Sometimes a comment means very little in retrospect, and sometimes a coach says something to a player to get him to put ink to paper, and sign that god damn contract right now.
This is one of those times.
When the Bears were recruiting Michael Bush during the free agency period, Chicago’s new offensive coordinator Mike Tice told him that he’d like to have two 1,000-yard rushers this season. We know this because Bush repeated Tice’s comment to the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday.
“He said he wanted to do it,’’ Bush recalled Tice saying, “and I said, ‘Well, you got the right two people.’ ”
Yes, that seems to be a reasonable conclusion. Matt Forte had 997 rushing yards last year despite missing the final four games with a knee injury, and Bush had 977 in Oakland while filling in for the injured Darren McFadden and spending most of the season as the Raiders’ primary RB.
I know what you’re thinking, but please remove that phone cord from your neck. If Tice wants to preserve Forte and give Bush enough carries that he could come close to 1,000 yards, some quick dot connecting leads to the conclusion that Forte’s value will be significantly impacted.
Settle down there, and please stay seated. Firstly, realize that like a sleazy Saul Goodman-esque lawyer or the used car salesman who sells you the Grand Prix that some punk has raced through sand dunes, coaches and GMs spew crap to players during free agency all the time. If a player is wanted desperately for any reason — any reason at all — for those few hours during his free agency visit he becomes the super model at the dive bar, and the coaches/GMs doing the talking are the dirty hobos surrounded in their own saliva.
Secondly, let’s pretend this is the truth, and Tice really does want to establish Bush far more than expected. Well, as the Sun-Times also noted, last year in Houston Ben Tate had 942 rushing yards, and Arian Foster still had 1,224. Tate’s total was of course helped by Foster missing three games. But regardless, he still had two 100-yard games while running alongside a healthy Foster.
There will be a time share between Forte and Bush, and it may indeed be a little more slanted than what was first expected. But it won’t be enough to significantly impact Forte’s value, and his ability to accumulate yardage. At worst, Bush will become the goal-line back, which won’t effect Forte much either because that’s a role he’s never really thrived in anyway.
Forte only has 21 touchdowns over four seasons, including just three last year, and many of them have come on long runs.
And now the links part of the links post…
- That whole contract disagreement thing hasn’t slowed down Justin Blackmon. He had 72 yards on four catches last night. Yeah, he might be pretty good. [Rotoworld]
- Kevin Kolb wasn’t awful last night. No, it was mostly his offensive line which fit that adjective, and Kolb actually improved, looking competent for the first time ever. Will it be enough to win him the starting job in Arizona? And will he ever be a relevant fantasy quarterback? Maybe, and no. You will only own Kolb this year if you hate yourself. [Ryan Wilson]
- Cam Newton leads a list of potential busts. Trolling or truth? You decide. [Jamey Eisenberg]
- ‘Tis the season for lists like Eisenberg’s addressing sleepers and/or busts, and they’re being made by everyone’s grandmother and goldfish right now. We’ll be rolling out our own sleeper and bust candidates soon enough too (maybe even today if you’re nice). But you know how not to do a sleeper list? Lead it with Darren McFadden, and then follow him up with Matt Ryan. Pathetic. [Sports Grid]
- Antonio Gates is ready to dominate again, and to be Antonio Gates. [Clark Judge]
- Actual ticker headline filed under the screaming REPORT alert yesterday: Tim Tebow threw a ball into a trash can from about 25 yards away at Jets camp. [KSK]
- I just realized that in the first week of this blog’s existence, I’ve probably dedicated about 2,000 words to Maurice Jones-Drew. He’s hijacked 100 Yards and Running, tied it to the train tracks, and laughed maniacally while running over his prey. So as payback, here’s some fantastic photoshop-ery of MJD missing Shad Khan’s train. [SB Nation]