The free agent signing of Chester Taylor has been pretty much a huge mistake for the Chicago Bears. Actually, his production has been so disappointing in Chicago you’d almost assume he was a Jerry Angelo draft pick.
Taylor took the blame for the confusion, in the “am I cut” or “am I not cut?” soap opera this week at Halas Hall.
So that’s admirable of him. But still…Taylor did not play in last week’s preseason game at Tennessee. Instead, the Bears went with Kahlil Bell as the third running back behind Matt Forte and Marion Barber.
A 1,000 yard rusher with the Minnesota Vikings in ’06, and a 800+ rusher in ’07, Taylor put up just over 400 yards from scrimmage last season, with a TERRIBLE 2.4 YPC. Yes, he’s aging, and its expected that his career would be in decline. Take a look at his ’08 and ’09 numbers with the Vikes, you’ll see a drop-off. However, no one expected this dramatic a decline in Chicago last season.
With the signing of Barber, it’s clear Taylor’s numbers won’t improve this season, as he won’t be used much-unless a catastrophic rash of injuries strike. The only reason Taylor is still in the Chi is for 1.) emergency tailback should the injury bug bite the position. 2.) trade bait for another NFL team that could become desperate for a halfback.
Matt Forte is unquestionably the starter. Well duh! He’s coming off his best season as a pro, and he’s rushed for a grand in 2/3 pro seasons; putting up a 929 in the other campaign. He still is the most boring soundbite/terrible interview you’ll find in the NFL though. What’s important is that he’s interesting and exciting on the field.
Kahlil Bell is the emergency back only. He accrued no stats last season, but did run for 220 yards in 2009 for Chicago.
Marion Barber became odd man out in Dallas last year, despite starting 10 games. He wasn’t the feature runner with the Cowboys, but he’s a very solid #2 back. He hasn’t put up a G yet, but came very close every year 2007-2009, running for over 2,800 yards combined in those three years. He’s also a solid pass-catching threat out of the backfield, and that’s where you should expect to see him most often doin’ work this fall. Since being drafted out of the Minnesota Golden Gophers program, he’s made a nice little pro career for himself.
So sorry, Chester, I guess you’re S.O.L.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter