Chicago Sun-Times

Rookie minicamp nuggets: Forte knows the way to the field

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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.

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7 Comments

The more I hear about this Craig Steltz the more I'm starting to like him. I shod have known better because the defensive backfield is Angelos specialty. In other words, if your a corner or safety and Angelo likes you, your probably good. What stands out to me about Steltz when I read a scouting report on him is his ball skills. One scouting report calls him a "high-motor hustler who will find a way to get to the ball". Also another scouting report says "Steltz consistently reads the quarterback from the deep zone", which if true is a good thing because this is exactly what the Bears need out of the safeties. I think from McGowan, Payne, and now Steltz the Bears should be good to go at the strong safety position GO BEARS!!

I will still reserve judgement on the draft until August when the pre-season starts and the comp against others begins. I kinda figured the reason Beekman didn't play at guard last season was they are grooming him for Kreutz' replacement. The guard from Geogia you will see is a beast. I am a transplanted Chicagoan and I see alot of the SEC and the Big East. The second day I was a little confused at first I thought Jerry was trippin, but in doing more reasearch if these players are healthy they could be some real finds, Bowman could be a real steal big as Tillman with more speed, still say Tillman would be a real playmaker at free safety.

Consider this list of past busts high-draft pick running backs and you'd have to agree the Bears are due to get some luck with Matt Forte:

Cedric Benson
Curtis Ennis
Rashaan Salaam

Now that the draft is finished and the rookie camp has started, I cant wait untill AUG. For one my sons birthday is the 9th and for 2 the Pre-Season. Im one that loves pre-season.It give us, the fans a chance to see the back up players and there ability to compete. I have always been a firm believer in that the teams is only as strong as the bench. Why do you think that the big money spending in Washington never worked. They didnt have any money left for quality back ups. Thats why it was a good move by the Bears not to blow their wad before the draft. Theres going to still be quality player avaliable before the pre-season starts.

With this guy Steltz already doing good, one can only believe that there will be no room for Archuleta, not only on defence but on special teams also.

Im not saying the Bears are going to the Super Bowl but it seem the rookie camp looks alot better than the 07 year. It also makes more sence that they have needed players that have the potential to make an impact in the 08 year. Greg Olson realy was the only player that looked like he was NFL ready.Luckly McBride pulled through and looked like he too is a NFL CB.

I wouldn't put too much credence into what comes out of rookie camp. Do you guys honestly think that they would come out and say that a guy looks like crap right about now? Every year you hear a few good things and then the guy sits on the bench or get cut. I don't doubt that some guys might look good doing some of the things that they are asking them to do but don't skip the whole summer in anticapation of football season.

I hear that Cedric Benson was arrested this morning in Texas. Don't know why, but supposedly its a confirmed report. He should have been arrested back in 2005 when he stole all that money from the Bears!!!!! Can you say Matt Forte???? Bye Bye Ced!!!

hey, is there any other clips of mini camp? my comp. wont play anything on the bears site.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 2, 2008 7:15 PM.

Forte sticks out immediately in rookie minicamp was the previous entry in this blog.

Metcalf's broken hand explains part of '07 struggles is the next entry in this blog.

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