Does Matt Forte know something about the highly drafted back before him that didn’t go so well?
``The quickest way to get on the field is to learn your pass protections,’’ he said Friday at the conclusion of the first rookie minicamp practice. ``If you can block and protect the quarterback, then you can run your routes and catch the ball. It's really the fastest way to get on the field.’
Pass protection, or a lack of it, is exactly what kept Cedric Benson off the field at times in 2005 and 2006. Then, when he blew an assignment in Oakland last season, quarterback Brian Griese was injured. For those who don’t have their Quarterback Turnstile Chart handy, that led to QB Switch No. 32 since Week 6 of the 1999 season.
*** Running backs coach Tim Spencer on comparisons of Forte to a player he coached for a while at Ohio State ... Eddie George.
``Matt has very good body control and obviously to have body control you have to have control of your feet,’’ he said. ``He has the ability to make people miss, he has the ability to run good pass routes, so he has very good control of his body for a big guy. He’s a big back.’’
For what it’s worth, Spencer said Forte’s feet are better.
*** Here’s a guy who gets it.
Vanderbilt wide receiver Earl Bennett, the third-round pick was asked how he feels when people talk about his need to make an immediate impact.
Bennett’s first thought? Covering kicks. Before the Bears could even put their newcomers through media training, Bennett was talking about rolling up his sleeves and going to work on special teams.
``Just to come in and help the team anyway I can, whether it is helping out on punts, going down on kickoffs, or being in slot and going out to wideout,’’ Bennett said. ``Anyway I can help the Chicago Bears win the Super Bowl, I’m going to do it. It’s overwhelming to hear that.’’
*** Forte was not the only eye-opener on the day.
``A couple of guys caught our eye,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. ``This camp is set up for skill guys to show what they have a little bit more than some of the linemen. Matt Forte, of course, stood out, just like Earl Bennett. You want your skill draft picks to stand out that way. As did guys like Craig Steltz on the defensive side and Zak Bowman, I really liked what those guys did. It for us to see some of the tryout players, too.’’
*** Seventh-round pick Marcus Monk, the wide receiver from Arkansas, looked like a bigger version of Justin Gage. The 6-4, 222-pounder has the tools to be an asset in the red zone. He was running on his toes though and he’s not going to be able to get off the line of scrimmage doing that. He needs to be able to dig a foot in and go.