- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Chicago Bears paid running back Matt Forte well when they signed him in July to a contract extension. So perhaps it’s time to start using him, considering he’s carried the ball 20 times or more in just two games all season.
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice blamed the club’s four three-and-outs against the Carolina Panthers for Forte’s lack of carries last weekend.
“When you’re three and out, three and out, nobody’s going to get a lot of touches,” Tice said. “Fortunately (receiver) Brandon (Marshall) got some catches in the two-minute (offense) or he wouldn’t have had many touches. We can’t have the ball 23 minutes. We had been up in the 36-minute range (in terms of time of possession). When you’re in the 36-minute range you’ve got plays. But when you have the ball 23 minutes, I don’t think anybody’s going to feel they had enough touches.”
Maybe the best way to remedy that situation is to run the ball.
Forte ran the ball eight times in the first half of last week’s game, but didn’t take handoffs on back-to-back plays until the 3:57 mark of the second quarter when his 5-yard run gave him 14 yards total on the two attempts.
Quarterback Jay Cutler predicted Forte wouldn’t “get the touches that he got last year” in 2012 because “there are not enough balls to go around.”
But somehow the Bears need to find a way to get Forte involved. Ultimately, their success on offense depends on it.