Healthy Forte has breakaway ability

Matt Forte showcased his breakaway speed this past Saturday against Oakland. Robin Alam/Icon SMI

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears running back Matt Forte gave an honest opinion when asked whether he was capable last year of breaking off a run similar to the 89 yarder he produced last week against the Raiders.

“Last year, I probably would’ve been caught [from behind],” Forte said. “I think I could’ve made the run, but I probably would have been caught because of the injury before camp, then the third game of the season getting injured. It just takes a toll on you. Not being healthy kind of hampers you.”

Now healed from the nagging injuries that limited him to 929 yards rushing last season, Forte looks forward to ripping off more highlight-reel runs in the club’s new-look offense. The passing element of the Bears’ offense generates most of the publicity, but Forte knows the scheme can’t operate at peak efficiency without opponents respecting him as a dangerous threat in the ground game.

Forte said his 89-yard touchdown against the Raiders last week gives the offense confidence in its big-play capabilities.

“You know, we pass the ball and run the ball pretty balanced,” Forte said. “I think having that threat of the run will just help the pass out that much [more]. It gives us confidence as an offense that we can go out and score in one play.”