Kahlil Makes the Most of an Opportunity Saturday...............
Bears' Bell makes noise in crowded backfield
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By Vaughn McClure Tribune reporter 2:45 p.m. CDT, August 15, 2011
Chicago Bears running back Kahlil Bell made sure he was noticed in Saturday’s 10-3 preseason victory over Buffalo.
Bell carried the ball 13 times for 73 yards and also caught two passes for another 46 yards. He sprinted 27 yards off a screen pass from rookie Nathan Enderle.
"He ran hard,’’ running backs coach Tim Spencer said of Bell. "He caught the ball well. He had nice timing on his screens. And he ran a lot of successive plays in a row where you had to see his wind to see if he had the wind, and he did a good job with that.’’
Bell was in on 27 plays, the most of any of the running backs. Much like last season, he’s battling for a roster spot somewhere behind starter Matt Forte.
Marion Barber, who picked up 45 yards on seven carries against the Bills, likely secured his place as the Bears’ short-yardage back this season. Bell might find himself battling veteran Chester Taylor for the third running back spot.
The fact that Bell plays special teams could give him an edge over Taylor. Plus, the high-priced Taylor, who is due a base salary of $1.25 million this season and collected $7 million last season, hasn’t shown much in training camp and was all but invisible Saturday night.
"Chester only had six plays, as Matt (Forte) had three plays,’’ Spencer noted. "Is it possible to make plays in three or six plays? It’s possible. But the opportunity didn’t present itself in the game for either of them.
"In the end, the guys will make the decision. You give them the opportunity and everything else usually shakes out itself. I’m in a good position because I get to coach all these guys that are making some play. I think that will all work out in the end. They’ll make is easy for us based off their play.’’
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