There have been some highlights that one could point to as far as the promise or potential of this team. The biggest has to be that of the play of our rookie running back Matt Forte.
Currently Forte is second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 409 yards (Frank Gore - 412). He also leads the league in attempts with 73. So the questions is do the Bears risk burning out Forte too early? At his current pace he will carry the ball 389 times and have about 1,700 yards. Last season Redskins back Clinton Portis led the league in carries at 325 and only 5 others had more than 300 carries.
So wouldn't it make sense for the Bears to start using Kevin Jones more and let Forte have few less carries per game? Kevin Jones has only had 17 attempts this year even though he is a starting caliber player.
This goes back to the theory we have had about players such as Mark Bradley and Garrett Wolfe, though a little different admittedly. We have Jones in house and know if healthy he can be a big play guy for us, but the coaching staff still seems against the idea of using him. So long as he is producing it seems it would be a benefit on a number fronts to use him. You get Forte a little extra rest leaving him fresher come the 4th quarter where we have had troubles holding a lead. It gets Jones more playing time to get used to the offense. It also makes it harder for opposing teams to get keyed in if you rotate personnel from time to time.
No running back in Bears history has ever carried the ball 389 times in one season, not even Walter Payton, the most durable runner in NFL history. Payton has the four busiest seasons in team history, carrying 381 times in 1984, 369 times in 1979 and 339 times in 1977 and 1981.
Other Bears News and Notes:
Mark Bradley made it through waivers with out being picked up. This makes him a unrestricted free agent and he is free to seek his fortunes anywhere.
In the first of many fines I am sure are to come, the NFL has fined LB Jamar Williams for taunting a Bucs player during last Sunday's game. Williams was hit with the 7,500 after standing over Dexter Jackson after a tackle on a kick off return in the first quarter. Williams is considering appealing.
The Bears still insist that they are operating a balanced pass game, but it looks like Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd have decided that Lloyd is the go to guy and the #1 receiver for the Bears. Lloyd has made some big time catches and in a few cases replay worth grabs. He has the speed and is finding ways to get open and Orton is looking for him. Orton is going to need to trust he is open with the monster pass rush the Eagles will be bringing this Sunday.
Can the Bears use the same plan that the Bucs did to keep QB Brian Griese sack free, to protect Kyle Orton against the Eagles?