MATT FORTE

2011 Statistics:

Games Played: 12
Rushing Attempts: 203
Rushing Yards: 997
Average: 4.9
Rushing Touchdowns: 3
Receptions: 52
Receiving Yards: 490
Receiving Touchdowns: 1

Analysis:

The 2011 season saw Forte do just about everything for the Bears offense. He was among the league leaders in rushing yards and average yards per carry before a knee injury sidelined him for the final four games of the year.

In addition to his rushing ability, Forte has been one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL since entering the league in 2008. Despite playing in only 12 games, Forte was sixth amongst running backs in receptions with 52.

After a contentious offseason in which the Bears placed the franchise tag on Forte and he threatened to holdout if a long-term deal was not reached, both sides agreed to a four-year contract. With all the contract negotiations over and done, Forte can focus on the 2012 season with no distractions.


MICHAEL BUSH

2011 Statistics:

Games Played: 16
Rushing Attempts: 256
Rushing Yards: 977
Average: 3.8
Rushing Touchdowns: 7
Receptions: 37
Receiving Yards: 418
Receiving Touchdowns: 1

Analysis:

In order to preserve Forte for the entire season and not overwork him, the Bears signed Michael Bush as a free agent to be their backup running back. Bush figures to play quite a bit, as he is a starting-caliber back.

In fact, 2011 saw Bush as the feature back in Oakland after starter Darren McFadden went down with injuries. When given the opportunity, Bush made the most of it. In two of the team's first three games without McFadden, he rushed for over 100 yards and proved he could be a workhorse-type back with 30 carries in each game.

Bush can also be an effective pass catcher out of the backfield. Primarily though, he should provide the Bears with a boost in short-yardage and goal line situations.


KAHLIL BELL

2011 Statistics:

Games Played: 13
Rushing Attempts: 79
Rushing Yards: 337
Average: 4.3
Rushing Touchdowns: 0
Receptions: 19
Receiving Yards: 133
Receiving Touchdowns: 0

Analysis:

As the third-string running back in 2011, Bell played mostly after Forte went down with an injury and also on special teams.

Not much should change for Bell entering the 2012 season. He will play a valuable role on special teams and will only see action during blowouts late in the fourth quarter.