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Hoge’s Observations From Bears OTAs: Forte Getting Involved More

Matt Forte

Matt Forte (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jonathan Daniel)

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By Adam Hoge-

HALAS HALL (CBS) Some might link Matt Forte’s dip in production last year to the contract extension he received before the season started, but in truth, the dynamic running back received far less opportunities to be used out of the backfield.

Never a pure downhill running back, Forte actually posted the second-most rushing yards in his career (1094), but he also had a career-low 44 catches.

“We were kind of one-dimensional last year, I would say, so it’s going to be an emphasis for us this year to spread the ball around so that it works,” the running back said Tuesday. “It’s balanced. The defense can’t just focus on one guy or one position.”

Forte was very active in Tuesday’s OTA practice at Halas Hall and believes new head coach Marc Trestman’s offense will suit him better.

“I think so. I like it a lot,” he said. “Just to see the pass options — like everybody talks about when Charlie Garner had like 90 receptions and stuff like that. It has a lot of potential in this offense to be explosive in the running game as well as in the passing game.”

Forte will be used both as a running back and a wide receiver in Trestman’s scheme, which has forced him to spend more time studying this offseason.

“I think it’s more challenging to me personally because I have to learn more than just what the ‘H’ does,” he said. “I have to learn what the ‘F’ does, where he lines up, because I may have a situation where I line up as a receiver. I have to learn the receiver routes too.”

Keeping The Pace Up

Tuesday’s OTA practice was just as intense as Trestman’s voluntary mini-camp last month. In fact, the pace may have even been turned up a notch.

Trestman appeared to be more vocal this time around, instead of mostly observing like he did in April.

Roll Call

Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi missed his second straight OTA practice and is not expected to attend the remaining eight. OTAs are technically voluntary and he is currently in Arizona training. Read more about his precarious situation here.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (hip surgery) and kicker Robbie Gould (left leg surgery) were present Tuesday, but neither of them participated in practice. Tight end Gabe Miller also stood on the sideline with an apparent injury.

Rookie offensive linemen Kyle Long and Jordan Mills were both absent because of NFL rules that require them to miss offseason activities until final exams are complete.

Working The Rookies In

The Bears’ pair of rookie linebacker draft picks were inserted on the second-team defense Tuesday. Second-round pick Jonathan Bostic worked at the middle linebacker spot with fourth-round pick Khaseem Greene working on the weak side. Both players are expected to compete for some playing time and contribute on special teams this season.

Quote Of The Day

New Bears tight end Martellus Bennett on learning Marc Trestman’s offense:

“It’s like somebody coming in speaking Chinese. I think that’s the hardest language to learn, but most people think it’s English. ‘Cause most of us speak improper English and I’m one of the ones that do… um, does. So for the most part, it’s like learning a new language right now.”

For more Bears coverage throughout the season, follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamHoge).