BOURBONNIS, Ill. -- NFL veterans can often be territorial toward younger rivals.
So it’s refreshing to hear that Chicago Bears veteran tailback Matt Forte took time over the summer to train with rookie fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford; the player many believe could eventually replace Forte in Chicago’s starting lineup if the two-time Pro Bowler is unable to come to terms on a new contract after the season.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Langford said. “I had heard a lot of different things about veteran running backs. But Forte is a good guy and I think he never really thought about that aspect because he’s a hard worker so you’re not going to just push me off to the side because we’re all here to win. I feel like that’s the mindset we have right now, is we want to win and we need the whole team to do that.”
Forte, 29, said he wanted to impart some wisdom on the rookie out of Michigan State.
“We trained together and I showed him my routine and how I kind of do it, which is really smart of him to get behind and older, veteran guy and try to learn the routine of what he does in the offseason,” Forte said. “We worked out for a couple of weeks and he’s a down-to-earth, humble type of kid. All the running backs pretty much have that same kind of mentality too.”
Forte is a good role model for Langford. In seven NFL seasons, Forte has missed only five games due to injury, despite carrying the football 1,817 times and catching 443 passes.
“Forte has been a consistent good running back in the league for a while now, so I felt like getting a chance to be able to learn from him and him being willing to teach me, you’ve got to stay behind and learn from him because he’s done a great job in the NFL,” Langford said. “He works hard. You can tell he’s been in the league for a reason. He’s a hard worker and he does what he has to do.”