Bears' Forte thriving on heavy workload
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PITTSBURGH — Matt Forte had 53 touches in the first two games, rushing 38 times and catching 15 passes.
And he was a workhorse again Sunday night against the Steelers, scoring on a 5-yard TD run and adding a 55-yard run to set up another TD, just in the first half.
Forte finished with 87 yards on 16 carries and he caught 4 passes for 24 yards.
Over the course of 16 games, Forte's two-game total works out to 424 touches for the season, more than he's ever had in the NFL. He had 379 touches in his rookie season of 2008, but Forte says he's ready for a heavy workload.
"I've kept the same regimen the past couple years and it's been working pretty well for me," he said. "I've got to be in shape to be in this offense. If you want to run the ball and be involved in the passing game, you've got to be in shape because you're not just called on to block out there on third downs, you've got to run routes and try to get first downs isolated on linebackers or whatever.
"It doesn't really matter if I've got like 30 touches a game or 20-something, I don't really see myself getting worn down. You've got to take care of your body during the week, so that on Sunday I can do that."
Forte said he's not any more confident in his own play but in the players around him.
"Just being around these guys, going through OTAs and training camp, and I know the talent we have on offense," he said. "I've been confident in our offense, and I know that if we can focus on each play and play fast, we can execute and score a lot of points.
"I'm always confident when I'm going out there. And you have to be confident in your teammates, no matter who the coach is."
Forte says that confidence extends to quarterback Jay Cutler, especially because of the protection he's received in the early going.
"Jay's confident in this offense, and there's a lot of calls in the past where he wouldn't be as confident, seven-step drops and things like that," Forte said. "With upgrades on the offensive line and big tight ends who can block, we can do seven-step drops and allow Brandon (Marshall) to get down the field and stretch the field on the defense."
Forte rushed for his second TD of the season to give the Bears a 10-0 first-quarter lead, and he caught an 11-yard pass to set up the score. On the Bears' next possession, Forte bolted 55 yards to set up Michael Bush's 1-yard TD run.
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