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Searching for proper balance with Forte

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 10:33 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 1)

(MCT) — CHICAGO — Jay Cutler reiterated a previous stance when asked about Matt Forte’s touches.

“Like I said earlier, maybe in training camp or somewhere, I didn’t think Matt was going to get as many touches (as) he got last year,” Cutler said. “There (are) not enough balls to go around.”

That being said, offensive coordinator Mike Tice admits the Bears need to maintain a healthy dose of touches for Forte.

“We’re still trying to make sure we get the guys in position to do the things they do well,” Tice said. “Some of our guys who have been banged up — i.e. Matt — are rolling right now. We have to get him involved more.”

Forte, who missed one game with a sprained ankle, enters Sunday’s road matchup against the Titans with 113 touches — 95 rushes and 18 receptions. He hasn’t been used much on screens considering how many times Cutler has targeted Brandon Marshall.

Forte averages 4.6 yards per carry, which is better than his career average of 4.2. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry in the first half Sunday against the Panthers.

“We started off running the ball really well, then we hit a wall,” Tice said. “We ran the ball, we got 1 yard. We ran the ball, we got 2 yards. On second down, I’m looking for a formula. ... I’m not going to spell it out but I look at what percentage of run and pass I’m calling. I try to work some things. We just weren’t efficient on first down.

“I’m not going to defend how many times I gave Matt the ball. I look at it like this: We had so many three-and-outs, there was really never any chance to get any rhythm going. And when you have the ball for 23 minutes, I don’t think anybody’s going to come out of it saying they got enough touches.”

The guy: Tice subtly called out a few of his offensive linemen for a few costly mistakes against the Panthers. He said one stepped back and did the splits and got beat for a sack while another got his feet tangled while trying to pull and missed a block.

“We talked about a couple of weeks ago don’t be ‘the guy,’ and we took turns all across the board being ‘the guy,”“ Tice said.

Injury update: Tight end Matt Spaeth was limited by an ankle injury Wednesday as the Bears began on-the-field preparation for Sunday’s visit with the Titans. Spaeth should return Thursday. Receiver Alshon Jeffery remained sidelined with a fractured right hand. ... For the Titans, starting right tackle David Stewart (knee) and starting right guard Leroy Harris (knee) were held out of practice.

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