Barber Looks Forward to Expanded Role
Barber set for bigger role down stretch
By Vaughn McClure, Tribune reporter 9:54 a.m. CST, November 10, 2011
Things must be going good for the Bears. Marion Barberís coming out of his shell, sort of.
The usually reserved running back insisted he never does interviews, but Barber had plenty to say after scoring a touchdown in Monday nightís 30-24 win over the Eagles.
Barber had nine carries for 31 yards and rushed the ball four consecutive times after Matt Forteís second lost fumble. Barber's 2-yard touchdown burst in the second quarter was his fourth rushing score in five games played.
"It just felt good, man, and I had an opportunity," Barber said. "Any time you have an opportunity like that, you just have to go in there and take care of business.
"It was great, man. The line was playing well. Matt was doing his thing. And it was just a blessing to have those opportunities."
The last thing Barber wanted was to benefit off Forteís misfortunes. The two lost fumbles were an aberration for a player who had a streak of 347 touches without a fumble.
Barber encouraged Forte after each blunder.
"As teammate, you have to be there for him," Barber said. "Weíre working together for the main cause, the main goal. It's that simple."
Barber, who missed the first three games of the season with a calf strain, could play a key role for the Bears down the stretch, particularly when the weather turns bad and the Bears need to pick up tough yards against the elements.
Barber has five rushing touchdowns in five career games vs. the Lions, so donít be surprised if he gets another scoring opportunity come Sunday.
The Bears signed him to be their short-yardage back, and the team has improved in short-yardage situations. Last year through eight games, the Bears were 4 for 12 on third-and-1 for 33 percent. This year, the Bears are 7 of 13 for 54 percent.