He rushed 203 times for 997 yards and three touchdowns, while averaging 4.9 ypc. He also reeled in 52 receptions for 490 yards and one touchdown in 12 games.
He was re-signed to a four-year deal on Monday and now the Bears training camp can start next week with no big distractions.
Veteran back Marion Barber added six touchdowns and 422 yards as the No. 2 back last season. But he made too many mistakes in a big game against Denver to stick around.
He decided to retire this off-season, so the Bears replaced him with Michael Bush.
Bush was signed to a four-year deal worth $14 million with $7 million guaranteed back in March when free agency opened up.
Last season, Bush excelled, appearing in all 16 games and making nine starts. He carried the ball 256 times for 977 yards and seven touchdowns.
He will be a perfect complement to Forte. Bush is a hard nose runner who will definitely get his chances in red zone situations.
Don’t be shocked to see both Forte and Bush on the field more often than not.
Forte tweeted this the day Bush was signed: “for the record I’m not mad at the signing of another running back. This is the 4th time that’s happened. I embrace competition as well as help.”
Kahlil Bell flashed some promise in three starts at the end of the season, rushing for 240 yards and reeling in his first career touchdown pass.
Even rookie Armando Allen got a chance to showcase his abilities. He added 40 yards on 11 carries in a Week 16 matchup with Green Bay.
Here are the career stats for each running back on the Bears current roster.
Matt Forte: 60 career games (all starts), 4,233 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns, 4.2 ypc, 1,985 receiving yards, eight touchdowns and 8.9 ypr.
Michael Bush: 61 career games (16 starts), 2,643 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns, 4.2 ypc, 879 receiving yards, one touchdown and 9.7 ypr.
Kahlil Bell: 20 career games (three starts), 557 rushing yards, 4.7 ypc, 137 receiving yards, one touchdown and 7.0 ypr.
Armando Allen: Two career games, 48 rushing yards, 3.2 ypc.
Lorenzo Booker: 36 career games (two starts), 230 rushing yards, 3.8 ypc, 362 receiving yards and 7.7 ypr.
Harvey Unga: N/A
Tyler Clutts (FB): 15 career games (seven starts), 48 receiving yards, 6.0 ypc.
The running back position was certainly not a position of weakness for the Bears last season. But this season their core could be one of the best in the league if they stay healthy.
Forte, Bush and Bell project as the top three backs while it’s a question mark if the Bears decide to keep four backs.
Will they keep promising speed back Armando Allen or will they opt to go with recently signed Lorenzo Booker whose a solid receiver out of the backfield.
They could also decide to keep former seventh-round supplemental draft pick Harvey Unga or Tyler Clutts.
Clutts is purely a fullback, while Unga could play both running back and fullback.
It will be interesting to see who they keep. It could come down to how many players they keep at wide receiver and tight end.
Don’t expect the Bears to keep more than three running backs this season. If they do I’d say Allen or Unga have the best chance to take the fourth spot.
This should be a good position to watch all through training camp. Bears running back coach Tim Spencer should be pleased with the 2012 talent in the backfield.
Next up: Wide Receiver Position