Chicago Sun-Times

Bears draft preview: Need No. 13 Running back

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Need No. 13--Running back

Players on roster

RB Matt Forte (signed through 2011)
RB Kevin Jones (2010)
RB Garrett Wolfe (2010)
RB Adrian Peterson (2009)

Need

As we wrote Monday, we probably would have moved this down the list a notch or two if we had it to do over again. No draft additions here are going to have a very easy time making the roster, not with Wolfe in place as a guy offensive coordinator Ron Turner needs to work more to get involved before the Bears can actually make a determination as to what they have. Jones figures to be the primary backup, however, after the Bears prevented him from signing with Buffalo by reeling him in with a $3.5 million, two-year contract. Jones disappeared at times last season, so much so that he was inactive on gameday, but never stopped working. It's a credit to him that he went to coach Lovie Smith and asked to be used on special teams, a role he relished and did well in. Jones got excited talking about playing special teams as a freshman at Virginia Tech where Frank Beamer is considered one of the best coaches in the country.

Forte was solid as a rookie and should get the opportunity to find more daylight with Jay Cutler at quarterback. The Bears are hoping a revamped line makes a difference also. Peterson is a crafty veteran who didn't get a lot of time on offense last season and didn't perform as well on special teams as he has in the past. He'll have to perform well in training camp to ensure a roster spot. Not every team keeps four running backs and the Bears would likely be in a position where they could only keep one fullback again in Jason McKie if they go with four backs. So keep an eye on Peterson, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Who the Bears have been looking at

We have not identified any players the Bears have been keeping tabs on at this position. A back will likely be signed for training camp.

Coming Wednesday: Center.

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9 Comments

For our Bearssss this year, the RB position really isnt a priority.
With the signing of Orlando Pace, Kevin Shaffer and Frank Omiyale mixed in with the likes of Kruetz, Williams and Garza. We should be pretty solid. We have guys that can move people, we have a group that will open up lanes for Forte and Jones.
Matt Forte, with the addition of Jay Cutler (which Im still really excited about) will be able to get more out of this year then last because there will not be 8 in the box. Kevin Jones is coming in rougly 20 lbs lighter and should be back to form. This will give us a good change of pace as well as allowing Garrett Wolfe to see more of the field as a RB rather then special teams. Jason McKie should have less to deal with and should be able to get back to carrying the ball as well as single man blocking. This is going to be a great year.
We should see more continuity on the lines, which will help our running game. I cant wait till tonight to see our schedule and wishing camp would start now. GO BEARSSS!!
DA BEARSSSSS, DA BEARSSSS, DA BEARSSSS

I don't know that the Bears need to address the RB situation in the upcoming draft. It seems as though the stock pile of backs we currently have can get us through a season, especially when Forte will get 80%+ of the carries this year barring injury. We should bee looking more for getting an extra WR in the draft than worrying about taking a RB late.

BEARSSS

Yeah, I can understand why Turner doesn't know yet what he has in Wolfe. It's only his third season. Maybe two years from now we'll know if Earl Bennett can play too.

In my opinion, Chicago should go with 3 runningbacks and 2 fullbacks. Last season Mckie went down and Chicago had to go out and find a fullback, when all they had to do was keep a player like fullback Lousaka Polite on the roster, instead of another runningback. If all your gonna do is use your 3rd-4th runningback on special teams, then why not keep another fullback that can play special teams instead? Having an extra fullback would not only add depth to the position, but it could be a way for the Bears to develop another player who could be an upgrade over current starter Jason Mckie.

I would love for the Bears to use a 5th-6th rounder on someone like Syracuse fullback Tony Fiammetta. This guy can block, run, and catch. He spent time as an undersized tight end for the Orangemen. So he can line up with his hands down, move in motion or be an extra body on the line.

