Ian Rapoport | Tags:
The Bears take the field on Sunday against the Colts with a remade offense. WR Brandon Marshall makes it that way, and rookie WR Alshon Jeffery doesn’t hurt. For real, QB Jay Cutler will have some new weapons.
But there is an old weapon who is ready to roll, too. After missing the end of 2011 because of knee issues — and having to deal with a contract dispute where more questions emerged — RB Matt Forte is amped for the season to begin.
“It’s been fun out here,” Forte said when I visited Halas Hall last week. “I’m just looking forward to getting to the first game.”
There is a thought that Forte hasn’t played in a game since his knee was injured and he missed four games. But that’s not entirely true. Forte returned for the Pro Bowl (two carries, six yards), which is kind of a real game. And he played in three preseason games, averaging 4-yards-per-rush.
Is that meaningful in preparing him for Sunday?
“Yeah, I played in the Pro Bowl and preseason games,” Forte said. “Preseason is a real game, you’re not out there playing around. Yes. I mean, it’s not like it’s going to be that much different except you’re playing the entire game.”
Forte’s preseason numbers were decent, as I mentioned. Not earth-shattering, but totally fine. The run game in general wasn’t magic for the Bears, but they have offensive line issues, too. Forte said there is a slightly different focus. It’s not all about production, a lot of it is about screwing up and fixing it.
“In preseason, you want to execute, you want to look good, that’s why you play preseason games,” he explained. “If there’s mistakes, you get the chance to correct them before you get to the first game.”
Predictably, Forte loves where his offense is all going.
“We got the same run game, basically, and the passing game is just something that Jay’s already used to,” Forte said. “Having Brandon here is going to make it a lot better, so it’s going to be a fun season. I’m just looking forward to getting ready for that and we gotta execute. We can’t just come here and think that defenses are going to lay down for us. We gotta come out and execute and run the right plays and not make stupid mistakes out there.“