Bears rookie RB Michael Ford gaining fan base among mates BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter August 24, 2013 9:04PM 0 0 Share 0 Updated: August 25, 2013 2:39AM Rookie running back Michael Ford is gaining fans every time he plays — especially on his own team. ‘‘I love watching Michael Ford run the football,’’ safety Chris Conte said. ‘‘He’s a great runner. He’s strong. He’s fast. I enjoy watching him play, and I think he definitely deserves a spot on the team. I’m excited to see him continue to develop as a player and hopefully it’s with the Bears.’’ Ford, who had a 100-yard kickoff return against the Chargers last week, sparkled again Friday night in the Bears’ 34-26 victory over the Raiders in their third preseason game. The undrafted rookie from LSU gained 58 yards on nine carries, including a spinning, darting 15-yard touchdown that gave the Bears breathing room at 34-20 after the Raiders had closed a 27-0 deficit to 27-20. Ford also had two receptions for 16 yards. Ford appears to have leapfrogged the injured Armando Allen in the battle for the third running back spot and certainly solidified his hold with another strong performance.