Bears running back Matt Forte posted a career low in receptions last year. He still had a decent total as his 44 catches ranked ninth among running backs. But the Bears want to see that number go up this season.
""For whatever reason, whether it was protection or whether it was utilization or whether it was catching, we didn't utilize Matt or he didn't have the opportunity to be fully utilized," general manager Phil Emery said early in the offseason.
The Bears believe new head coach Marc Trestman is the man who can get the most out of Forte, because running backs have always played a big part in his passing plans. Trestman has been an offensive coordinator for eight seasons at the NFL level. In six of those eight seasons, Trestman's leading rusher also caught at least 49 passes. And that came from an assortment of players -- Eric Metcalf, Derek Loville, Terry Kirby, Adrian Murrell, Michael Pittman, and Charlie Garner. Loville, Pittman, and Garner caught at least 70 passes.
Forte's career-high in receptions is 63, which came in his rookie year of 2008. Scanning that list of luminaries above, it's not a stretch at all to think Forte can top that this year. Trestman will be calling a lot of plays for Forte this year. Michael Bush will be involved, especially in short-yardage, but Forte is a strong RB2 even in standard leagues. He is RB1 material in PPR leagues.