- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Two-time Pro Bowl tailback Matt Forte does not expect a repeat performance of 2014.
“Catching 100 balls is not my goal as a running back,” Forte said on Thursday.
Forte broke the NFL record for receptions by a running back with 102 catches last season, but the Bears ran the ball fewer than 40 percent of the time.
Forte believes that ratio will change under head coach John Fox, who is known to be an advocate of a strong rushing attack.
“Coach Fox loves to run the ball and establish the run,” Forte said. “Plus if you’re running the ball and you can run it effectively you get to control the clock and keep other offenses off the field, which is what we want to do. If we can control the game, control the pace of the game, and grind out tough yards and score, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Another 1,000-yard rushing season -- Forte is third in NFL rushing yards since 2008 with 7,704 -- greatly benefits Forte’s quest for a new contract, either in Chicago or someplace else. With his contract set to expire following the season, Forte enters camp knowing this could be his last year with the Bears, a reality the all-purpose back seems at peace with.
“No, it’s not weird. This is my eighth time in Bourbonnais,” Forte said. “So everything is kind of the same. When you’re out there on the field, you don’t really think about it being your last year. I’ve been here so long it just feels like I’m still going to be here next year. I’m just banking on continuing to produce like I always do and then at the end of the season or maybe during the season something happens then.
“The NFL is production-based. You produce, you get rewarded. But then sometimes when it comes time to be rewarded, it doesn’t happen and if you complain about it you’re a bad guy or something like that. I’m not worried about it because I’m at the end of my deal. It’s my last year in this deal and I was compensated correctly four years ago, so at the end of this deal we’ll see what happens.”