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Dan Hymen | Photo: Anthony Tahlier | August 20, 2013
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte suits up for a new era.
As the Bears prepare to take the gridiron this fall, it’s anything but business as usual. The team has a new GM in Phil Emery, new coach with Marc Trestman and new strategy. Perhaps more than any other player, this season could be a game changer for 27-year-old running back Matt Forte: With Trestman’s West Coast offense, Forte will play a starring role in the Bears’ bid to return to the playoffs. “We all have a sense of urgency now; we’re definitely going to step our game up,” says Forte, who worked out five days a week this offseason.
While running backs have a rep for being a bit flashy, Forte is cut from a much different cloth. No. 22, who’s been one of the team’s most consistently productive members over his six seasons in the NFL, is instead known for his soft-spoken demeanor, hard-nosed work ethic and spending downtime with his wife Danielle and daughter Nala. “I’d rather be productive than flashy any day,” says Forte, who currently ranks fourth on the Bears’ all-time rushing list. “When you’re flashy you’re saying it’s all about you. Nobody wants a teammate like that.”
There is one arena, however, in which the Pro Bowler openly showcases a little flair: his style. The Slidell, La., native showed up for his first rookie camp in 2008 wearing a suit, and says his affinity for dressing the part is nothing new. “I’ve always been that way,” he says, recalling how as a child he always insisted on having the newest Nikes.
These days, though, the dedication to looking good is also part and parcel of this Bear’s focus on job one. “I’m a professional,” he says of dressing sharply before games, “and you have to look professional so you can get out there and play at your best.”
God, my family, fishing, lifting weights, really fast cars
Bad breath, stupid questions, corny jokes (anything corny), Internet tough guys, people who use the terms ‘turn up,’ ‘yolo,’ ‘turnt’ etc.