Trestman plays to Forte's forte
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte knows his history, he has to be salivating at the thought of playing in new coach Marc Trestman's offensive system.

I'm sure you have heard by now that Trestman loves throwing to his running backs and plans to use Forte frequently in the passing game, but to what extent becomes clearer when you look at past numbers.

Trestman served as the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers from 1995-96, the Arizona Cardinals from 1998-2000 and the Oakland Raiders from 2002-03 (he was the QB coach with Oakland in 2001).

Here are the reception totals posted by Trestman's running backs and fullbacks during those seasons:

1995 49ers

Derek Loville - 87

William Floyd - 47

Other - 17

Total - 151

1996 49ers

Terry Kirby - 52

Tommy Vardell - 28

William Floyd - 26

Derek Loville - 16

Other - 2

Total - 122

1998 Cardinals

Larry Centers - 69

Adrian Murrell - 18

Other - 1

Total - 88

1999 Cardinals

Adrian Murrell - 49

Michael Pittman - 16

Other - 15

Total - 80

2000 Cardinals

Michael Pittman - 73

Thomas Jones - 32

Other - 23

Total - 128

2002 Raiders

Charlie Garner - 91

Tyrone Wheatley - 12

Jon Ritchie - 10

Other - 17

Total - 130

2003 Raiders

Charlie Garner - 48

Tyrone Wheatley - 12

Zack Crockett - 7

Other - 5

Total - 72

Forte already is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL -- his 267 receptions since his rookie year in 2008 rank third in the NFL among running backs during that span behind Ray Rice and Darren Sproles -- so he appears to be a perfect fit for Trestman's system.

Trestman seems to be well aware of that.

"I think over his career, they've used him a lot of different ways," Trestman said back in March, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "I just got done looking at all his catches from 2010. He was on the line scrimmage, he was running out of the backfield (and) he is great in space. He has a skill set that goes full spectrum of what you want out of a running back. He can run inside. He can run outside. He can catch the ball extremely well. I saw him as a very good route runner for a wide receiver. I saw him in slants in 2010. I saw him run rail routes, sideline routes.

"He's extremely versatile from what I've seen over the stretch of plays that I've watched. That's something I know more about because I've watched so much tape on him to try and establish what we need to get done with him in training camp. He can do everything.

"Matt has the entire scope and ability to be able to run all different kinds of runs with him, and you can make all the different kinds of throws to him," he said. "And he's a willing blocker, which is critically important. He's a want- to, willing blocker, which all great running backs want to be. They want to be known as good blockers who set the tone for the physicality of the offense."

Forte was a tad more succinct in his analysis of Trestman's scheme.

"In this offense the running back runs a lot of routes and is able to catch the ball a lot," Forte said in July. "I?m able to catch the ball; I?m willing to catch it. I expect a lot out of myself. I?m looking for a big year for our team as a whole, as well as an explosive offense."

With increased receiving contributions, Forte is likely to be a top-10 fantasy running back even in non-PPR formats, and he offers top-five potential in PPR leagues.

Prediction: 256 carries, 1,152 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, 78 receptions, 663 receiving yards, three receiving touchdowns.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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