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Bears RB Michael Ford amidst tight battle for backup spot
By Gavin Crowell
Training camp always breeds position battles, but following an offseason in which the Bears added a trio of running backs, competition for the backup spot behind starter Matt Forte has been especially strong.
Knowing that, running back Michael Ford, coming in to his second season in a Chicago uniform, has a team-first mentality.
“Right now, my mindset is doing whatever it takes to stay with the team,” Ford said.
Last season, Ford impressed in the preseason, putting up 149 yards on 39 carries and two touchdowns over the course of four preseason contests.
He found a home, however, on special teams, where he recorded three tackles during the regular season.
“If they call me to play special teams, running back, whatever it is, I’ll do it,” Ford said.
After drafting standout Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey in the fourth round, picking up free agent Shaun Draughn and signing Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist at NIU, head coach Mark Trestman described the competition for Forte’s backup as a log jam.
“We’ve got a really good competition from two to five [on the depth chart],” Trestman said. “But we just don’t know who has the edge when they’re only in shorts…
“We’re gonna do the best we can to get them all some carries and see what they can do with the football.”
Ford has seen snaps with the first team offense during this week’s organized team activities, and seems a likely choice to make the 45-man roster.
Still, his mindset has been much more immediate, as he focuses on steady improvement each and every day. Ford has some Bears veterans to help.
“Matt [Forte] and Brandon Marshall are a few people I’d single out… but this is really a leadership locker room, with everybody offering help along the way,” he said. “Whether it be learning how to prepare, how to get your body right, coming in early and watching extra film; [they’re] just teaching little things to get better and better.”
Ford has clearly enjoyed his tenure with the Bears, and has no plans to end the ride any time soon.
“Here,” Ford said, referring to being within the Bears organization, “I have a huge family environment. Everybody’s under one roof, has one goal; and that’s to win a Super Bowl together.”