good draft with the Bears and all but one player was on defense. Oh and just so you know Brando Angelo did pass on Forte, you said all 31 teams passed on him well all 32 team did actually. Angelo took him in the second round. So he passed on him in the first round just like everyone else. Or did that not occur to you? He passed on Hester twice. Also we don't know what kind of player Forte will be just yet. Nice debate though Brando. Thanks for pointing out what a genius Angelo is. Also I see you are once again pointing yourself out as one of the real Bear fans, does it make you feel special to actualy say that, do you feel better than other people. Why not just say your a fan of the Bears? The Bears have fans all over the country and thats great but it's different when your team is from your hometown. It's part of your life and it's part of the culture of that city? Every town is different, every town has a different feel, vibe, culture, and uniqueness to it. Chicago is a very unique city, just look at our Mayor who else could get away with being that corrupt and still get re-elected, it's a great place, and it's also my home and the last I checked the big C on the side of the Helmet represents my home. But I am not running around saying I am a real fan and implying other are not, I am just a fan, thats all. So for you to insinuate that you are a real Bear fan and others are not if the they don't think like you is rude and insulting. So What does that mean a real Bear Fan? Your from Indiana, last I checked they were the Chicago Bears so what gives you the right to say that? Who are you to talk about who is a real fan or not? Why cause maybe I don't like Angelo, so what nobody in my neighbourhood like him, in fact a lot of people in Chicago don't like him. In fact lots of GM's in this town get the shaft. You think he is the first or something? You gonna be his white night? Krause could have used your help, Williams with the Sox gets the shaft every off season by the fans. It's a tough town, deal with it Mr. "Real Bears Fan". Oh and thanks for your knowledge about passing up picks, thats some brain you got.

Oh and Idc just off the top of my head from the 2005 draft Jammal Brown OL, Mankis OL, Ware at LB would have been just fine on the Bears, Tatupu, Gore if you want RB, as for Benson we already had a running back and could have used Oline help even back then. You could always use good oline help.

common can you say quarterback coach,
say it with me quarterback.

Im not saying Forte is a gem yet. We will see in December. Thing is Creighton do you realize that theres players that are major contributers past the first round. Hey and we all know that teams get later round draft picks that produce. One team that comes to mind is Denver with the O-Line and the RBs they drafted in the past years that produced.
Ohhhh my god are you serious Creighton. Rolling on the floor laughing my tush off.Creighton the Bears are one team o.k. not 2.
True the Bears passed on him in the first round. That still only makes 31 teams that had passed on him BECAUSE the BEARS DRAFTED him in the 2nd round. Wait did the Viking draft in the First round?? If you think about it Jarred Allen was their first round and this years 3rd round and Nexts years 3rd round.

Look Creighton a Real fan of any team with any sport is essentially married. Through better or worse! I hate just a fan that alls they can do is pout like a little girl. Looks on only the negitive side and very little look on the possitive side. A real fan knows the sport in and out. A real fan is realistic. I.E. Greg Olsen being a huge contributer in the 07 year. Yeah!

O.K. someone had to challenge me. Guess who. Creighton! Real fan???

2002:
4th round Alex Brown
2003:
2nd round Charles Tillman
3rd round Lance Briggs
2004:
4ht round Nathen Vasher
2005:
4th round Kyle Orton now Im not saying is is a gem right now but he did win 10 games in his rookie season. This year maybe we can determine if he truly is a Gem.
2006:
2nd round Devin Hester by the way Hester was the Bears 2nd pick #57 in 2006 so he was not passed up twice he was passed up once. Dan Manning #42 went befor him.
2007 Jury is still out:
Trumaine Mcbride

Creighton I know that the rest of the 31 teams had some gems but I am very interested in the players you post.

Can we do it this way?

I.E. In 2002 Alex Bown was selected in the 4th round.

Can you find another defensive end that came out in the 2002 draft in the 4th round that is better then Alex Brown.
So on and so on Im not going to put you down or make fun of you Im just realy interested to see ANYBODYS list of Gems for the other 31 teams.

I will respect anybodys post on teams gems that was drafted between the rounds of 2-7.
Happy posting

You missed the point Creighton

We all can pick out people we would have picked, based upon their performance FOLLLOWING the draft.

But there were few people who were passionate about any players besides Benson, Mike Williams and Carnell Williams for that pick.

Maybe Derrick Johnson. But the consensus was that the Bears needed a RB or WR to liven up the offense.

That's why it irritates me when people say Angelo made a horrible selection. Given their needs at the time, Benson made a lot of sense.

And if it wasn't Benson, it would have likely been some other player who has underperformed in the NFL.

Praise Ditka someone knows some football. Thank you IDC for clearing that up. How much do you want to bet that Creighton will not take on the challenge of nameing some other teams gems.
I would like to hear anyones gems from any team that was better than the players listed above.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 2, 2008 4:33 PM.

28 players on list of minicamp tryouts was the previous entry in this blog.

Rookie minicamp nuggets: Forte knows the way to the field is the next entry in this blog.

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