Replacing Matt Forte? Good luck, Bears


Replacing Matt Forte? Good luck, Bears

The Bears made a reasonably sound fiscal and personnel move when they made official their intention of moving on without Matt Forte as one of the running backs. They have replacements — Jeremy Langford, Ka’Deem Carey — in place by virtue of fourth-round picks in the past two drafts.

But replacing Forte has been hugely problematic virtually since his arrival to Chicago as the Bears’ second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Put another way: The Bears haven’t been able to find even an adequate backup for him, and now they are completely replacing him?

[MORE BEARS: Farewell to Matt Forte not a surprise]

Then-GM Jerry Angelo made annual forays into free agency for what appeared, at the time of each, to be sound veteran additions. None of them worked out, sometimes downright disastrous:

Kevin Jones (2008) - $605,000 for 3.2 ypc., $3 million for 2009, injured in preseason and never played again.

Kahlil Bell (2009) - One 72-yd run, 3.8 ypc. on other 39 carries.

Chester Taylor (2010) - $7 million guaranteed, 2.4 ypc. in one season with the Bears.

Marion Barber (2011) - $5 million for two years and epic bonehead plays in Denver.

Michael Bush (2012-13) - $14 million for four years, gone after two with 3.4 ypc.

Ka’Deem Carey (2014) - Near-cut in 2015 training camp, 36 rookie carries, DNP last two games of rookie season.

Jeremy Langford (2015) - 100-plus combined yards in two games, but 3.6 ypc. for season on 148 carries.

The Bears hold three picks in the sixth round of this year’s draft and will at some point be looking for a running back with strong upside on special teams, which was part of the rationale behind drafting Langford.

[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear right here]

The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 with a backfield assembled by John Fox from his time as head coach. The Broncos divided carries between undrafted C.J. Anderson (4.7 ypc.) and third-rounder Ronnie Hillman (4.2). Carey and Langford fit the Fox template, but neither has shown what Anderson and Hillman produced this season.

Or Forte in any of his eight Bears seasons.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.