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(CBS) The Bears have always taken pride as a team that comes off the bus running.
In Sunday’s 34-29 win over the Panthers, that’s exactly what they did. The Bears put together an explosive running attack that featured 222 yards and two touchdowns between Matt Forte and Marion Barber.
Barber made his debut for the Bears, picking up 17 yards on five carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve been wanting to have this group together,” Bears head coach Lovie Smith said Monday. ” We saw what it could look like in training camp. Matt Forte’s a great player, but you need a relief hitter – a solid backup to come in and get you tough yards. That’s what Marion did for us yesterday, and hopefully we’ll keep that combination going.”
After Barber’s touchdown run, the veteran running back — who missed three games with a calf injury — attempted a celebratory back flip. Barber rotated about 340-degrees before face-planting into the ground.
The celebration was not something Smith was expecting.
“I think players kind of know their body a little more than we do, but I can assure you that wasn’t on my check list: ‘Hey Marion, if you score a touchdown, don’t do a back flip,’” Smith said. “You don’t want guys to injure (themselves). It’s hard enough staying healthy during the play. You don’t want them to put themselves at risk. Normally, you learn from it. If you decide to do a flip, at least make it all the way over.”