Like it or not, Bears' Forte needs a break
It's a difficult decision to ever take Matt Forte out of the lineup.
He has extraordinary skills running the ball inside or outside, excellent hands and run-after-the-catch ability, and he's exceptional in pass protection when needed.
The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Forte had 363 touches last season, the most he has had since he had 379 in his rookie season (2008). He shows no signs of slowing down at 28.
Still, coach Marc Trestman doesn't want to overuse or abuse one of his most effective weapons, but he knows he needs some downtime. The problem is, in the heat of battle, when is it ever a good time to rest the workhorse?
"We don't go into the game saying we're going to give Matt a blow," Trestman said. "We don't look at it that way. (Running backs coach) Skip (Peete) knows when it's time for him to come out. We just do it series by series, basically."
If Forte does get a breather Sunday against Buffalo, versatile rookie Ka'Deem Carey is the next man up. The fourth-round pick out of Arizona is ahead of Shaun Draughn and Senorise Perry on a deep depth chart.
"We're excited to see what he can do," Trestman said of the 5-foot-10, 207-pound Carey. "(But) we're not going into it thinking that in the third series Matt's going to come out and Ka'Deem's going in.
"We're not going to play the first part of the season that way. It'll be game by game. We've got confidence that when Ka'Deem goes in there that he'll play hard and play well for us."
Never gets old:
In his 11th NFL season but first with the Bears, defensive end Jared Allen still gets pumped up on opening day -- or any game day for that matter.
"It's just the opportunity to win at Soldier Field, finally," said Allen, who in the previous six years as a Minnesota Viking went 0-6 in Chicago. "It's just being out there with my guys and a new team, new fans, new stadium. It's always exciting. Sunday, no matter what helmet you have on, is exciting.
"For me, it's just getting out there to be able to do something I love and have fun doing it. That's why we all still play this game. At least that's why I do. The day that Sunday becomes just another day and it's just monotonous, I'll say, 'Eh, I'm outta here.' I'll quit."
Getting good advice:
Ten-year veteran place-kicker Robbie Gould has been around long enough that special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis is confident in using him as a resource. DeCamillis said Gould was consulted on the decision to sign veteran Jeremy Cain as the long snapper early this week.
"Robbie plays into every decision," DeCamillis said. "He's been a great help with all of the young guys. He was a great help with (rookie punter) Pat (O'Donnell) with the holding (for kicks).
"You're going to listen to him -- I am, anyways -- because he's a guy who, in my opinion, works at his craft, so he knows. I'm glad he's comfortable with Jeremy. I'm not saying that's the reason we made the decision, (but) we did what was best for the Bears."