Bears: Forte has chance to shine
July 29, 2008
Cedric Benson ran amok this offseason and subsequently ran out of chances with the Bears. Speeding tickets, a drunken driving charge and operating a boat while intoxicated all led to Chicago putting the former Texas star on waivers. There has been little to no interest shown in him since. Enter Matt Forte, a rookie from Tulane who has impressed Bears coaches during preseason practices and has already become somewhat of a fantasy cult hero in preseason mock drafts.
However, not only will Forte need to beat out competition from Adrian Peterson and newly signed Kevin Jones, but he'll also face stiff challenges from defenses geared to stop him. Chicago lost wide receiver Bernard Berrian to the Vikings, and with him went the Bears' most accomplished big-play threat. Now, it's likely Forte will face eight-man fronts until either Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton can prove to be legitimate -- and that could take awhile.
On defense, there isn't much change, which is a good thing for a unit that finished fifth in 2006 but dropped to 28th in '07 largely due to injuries. Key players Tommie Harris, Nathan Vasher and Mike Brown figure to be healthy by Week 1, giving this unit significant appeal in fantasy drafts. Besides health, there should be plenty of happiness here, too, after Harris, Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester all landed restructured deals during the offseason.