Unlike Lovie, Trestman able to use Forte’s versatility
BY SETH GRUEN Staff Reporter September 15, 2013 9:46PM
Updated: September 15, 2013 10:29PM
With the rare ability and durability to be an every-down back who can run, catch and block, Matt Forte is part of a dying breed.
All that was holding him back last season was Lovie Smith and his staff’s inability to capitalize on his versatility. When coach Marc Trestman took over this offseason, one of his priorities was to make Forte a bigger part of the offense.
On Sunday, Trestman’s game plan reflected just how much he intends to use him. Forte was the offensive centerpiece, touching the ball 30 times. He caught 11 passes for 71 yards and ran the ball 19 times for 90 yards.
“I did the same thing in college, so I wouldn’t expect anything different coming into the NFL,” Forte said.
“The style of the defense, too. The [Vikings] are going to try to not give up any big, big plays with the two safeties back there and then the linebackers dropping underneath. So when they drop that underneath coverage, it’s key for me to get out [in the passing game] and just keep the chains moving.”
The Vikings use a cover-2 scheme a lot on defense, so that left Forte open on check-downs all game. He might not consistently see as high a number of targets as he did against Minnesota.
But he did say when the Bears are struggling in the running game, that’s when he gets more involved in the passing game.
The wet conditions also dictated that Forte use the passing game to get into the open field more. Players struggled with footing all day, which made it harder for runners to make cuts.
“Sometimes when it’s hard to run the ball, you have to use that as an extension of the running game,” Forte said. “Short throws are kind of like a long handoff.’’