Chicago Bear Matt Forte at Crossroads

Tyler JuranovichCorrespondent IIIJuly 24, 2010

DETROIT - JANUARY 03: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears looks for running room during a first quarter run while playing the Detroit Lions on January 3, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

A lot of people will be looking at the Chicago Bears this year. 

They will be looking at how Jay Cutler performs in his second year, Mike Martz and whether his new offensive scheme will work, and whether or not they make the playoffs. 

While those are all valid questions that will soon be answered, they should all be looking at Matt Forte as well. 

The young running back played last year with hamstring and knee injuries. Still, when I look at Forte, I see a good running back who can catch the ball. What I don't see is an exceptional running back who can overpower you with his ability, or a runner who makes his own highlights. 

Forte needs a good foundation around him. Under Martz's new system, he'll fit very well, but so will Chester Taylor, a player handpicked by Martz. 

Forte has only two 100-yard rushing games in his past 21 games, and they both came against the Lions. He has yet to rush for an average of four yards per carry for a season, had a serious fumble problem last season, and was not so good when it came to short-yardage situations. 

You can put some blame on the offensive line, but to me, Forte doesn't look like a serious difference maker for the Bears. 

His sophomore slump, Chester Taylor, and a new offensive system mean the 2010-11 season could be Forte's biggest yet. 

It's going to be like his rookie season in a sense that he's going to have to prove that he is the No. 1 running back. That he can be a difference maker, and make his own plays.

How well the passing game does affects how well the running game does and vice versa.

That's a football fact. 

Forte has to have a big role in helping Cutler become that "franchise" quarterback.

We'll see if Forte can do it. I have my doubts.

What do you think?