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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Black and Blue all over: The Bears' backfield

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Discussion of Chicago's backfield is in full swing. In this interview on the team's Web site, running backs coach Tim Spencer suggests he wants tailback Matt Forte to increase his productivity in terms of yards per carry and yards per catch this season.

At the same time, Spencer said, it will be up to coaches to "watch him." I took that to mean the Bears plan to follow through on their plans to curb his playing time a bit after accounting for being on the field for a large majority of the Bears' snaps in 2008.

That number, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times, is 84 percent: Forte was on the field for 84 percent of the Bears' plays in 2009. Biggs suggests that number could go down and predicts a solid training camp battle for depth in the backfield.

Kevin Jones seems assured of the No. 2 spot behind Forte, but it's possible that Garrett Wolfe and Adrian Peterson will be fighting for one roster spot. The Bears' first training camp practice is 23 days away. Yee-haw.

Continuing around the NFC North on a quiet midweek morning: