With RB Barber in, Taylor remains confident

July, 31, 2011
7/31/11
11:29
AM ET

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Until told otherwise, Chester Taylor plans to be on the Chicago Bears roster in 2011.

[+] EnlargeChester Taylor
Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireChester Taylor, a key free agent pickup for the Bears in 2010, could be on the chopping block with Marion Barber's arrival.

With Matt Forte entrenched atop the Bears depth chart at running back, the team added veteran Marion Barber to the mix, agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with the former Dallas Cowboys rusher Saturday.

That move raised questions as to whether the Bears backfield was big enough for Forte, Barber and Taylor, who inked a four-year deal with the Bears prior to the 2010 season.

Taylor, however, claims he has not been told by the team they intend to release or trade him.

"No. No. Never heard anything about it," Taylor said on Sunday morning.

"I don't wonder anything, I just feel like they just added more depth in the backfield. Me playing as many years, I know it's hard having a good backfield throughout the season, so you got to have depth in the backfield. Any running back can go down at any given time. I believe he can help us more than he can hurt us. He did a lot for Dallas, hopefully he can bring it here too."

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo wouldn't rule out keeping all three rushers, but stopped short of assuring Taylor a spot on the final 53-man roster.

"It's plausible [to keep all three on the roster], but it's competition," Angelo said on Sunday. "You know we got a good football player at what I consider a good value.

"[Barber] is a Big Ten player. We got a good contingency of Big Ten players. We like Midwest football players ... he wanted to get back this way. Again, it's about competition. Best players play, we don't base our evaluations on resumes. Resumes are how we evaluate them to get here, but once they're here, now it's up to them and the coaches to make those decisions."

Barber spent the last six seasons with the Cowboys, running for 4,358 yards and 47 touchdowns -- sixth in the NFL during that span. He added 1,280 yards receiving. Barber ran for only 113 yards in 13 games during his final year with the Cowboys.

He was officially released by the Cowboys this week along with former Pro Bowl receiver Roy Williams, who joined the Bears on Friday.

"He's a big back, he can help us out on goal line and short yardage as well," Taylor said. "[He can] just come up here and bring us that toughness we need. Hopefully help us throughout the season when me and Matt [Forte] wear down or something like that."

Taylor averaged 2.4 yards per carry during the 2010 regular season in 112 rushing attempts.

The question now becomes, with Barber in the mix, is there enough room for all three in the crowded Bears backfield?

"I don't know, we'll see," Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer said. "But I like the three. As a coach, I'm feeling pretty good."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He is also a talk-show host on ESPN 1000 and the ESPN Radio network.

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