Audibles From the Long Snapper: Must Wins, Forte Underrated Superstar & Measurables

| October 7th, 2014


Administrative Note: I will be recording a podcast with Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times this afternoon to take the pulse of the Bears locker room. The pod will post either evening or tomorrow morning. Felt like the right week to do it.


The Bears needed 2-2 over this four game stretch. If they’re going to achieve that mark without HAVING to win in New England, Sunday’s game is pivotal. I had penciled in a loss at Atlanta at the start of the season but a win in Carolina. If the Bears leave Georgia victorious the debacle in North Carolina will be a fading memory.

What I like about the game Sunday is Atlanta will score points and most likely plenty of them. The offense, currently under warranted fire, will need to deliver a big performance.


From emailer Corey Henriksen:
I was looking up Forte’s career stats and realized he passed 10,000 yards from scrimmage in the last game. Congratulations Matt! Funny, I don’t recall anyone mentioning this in the press. He has a total of 10,037 yards. So I started to dig a little deeper and compare Matt’s numbers to the great Walter Payton. As of now, Matt has been very durable, starting 95 out of a possible 100 games. It turns out that Payton played in a total of 190 games in his career, so this would be the half way point. It took about a half hour, but I decided to compile some numbers for both players after their 1st 95 games.
Forte’s 10,037 yards from scrimmage averages out to 105.65 yards per game. Not too shabby. He’s had 1,981 touches, 20.85 per game, and averaging 5.07 yards per touch. Over the same period, Payton had 10,706 yards from scrimmage, averaging 112.69 yards per game. Payton had 2,193 touches, 23.08 per game, and averaged 4.88 yards per touch.
Payton, the greatest player ever, obviously had to work a lot harder for his yards since many more of them came in the running game. But it’s two different eras and the league has changed a lot. Still, Forte’s numbers are pretty impressive at this point in his career. If Matt has another 4-5 years in him at this pace, he will be a lock in Canton and top ten in total yards from scrimmage..

The last sentence is pretty powerful and begs the question, “Is Forte the most underrated player in the league?” I think he has to be.


…and this article from Kevin Clark in the Wall Street Journal on the Kansas City Chiefs is a principal reason why. I am a miserable, old, young man. I miss the days where you watched a guy play football and said, “He beat that guy there so he’s better than that guy”. Here are some of the ridiculous paragraphs from the piece. (My favorite, ridiculous phrases and sentences are in bold.)

“Length has always been huge, but when you pay attention to the way offense has evolved, with offensive linemen, you are darn right you have to have arm length,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey said that he evaluates linemen on both sides of the ball with a clear plan in mind. After figuring out how to quantify explosion, he studies 20 years worth of explosive players at the same position. “Once you understand those basic measurements of explosion, what you can do is go back and look at correlation with the data you have at hand,” he said.

“There has to be more urgency in the first step,” he said. He added that there has been a new emphasis on posture to maximize arm length. “What’s important is, if a player stands up and gets out of his stance and his back is round, his 35-inch arms aren’t playing at 35 inches,” Sparano said. “The days of finding these short-arm linemen are [over]. It is not a redeeming quality.”

Just draft a guy who can fucking block another guy.

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  • Scott W.

    Yeah. Matt’s stats were brought up in the gameday thread. He may be the first RB in the history of the league to go to Canton with people asking, “Who is he? Who did he play for?”. Which, when you consider our backfield history, is just weird.
    Everyone is busy watching Cutler lowlights.

  • Scott W.

    Matt was our leading receiver last Sunday.

    I don’t know how to add to that, when you consider our offense and receiving corps.

    Says volumes I think.

  • MB30SD

    Alright dave…. begin sloppy wet BJ…… NOW.

  • MB30SD

    It’s all about explosion these days guys…. come on!! What do you need a refresher course?

    • MB30SD


      • DaMurph

        Ill be in Atlanta for the game. I hope my presence can reverse our fortunes! Its been a frustrating season!

        • MB30SD

          yes my brother. Enjoy the game and my the fb gods bring us success.

          We take this one by 14.

          • DaMurph

            Watch the phone for pictures and inside perspective!! hahaha

          • MB30SD


  • The Ghost of Super Bowl XX

    I don´t mind who is our best WR, meanwhile team “moves the chains” and “that guy” gives us the best chance to score.

    • MB30SD

      No seriously ghost… change translators. Like your posts, just hard to follow sometimes. There has to be a better one.

      try this one: http://www.bing.com/translator/ (I assume you’re using google translate, which chupas el culo caballero)

  • The Ghost of Super Bowl XX

    How I miss Kyle Orton….

  • Bears-4-Ever

    I know in the last thread we had the Bears generally
    described as mediocre at this point. I would agree, however Forte is NOT…and
    his numbers prove it, but also like Walter, Forte might have to suffer through
    years of poor or mediocre Bears teams in general, as he climbs into the 10 best
    of all time. That is quite sad to be honest if you think about it.

