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Chicago Bears 2013 Position Battles: Running backs

The West Coast Offense will have the Chicago Bears utilizing their running backs like never before, join us as we run down the backs fighting it out for a job.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The West Coast Offense is primarily a pass first offense, but some coaches can call a more balanced game plan. We're yet to see the run/pass ratio from Marc Trestman, but we do know that in the past he's had his running backs catching a lot of balls out of the backfield. Charlie Garner had 91 in 2002, Michael Pittman had 73 in 2000, Larry Centers had 69 in 1998, and Derek Loville had 87 in 1995, just to name a few.

Marc Trestman's quarterbacks will be schooled in the art of the check-down.

Roster Locks

Matt Forte is primed to have one of the busiest seasons ever for a Bears running back. He may not approach his rookie record of 379 touches, but he will have plenty of opportunities to make plays. As mentioned above, the running back in Tretsman's offense will catch a lot of balls if he has good hands, and Forte excels at receiving. Snagging 70-80 balls is a definite possibility, as is lining up all over the field to create mismatches.

Michael Bush may not like being pigeon holed as the short yardage specialist, but at 6'1", 245 pounds, that's exactly what he is. Couple that with Forte's deficiencies in that regard, and Bush should be the primary goal line and short yardage back again. That's not to say the Bears can't give him a handful of carries between the 20s, but his playing time will be impacted by his ability to catch the ball. If he proves to be a viable option out in the flat, I'd expect his reps to be there, but if not, a 3rd RB may steal some of his carries.

A good bet to make it

Armando Allen seems to be a change of pace from the other two backs in front of him on the depth chart, so I'll bet he makes the final roster. He has the skill set to be an asset in the passing game, with good hands, he's a "willing blocker" in pass protection, and he has experience splitting out wide. He's had a few opportunities to run with the starters in camp so far, so I see the 3rd spot as Allen's to lose.

Tony Fiammetta is the only true fullback in camp, and that will help him stand out to the coaches. He's more lead blocker than pass catcher, but that's OK, there's a place for him in the NFL. He's not going to fit into the same mold of former Bear FB Evan Rodriguez, but if Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer want to run any 2 back formations, keeping a bruising fullback is a good way to go. Fiammetta will have to prove his value in the special teams to win a roster spot.

On the Bubble

At this point in his Bears career, Harvey Unga is like the mythological beings that so enamor Martellus Bennett. We hear of him only a few times a year, but how many people have actually seen him? I think there are more pics of Bigfoot, than of Harvey Unga in a Bears uniform.

Michael Ford garnered a lot of buzz based off a few favorable tweets during OTAs. He's a long shot to make the final roster, and he's no where near ready to replace Devin Hester as the #1 return specialist.

More From WCG: Five Questions With And The Valley Shook about Michael Ford

The wide outs, the tight ends, and Devin Hester are all intertwined when it comes to the final 53 man roster. Do the Bears keep a versatile TE over a true FB? Are there a lot of 4 WR sets in the playbook? Will the Bears decide a 4th RB is more valuable than a kick returner?

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bears scour the waiver wire once teams start trimming their rosters. It all depends if they want to carry 3 or 4 tailbacks, or maybe find a tweener type back like Larry Centers was back in the day.

Who do you think makes the final roster at running back?

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