Bears wait for backup RBs to set themselves apart
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter August 16, 2014 7:49PM
Ka'Deem Carey (25) runs into Chris Prosinski (42) of the Jaguars during the Bears' preseason game on Thursday. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Updated: September 18, 2014 6:46AM
On the Bears’ sideline Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, guard Kyle Long tried to pry the ball from rookie running back Ka’Deem Carey’s hands.
When Carey protested, Long explained a trainer would hold the ball for safekeeping, a memento of Carey’s first pro touchdown —
albeit in the preseason.
‘‘He was like, ‘You gotta let go of it,’ ’’ said Carey, a two-time All-American at Arizona.
Almost seven minutes later,
Senorise Perry didn’t have time to consider where his football was stored after a five-yard touchdown run that gave the Bears their decisive 20-19 lead against the Jaguars.
‘‘We had to go out there for a two-point conversion,’’ said Perry, an undrafted free agent from Louisville.
Two weeks into the preseason, rookie thrills are about only positive surrounding the Bears’ rushing offense. The team is searching for two players to back up Matt Forte and waiting for runners to separate themselves.
‘‘We haven’t been productive,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘We’re playing against a very good front during practice, but we haven’t shown that productivity. We hope that’s not an indication.’’
Here’s a look at the candidates and how they’ve fared thus far:
Ka’Deem Carey, the draftee
This preseason: 23 carries, 59 yards, one touchdown.
The case for: No one has run the ball more than Carey, and teams rarely cut rookies picked in the fourth round.
The case against: The physical, downhill rusher might not have been able to show his best attributes in Trestman’s training camp, which doesn’t feature tackling.
‘‘I’m just not used to these kinds of practices when you don’t hit,’’ Carey said.
Carey said it: ‘‘I’m looking forward to this next preseason game because I think I’m just starting to get on a roll, get a good feel for the offense.’’
Shaun Draughn, the veteran
This preseason: Four carries, 35 yards; three catches, 22 yards.
The case for: He is the only candidate with a regular-season carry.
‘‘He’s not a rookie, so when he showed up and we got to work with him in the [organized team activities] and things like that, I thought he caught on quick to what we were trying to do,’’ running backs coach Skip Peete said.
The case against: He’s not a draft pick (like Carey) or a returning Bear (like Michael Ford).
Draughn said it: ‘‘Is it a job for me to lose? I don’t have it, so there’s nothing to lose.’’
Michael Ford, the special-teamer
This preseason: Five carries, 15 yards.
The case for: A year on special teams gives him an edge, and he
offers a kick-return option, too.
The case against: He had no rushing attempts Thursday.
Trestman said it: ‘‘That doesn’t mean Michael is out of the picture right now. We’ve still got a couple of games to go, but [others have] been more consistent on a day-to-day basis of being in the right place and doing the right things.’’
Senorise Perry, the undrafted
This preseason: Nine carries, 30 yards, one touchdown; three catches, 43 yards.
The case for: The tryout-camp signee leads Bears running backs in total yards.
The case against: He’s not the special-teamer Ford is.
Perry said it: ‘‘That’s key for all of us to be able to stick — to go out there and contribute on special teams.’’
Jordan Lynch, the long shot
This preseason: Seven carries, 24 yards.
The case for: Even if he’s not a fit yet, the Bears might want to protect him from other teams’ practice squads.
The case against: Lynch didn’t touch the ball Thursday. It was also his first game playing special teams.
Lynch said it: ‘‘You have to carry over the drills and the techniques [on special teams]. I’m new to that.’’