You would be hard-pressed to find to find a more complete back in the NFL than the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles.
But in his neverending quest to get better, Charles does watch other backs, including Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears, who will face the Chiefs this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I watched some of his film this offseason,” Charles said. “He’s very patient on screens and coming out of the backfield. He looks the ball in, catches the ball and he’s a very good route runner, some of the things that we looked at this offseason, that every running back takes some notes from.”
Forte, 29, had a monster year in 2014, rushing 266 times for 1,038 yards and six touchdowns. He also set an NFL record for most receptions in a season by a running back with 102, and finished with 805 yards and four touchdowns.
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“He’s very talented, he’s very versatile, he’s very athletic — he can do more than one thing,” Charles said. “He can go to wide receiver and run wheel routes and run fade routes; that’s the position of a running back going into the next level.
“I’m happy to be able to compete with him this week. He’s a friend of mine, and the dude can play. The defense is up for a challenge that they probably haven’t seen for a while.”
This season, Forte has rushed 84 times for 367 yards and a touchdown. But with only 13 catches for the 1-3 Bears, he’s on pace to finish with 52 catches — far off last year’s total. That seems just fine with Forte, though.
“I’m a running back first, obviously,” Forte said. “I like running the ball — I’ve obviously been getting the ball a lot more in the run game this year than last year, )when) we didn’t really run it that much … and I knew that going into this year, I said I probably won’t have 100 catches this year. They’re both fun to me.”