    The word “mediocre” has best described the coaching of the
    Bears since the beginning of the Lovie Smith Era and perhaps before that, since
    I still get the shutters thinking about Wannstedt. I totally agree that the
    coaches must take some of the blame for what’s going on right now, however I
    think it’s safe to say that Trestman’s presence has improved the Offensive side
    of the ball in a big noticeable way. Which in turn has put Forte where he is
    needed whether that’s running or catching. Is it too early to judge Trestman now?
    Should we start doubting his decision making? I’m not sure, but I think right
    now he’s better than what we had on that side of the ball in a long time…that’s
    not saying much…but it is something and that’s nothing but “good” for Forte at
    this point.

    • MB30SD

      best ever I think. Room for improvement… for SURE. I think if we can get a really good DC and a decent specials coach, we can become a whole team. We saw what is possible last year. You know why I think the O took a step back… let’s see how this plays out, not jump to conclusions after just 5 games.

  • BillW

    Why is Forte wearing a Bulls jersey in that picture? Going “two sport” on us?

  • SC Dave

    Great last line Jefe! Just execute the damn block.

  • BillW

    I care deeply about the Bears; I watch every minute of every game. I try not to leave games early (except a few times with one of my kids who wanted to leave a blowout against us). Oh yeah, and the Fog Bowl when I couldn’t even see the goalpost from our seats in South End Zone.

    Compare that to baseball – I consider myself a loyal Cubs fan but stopped paying attention closely after the “Bartman” game. Just feel the 100+ year thing got to the players.

    Anyway – my “whining” is because I care. I don’t “whine” about he Cubs – I’ve gotten tot he point where I don’t care. Won’t happen with the Bears.

    I’ll keep looking for the fire in them that I think is lacking. Right now I’m disappointed that the players outwardly seem to accept losing. Even though they won’t say that, I don’t get the sense that there is any real resolve. Maybe it’s unfair to compare them to the ’85 team – but that team had fire as soon as Ditka walked in the door. Hampton, Singletary, Payton, the whole O-Line. It was there – PRIDE.

    Others have said the same thing – they have no identity. They are just another generic team.

    What do you think the fans of the other 28 teams outside of our division think of the Bears? My guess is they don’t think of them at all – any more than we think of Jacksonville or Tennessee. If it weren’t for Cutler – we’d get no attention at all.

    I wish someone would spark them. I don’t expect them to beat Atlanta – but if they do – what does that show? That they can turn it on when they need to? Which only proves they are underachevers.

    Maybe they are not underacheivers. Maybe they are a mediocre team.

    Cutler says the other teams have 16 games of film so that’s part of the offense problems.

    C’mon man! Every team has film of every team every year. Is he saying last year was smoke and mirrors and everyone figured out their tricks? What ever happened to being better than the other teams and executing?

    You see, stuff like that drives me crazy. That’s not fire – that’s rationalizing failure.

    Let’s see what Trestman does now that they are down. They are only one game out as pointed out – but talk like that sounds like they are excusing their play as not being a problem in the whole scheme. They could be three games out at the bye and still legitimately keep saying “there is a lot of football left.”

    “And then one day you find – ten (games) have got behind you. No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun!” Pink Floyd

  • MB30SD
    • dude. i am close to the worst golfer you’ll ever meet. i like the day outside with drinks and friends, but i can totally do without the “sport” itself.

      • MB30SD

        I’m the same. I can hit the shit out of the ball, but it will be at an almost 90 degree angle, and I’ll probably rip something in my lower back.

        If you’re ever in SD I’ll take you to the course by my house for big laughs.

  • MB30SD

    Oh god… AP going down in a blaze of no glory. Kind of sad: http://fansided.com/2014/10/06/adrian-petersons-charity-now-front-sex-debauchery/

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    Nice going Corey Henriksen, whoever THAT is 😉

    Matt Forte is so underrated it’s ridiculous. Especially when you consider that todays era is a passing era. So while his ground numbers might not indicate superiority (though they are also quite good), his all around game should be over appreciated in this era, not under appreciated.

    As for the short arm thing, See Chris Williams for exhibit A. Though I tend to agree that measurables are vastly overrated.

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      I think it bears mentioning though, that while Forte’s yardage totals compare nicely to Payton, he’ll never come close to Payton in two important things. Touchdowns and running between the tackles for short yardage gains.

      • BillW

        And blocking – Forte is good, Payton may have been the best RB blocker ever.

        Someone, maybe Madden, said there may be better runners than Payton but he is the best running back overall.

        • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

          best FOOTBALL PLAYER over all.

    • MB30SD

      you love giving up real names (don’t you DARE!). I’ve used my super spy powers to surmise the owner.

      • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

        Jefe gave it up, not me.

  • bearsfantillend

    new thread already

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