Another one I like is Alabama's Travis McCall, who spent most of his time at Alabama as a blocking tight end, and one, if not the, best in the nation at blocking from his tight end position. McCall has an intriguing combination of size and physicality for the fullback position. At 6-2 276lbs, all McCall does is put defenders on their back, and as a tight end he has the hands to catch the ball 1 or 2 times a game like the Bears expect from their fullback. Chicago likes their fullbacks to be able to block 1st and then catch, McCall can do both. Also, McCall is a trusted special teams performer. Chicago could use one of their 7th rounders on McCall and develop him for a season at fullback. With his ability to play special teams, he could be of use while the Bears develop him. In the end, Chicago could get a punishing blocker that would really upgrade their running game in the future and add depth to their fullback position and help on special teams for now. Scouts also note McCall is a hard worker and team leader. I would love the idea of having a 270lb battering ram in front of Matt Forte, Chicago needs this type of smash mouth player to add to their running game GO BEARS!!

I agree.. think we will be ok this year and feel jones will really step up.. he seems to want to prove himself and having him rotate with forte will help both of them stay fresh.. needs are WR safety O line and defensive end.. excited for the season!! in the meantime plenty to cheer for in chi town bulls and blackhawks are in the playoffs and cubs and sox playing well.. love being a chi town sports fan!!

Yeah, RB seems to be solid.

Last year Forte was magnificent and would have had even better numbers had the O-line would have run blocked as well as they did pass blocking. The Addition's of Omiyale, Shaffer and Pace certainly will help us improve our ground game and Cutler thrown into that mix will force opposing defenses to play more honest from now on instead of just stacking the box and daring Orton to beat them.

Cutler's arm and a bigger, meaner O-line will make this Bears Offense much improved over last years version which did manage to average roughly (20) points per game.

It seems to me that AP is on notice that he won't be a Bear much longer. Forte, Jones and Wolfe is the mix Angelo wants and like the blog stated, carrying (4) backs and only (1) FB may not be the proper backfield mix for a come off the bus running Offense.

McKie sucks in my opinion, workmanlike at best and the Bears would be wise to carry (2) FB's on this years roster. McKie has shown a knack for injury the past few seasons and Jason Davis though a viable option is raw and we need to see more of him. Adding a veteran FB or drafting one this year would be a wise move.

If Angelo drafts a RB he would have to tear it up in camp to avoid landing on the PS unless we suffer an injury before the season opener....

Go Bears !!

BearssssD How do you get Garza as solid? He spent the majority of last season like he was playing in sand no forward push at all I have no idea what you or the Bears coaching staff saw, all I saw was failed short yardage and little if any movement. Garza is the weak link in that line.

DeputyDawg:
Garza was better in 06 during that playoff run then the previous 2 years....Garza had to deal with more then his share on that line.
This year I think we will see Garza return to form. He is a good lineman and Im glad the bears have him. He played with Shaffer back in Atlanta administering a very good running game with anderson. Granted, that was years ago, but nevertheless...Garza is still a good lineman to have in your group. That line will be more fluid, everyone plays an intracate part, and when the group does well, the team is better. We should see more of that this year. The majority of those short yardage situations were not run near garza, they were behing beekman. Team effort was inconsistent, not just on one player.
Bearss.

Kevin I think going with 5 backs is a little heavy for a Pass first team like the Bears. However McSuck needs to be replaced with a guy who fits the Bears system. Like Fiammetta and the great thing about most Fullbacks is there all pretty much going to be undrafted or 6-7th round picks.

Last I saw of McCall he measured in at 6'0 260. Now a lot of these guys put on water weight to try to bulk up for the scouts but he is not 6'2. He is really just a blocker and slow for his size at that, he ran a 5.10 40 at his pro day. Fiammetta ran a 4.63 at 5'11 245 pounds and he is very good out of the backfield plus he can also run block. But he could probably be gotten in 7th or after the draft.

Deputy is right, Garza suck, there is no excuse for a 300 pound OG getting blown up multiple times by a 200 pound safety. Plus he did zero in the run game and Olin was carrying him more than not. I think the only reason they would not replace Garza is because that would just be too many new players on the line this year.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 14, 2009 6:38 AM.

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