One of the residual effects of loading your roster with a bunch of new talent is that players of modest talent --often workmanlike contributors-- often fall through the cracks. Such is the current life of former Chicago Bears' running back Kahlil Bell.
The Bears announced on August 23rd that the team had decided to waive the veteran running back. With Matt Forte signed, Michael Bush locked in as the backup, and Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker battling for the other running back slot, Bell just didn't have a spot anymore --illustrated directly by being waived I suppose. While the move makes sense, as a Bears fan who has watched Bell play the last few years, it's too bad. Bell was never any kind of superstar, or even starting running back quality, but he showed up to play every time he was on the field. He was a strong special teams contributor, and even stepped in nicely at running back --whether starting because of injuries, or just complementing the starter.
His numbers illustrate that roll directly. Last season, Bell appeared in 13 games for the Bears and rushed for 337 yards on 79 attempts --both career highs. 121 of those yards came in the Bears' Week 16 loss to the rival Green Bay Packers.
Even though you don't like to see players like Bell go, you have to like what the Bears still have at the position. Forte and Bush especially give the Bears a lethal one-two punch. Bush is able to make up for Forte's (few) weaknesses, but also supplies talent well beyond filling in for those weaknesses. I know the Bears have a lot of receiving weapons, and I don't doubt the Bears will want to use those weapons, but I also know the Bears love controlling the clock. Forte and Bush will get plenty of opportunities to control football games. If the line can give them some blocking, they should be in great position to make good on those opportunities.
Thank you, Kahlil. You were a great player to watch the last few seasons and I hope you find success wherever you end up.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.Sources
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Chicago Bears
- Michael Bush
- Kahlil Bell