Thus far in the Bears' training camp, there have been a few critics debating on who should start at the wideout position.
When I think of a topic worth debating, I envision the running back spot.
Matt Forte, one of the few rookie sensations of 2008, has been put on the hotseat after a disappointing 2009 season. The seat has been hotter than ever with Chicago snagging former Adrian Peterson backup, Chester Taylor.
Taylor, 30, was complimented for having more than enough tread on the tires. This belief was based on his career as a backup. Although Taylor has been known as a second stringer, Chester can still get the job done with incentives.
The nine season veteran was an essential part of the Minnesota Viking's offense in 2009, however, by catching passes out of the backfield from Brett Favre. Analysts often compare his receiving skills to our own Forte and speak highly of his leadership.
Right off the bat, you have to admire Taylor's presence. When spoken to about the possibility of becoming Forte's backup, Chester said that he was fine with it and loves the way Matt is as a person and athlete.
With the receiving and leadership column filled with a check, you have to ask "how good is Chester Taylor at running?"
Well, in his lone season as a starter, Taylor put up very solid numbers. Starting 15 games out of 15 played, the new Bears' addition ran for 1,216 yards on 303 carries. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself.
Matt Forte can definitely step up to the plate as well.
In his rookie 2008 campaign, the Tulane product earned 1,238 yards rushing and a respectable 400+ yards catching the ball. A 1,600+ yard year for a rookie is amazing, no doubt.
The question is, can he return to that form?
We all know that Forte looked staggeringly slow last year. It was a surprise, as hopes were sky high for number 22.
It was later found out that Forte's ACL was tweaked and miraculously played despite the pain. I don't know to what extent it weakened the NFL sophomore, but he seemed to have lost a step every now and then. This probably had something to do with the loss of his signature stutter step/cut move.
The bottom line is that Forte didn't remain healthy (which was expected after the entire team was on his back in '08,) and didn't live up to his potential.
The bottom line is produce or you're out. Period.
With Taylor waiting for his time to shine, Matt Forte needs to step it up.
I believe Matt Forte should start. I admire his smoothness, calm and collected attitude, and how hard he runs when he's healthy. There have been mixed reports coming out of training camp on his production, and it's too early to draw conclusions.
However, I believe Chester should be given a fair shot too. They both play hard and are leaders, it's just a matter of who helps us win. I don't think there will be a "split amount of reps" between the two, but I believe they both will be involved.
Conclusion: Matt Forte should become our starter in 2010.
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