Bears Still Seek Backups @ QB and RB..............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears have offensive stars returning, but still seek backup plan
    BY ADAM S. JAHNS Staff Reporter March 27, 2014 10:08PM
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    Updated: March 28, 2014 8:55PM

    ORLANDO, Fla. — To emphasize his point, Bears coach Marc Trestman shrugged, smiled and motioned with his hands.
    “It’s hard to find a Matt Forte skill set,” Trestman said of his Pro Bowl running back this week during the NFL owners meetings. Trestman was answering a question about what he looks for in a backup running back. Second-year pro Michael Ford is the Bears’ backup after veteran Michael Bush was released this month.

    It’s one of several questions that linger for Trestman’s offense. Fretting over who backs up who might seem frivolous, considering every starter is returning from last year’s record-setting offense. But the unit was blessed with good health last season. Quarterback Jay Cutler was the only offensive starter to miss an extended amount of time, and Josh McCown’s performance in his place (not to mention the defense’s demise after all its injuries) shows that having quality backups is essential.

    So, for all the defensive changes afoot for the Bears, Trestman still has to work out his offensive depth chart. Backups at running back and quarterback, a swing tackle (with Eben Britton still unsigned), Nos. 3 and 4 receivers and another pass-catching tight end need to emerge. During the NFC coaches breakfast at the owners meetings, Trestman made sure to note the importance of keeping Cutler and Forte healthy, saying he wants to get Cutler “through the season safely” while wanting to “extend [Forte’s] career.”

    Behind Cutler and Forte, the Bears have two unproven players. The team might have faith in quarterback Jordan Palmer (15 career passing attempts) and Ford (an undrafted free agent out of LSU last year), but competition still will be added.

    When it comes to his backup quarterback, Trestman went through a list of sought-after criteria, starting with “his ability to play the game if the No. 1 guy is hurt” but also being “extremely good in the meeting room.” McCown, of course, embodied everything the Bears could dream up, but Trestman said Palmer has similar attributes on and off the field.

    “No question Jordan fit that,” Trestman said. “He got better at it along the way. He was very quiet at first [and] kind of took it all in. “But the quarterbacks respected him immediately because he went to work on his own to learn the offense.”

    As for Ford, who also will compete at kick returner, Trestman highlighted his pass-catching abilities. The main concern is whether he can be a capable pass blocker. “It’s very difficult to put a guy out on the field who is deficient in protecting because that puts the quarterback at risk,” Trestman said. “He’s got to have the want-to to do that, and then he’s got to have the skill set to do that. Michael has that ability. He’s physically capable of doing that.”

    More will be learned by the time the Bears’ organized team activities get going in May. But regardless of who fills out his offensive depth chart, Trestman’s expectations have gone way up. “Everything we did offensively,” Trestman said, “we think that we can do better.”

    Email: ajahns@suntimes.com
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well at least one problem listed here as been solved. Britton is back in the fold.

    I'm glad to hear that Trestman has good feelings about Palmer. Owing to the fact that he's spent over a year now learning the offense he has somewhat the same advantage McCown did last year in that regard. Now what he needs is reps with the players to get in sync with them. McCown had uncanny accuracy last year and that helped a lot. If Palmer can develop that same rapport with the receivers he may do just as well. He's got size and some mobility too from what I've read.

    I think RB will be a bigger problem. As Trestman pointed out it isn't Ford's offensive potential that's as much in question as his ability to block and pickup the blitz. Every RB seems to go through a learning curve with that. We may see Emery bring in another vet just for that reason. We need more bodies competing at both spots so after the draft I'm sure we'll see some vets brought in for a look.
  3. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Yeah Soul it either comes down to blocking /running or receiving/running for RB's.

    Granted Forte can block at times. Guess thats why the NFL have FB's.

    PAYTON could do all three ... but somewhere along the line ... colleges stopped making guys like him. Damn shame.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Payton as the best pure all around RB the NFL has ever seen jackie and you're right. God only made one of him. :(

    Forte's actually learned to do blitz pickup pretty well compared to how he was as a rookie. That seems to be the hardest thing for these guys to learn because not many of them had to do it in college. Sort of went along with not needing to go to class much either. :lolsign:
  5. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Im al for a RB ... a REAL RB, but in this day and age the best we can expect is a blocking FB.

    Forte and Ford are it. Too bad about Bush.
  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Tough to find a guy who can do all of what Forte can but from what little I saw of Ford last year I like the way he runs. He seems to be pretty much a North/South runner and he's got some speed and a little shiftiness to him. He reminded me of Bush in miniature.
  7. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Soul,

    So far as I know Bush has not signed with anybody.

    Now that could be a good thing or a bad thing.

    But what if we got him back ?
  8. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Coordinator

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    I liked Bush (you can never get enough Bush) when he came here, but then his production took a huge dip and our line was pretty good last year.
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  9. JJ-30

    JJ-30 Veteran

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    You 100% right God only made one of him, he was so special that God took him home way too soon for us Bear fans.
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Not very likely to happen jackie. I think we've moved and so has he. There are a ton of good RBs in this draft too so I imagine teams are waiting until after that before they move on a guy like him. I think he's still a good back but his age is against him too.
  11. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Honestly, Trestman's so good, he could make Uncle Rico a viable backup, so nothing to worry about
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    You must be talking about your uncle Rice because mine sucks. Plus he's fat and left handed. He does make a mean calzone though. ;)

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