TAMPA, Fla.--It doesn't look like Bears rookie running back Matt Forte will be chosen as the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, which will be announced Thursday. Forte is one of five finalists for the award along with Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, Tennessee running back Chris Johnson and Houston running back Steve Slaton.
In fact, word is honors will belong to Flacco. A source said Flacco is flying in to Tampa and that's likely to collect hardware at the noon press conference announcing the winner. The winner was chosen by fan vote.
But Forte hasn't been forgotten during the week. Pittsburgh running back Mewelde Moore, who preceded Forte at Tulane, was asked about the Bears' star and whether or not they keep in touch.
"All the time,'' Moore said. "I talked to him before he got into the league, I talked to him as he was playing and progressing in the league, and also just giving him information and letting him best apply it to his situation. That's what we do, we stick together, and anything and everything I can do to help him, I am definitely there for him. He's a starter and I'm so happy for him, because that's his place, being a starter.
"I prepare to be a starter, but right now I'm a third-down guy, return guy, that's what I do, that's my niche and that's what I do well. That's the thing, you've got to know your roles and know exactly what is asked of you and don't get outside of that. Those are the types of things that we talk about, and I'm so happy for him that he did well this year and he'll do well again next year."
Forte is expected in town too for a charity bowling event.