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Matt Forte Has Some Fun with the Kids and Talks Bears

Ross ReadContributor IIIJanuary 21, 2017

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte took time out of his schedule before training camp to host the Meijer Matt Forte Football ProCamp on the south side of Chicago. 

"It feels good to get out here with the kids. It's always fun," Forte said. "In my childhood, I never had an opportunity to play or train with an NFL or professional athlete." 

Football and the upcoming Bears season was still on Forte's mind as training camp approaches. The Bears will be in Bourbonnais beginning July 24. Forte is focused for his sixth camp and sees it as no different, even with last year's contract situation behind him.

"The contract wasn't a big deal to me," Forte said."I knew it was going to get done. Physically, there is nothing different from then to now. Mentally, I feel better because I don't have to worry about the contract."

Two things that are different are the departures of former head coach Lovie Smith and retirement of linebacker Brian Urlacher. Forte expects subtle changes in the coaching demeanor from Smith to Marc Trestman. 

"Lovie was like your dad," Forte said. There was no yelling when it came to Smith. He would just pull a player to the side say what needed to be said. "Trestman is the same way." 

Even though Urlacher is gone, Forte expects the defense to pick up where they left off and believes the offense will get better. He said Mel Tucker running the same defense allows them to have continuity while the offense will come together nicely under an offensive head coach. 

A main reason the offense will come together is the improvement on the offensive line. The Bears went out in the offseason and signed former All-Pro tackle Jermon Bushrod from New Orleans and guard Matt Slauson from the Jets and spent a first-round pick on guard Kyle Long from Oregon. 

"To finally have five sure guys up there will be key this season," Forte said. "It will help Jay (Cutler) out, who hasn't had time to throw the football over the years." 

Allowing more time for Cutler to throw the ball means more opportunities in the passing game for Forte. Last season he had a career-low 44 catches. He knows Trestman's offense is predicated on the running back, and he's ready. 

"I caught 63 passes my rookie year, so I am willing and capable of catching the football." 

The Bears and their new offense will be on display for the first time when they open their preseason at the Carolina Panthers on August 9. 

Quotes were taken directly from Matt Forte during an interview at the Meijer Matt Forte ProCamp.

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