BOURBONNAIS -- Entering his seventh season, Matt Forte is looking forward to bucking the NFL trend of running backs whose performance deteriorates after the age of 29.
Although Forte will be 29 in December, last season was his most productive as he established career bests in rushing yards (1,339), receptions (74), receiving yards (594) and rushing touchdowns (9).
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"He's a workhorse, man," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "He knows every position. He takes every rep, quietly. You kind of take him for granted because you know he's always going to be there. He's always going to do his job. He's always going to make the first guy miss. He's still out there like a 24- or 25-year-old. He's got a lot of football left in him."
Wide receivers Eric Weems and Chris Williams have a lot of similarities.
Both are hoping to earn roster spots as backup receivers and return specialists. They're also the quick, little guys in a meeting room dominated by bigger players. Weems is 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, and Williams is an inch shorter and 20 pounds lighter.
There may not be room for both on the final roster, but each one has flashed in early practices.
"Weems is a steady player," offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. "He's smart, he studies, (and) he understands, so when he gets out there, he's able to make the play when he needs to. We're lucky to have him."
Weems was fourth on the Bears with 13 special teams tackles last season and has returned punts and kickoffs in his seven-year NFL career.
Williams had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the Canadian Football League but spent last season on the New Orleans Saints' practice squad.
"His speed shows up on the film and on the field," Kromer said. "Sometimes when you have a guy that fast, you can throw the ball with a little less accuracy because you know he's going to go get it."
Quite a few passes were dropped in Thursday's practice in front of 7,500 spectators, and they were committed by usually sure-handed Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte (twice). ... For the second straight day, the first-team safeties were Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray. ... Chris Williams continues to get most of the punt-return reps, but he put the ball on the ground on what should have been an easy catch. ... Rookie punter Pat O'Donnell had another monster boot, and it went 70-plus yards with an unofficial hang time of 4.57 seconds.
Guard Eben Britton, who suffered a hamstring injury late in Wednesday's practice, missed Thursday's work and there is no timetable for his return. Britton, who was filling in at right guard for Kyle Long, was replaced by Brian de la Puente.
Cornerback Tim Jennings (quad) did a bit more individual work but did not participate in team 11-on-11 activities. Rookie Kyle Fuller filled in for Jennings as the first-team corner, and Kelvin Hayden played nickel corner.
Offensive lineman Graham Pocic, a Lemont native and former Illini, was signed to a one-year contract, and wide receiver Terrence Toliver was waived with an injury settlement (toe).
The 6-foot-7, 310-pound Pocic signed with the St. Louis Rams in 2013 as an undrafted rookie free agent. Pocic appeared in 46 games during four seasons for Illinois (2009-12), including 34 starts at center and 2 starts at right tackle.
Toliver spent 2013 on practice squads for the Bears and the San Diego Chargers. He also spent time with the Houston Texans in 2011 and the Detroit Lions in 2012.