Reggie Bush’s game vs. Vikings provides blueprint for Forte
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter September 11, 2013 8:51PM
Updated: September 12, 2013 10:25AM
The pass itself was only a few yards, but Lions running back Reggie Bush — with three offensive linemen paving the way — took it 77 yards straight through the Vikings’ defense and into the end zone.
Interestingly enough, Bears coach Marc Trestman said his offense has a similar screen call for running back Matt Forte.
“It was very similar to the play we ran in our red zone going in [against the Bengals] when Matt ran into [rookie guard] Kyle [Long],” Trestman said Wednesday. “It was basically the same play. That play had a chance to go out the gate, too. The timing of it, we have a young lineman, [and] he just missed. He didn’t get out quick enough, Matt didn’t redirect himself and we wound up coming up with nothing there.”
But there’s something to be made about Bush’s success in the Lions’ 34-24 victory against the Vikings, whom the Bears host Sunday at Soldier Field. Trestman and quarterback Jay Cutler were clear that they thought Forte wasn’t used to his fullest against the Bengals. The plan is for that to change starting against the Vikings, and the Lions might have provided some type of blueprint (or at least some good tape) for Week 2. Bush had 21 carries for 90 yards and four receptions for 101 yards, including his 77-yard touchdown.
“I watched the tape,” Trestman said. “They got him out in space. He did run the football, and he had some space running the football, but they also ran him on some screens. They moved the ball around.”
Forte already is being used everywhere in the Bears’ offense. It just comes down to better execution. Trestman has talked with offensive players about what the Bears have done well in the past against the Vikings’ defense. Trestman also watched game tapes of what the Saints did against the Vikings in 2010 and 2011.
The Bears did a lot of at-the-line play-calling against the Bengals, and that will continue all season. Cutler said the Bengals’ coverages factored into the Bears’ inability to get Forte involved more in the passing game.
It was significant, though, that the Bears remained committed to the run — and balance, really — despite falling behind and having varied success running (Forte averaged 2.6 yards per carry) against the Bengals.
“Right now, we’re just game-planning, but as a line, we know the importance of being able to run the ball,” guard Matt Slauson said. “If a team becomes one-dimensional, it becomes really tough on a line. So we have to make sure that we create a little something in the running game and then everything will get a lot easier for us, and we won’t have to win the way we did last week.”
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen described Bush and Forte as “completely different style of guys.”
“[The difference is] Forte’s ability to be a 20-, 25-carry guy up the gut, run that power game,” Allen said. “That’s one thing he’s always been able to do: take the hard carries, hits after hits and still be effective. Reggie, I think, is more effective in space. Forte, he can kind of do both.”