The NFL Players Association website posted this Q and A with Bears running back Matt Forte. Khalil Garriott of the NFLPA conducted the interview.
Since Week 1 of his rookie season in 2008, Matt Forté has given the Chicago Bears plenty of reasons to think he is their running back of the foreseeable future. In his two NFL seasons, Forté has compiled 3,115 rushing and receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while being a featured part of the Chicago offense. In this exclusive interview with NFLPLAYERS.COM, Forté talks about following in the footsteps of his legendary Bears predecessors, his career goals and more.
Q: What do you think was the biggest difference for you individually between this past year and last year?
A: I would say that last year, I sort of jumped off the first half of the season and had some immediate success, but this year ... I kind of struggled. But I think eventually the running game will come along for us and I'll be successful.
Q: Have you had one person in your football career that helped you get to where you are today?
A: I would say my father. He played college football at Tulane just like I did, and he gave me a lot of advice going up there. He was a great coach when I was in little league, and he taught me a lot of aspects of the game that a lot of other guys didn't know.
Q: Being a running back for the Chicago Bears, you're part of a proud tradition of great backs. Do you look at the career of Walter Payton or anyone else as an example?
A: Well, of course. I've known that since I was drafted. I knew going into this famous organization that you'd be compared to the great Gale Sayers or Walter Payton, so I prepared for it. Of course I want to be compared to those guys, after being where they were and where they are. So hopefully after a long career, I can be amongst those names.
Q: What do you think you have to do on a week-by-week and year-by-year basis to get to that level?
A: I'm looking to be consistent, because if you can be consistent--consistently good--then you can be considered great. Because all those guys, they've all had great games [and] great teams, but what they really share is consistency. And that's what makes them great players.
Q: What would you say to the Bears fans out there who are disappointed with the way the offense has performed the last couple of seasons?
A: [They've] just got to be patient and have faith in us. You're not going to have success every game, and it's difficult to do some of the things on the field. Eventually good things will come because we're all out here working hard and trying to be the best we can be. Just have faith in the team and don't be a bandwagoner who jumps off when the team's doing bad, then jumps back on when we do good.
Q: What are your career goals?
A: Of course everybody wants to be a 1,000-yard rusher, but I want to be above and beyond that and continue to be consistent, because like I said before, guys like Walter Payton [and Gale] Sayers were consistent backs. I just want to be that benchmark, be a consistently solid back and have success in this league.
Q: What's the best part about being Matt Forté?
A: Just being blessed by being able to play a good game of football. Beyond that, having a lot of people look up to me feels great.