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.