Scout.com senior NFL analyst Ed Thompson is reporting that Tulane running back Matt Forte is drawing considerable interest from Bears officials. According to Forte, the other teams on his list of serious suitors are Houston, Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit, and Seattle. Thompson caught up with the 6-1, 223-pounder as he was making preparations for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis ...
Ed Thompson: Talk about the Senior Bowl and how exciting it was for you to win the MVP Award.
Matt Forte: It was very exciting and a blessing for me to be out there with those guys from the bigger schools and to win the MVP award. With me coming from Tulane, that was very exciting for me. It was very motivating for me to go out there and perform even better, and it was fun to go out there and play hard.
Thompson: It turned into an exciting game as the final minutes ticked off the clock and Erik Ainge threw the short pass to you that allowed you to show your ability to gain crucial yardage after the catch in a pressure situation.
Forte: When they called the play, it was exciting because I knew I was getting the ball. I knew I had a chance to get down close or even score and help our team win. The only thought going through my mind when I had the ball was to do what I normally do – run hard and try to make plays. I went down to the 2 yard-line and gave us a great chance to score a touchdown and go ahead with just enough time left.
Thompson: What were you hearing that week from scouts in regards to what they liked about you?
Forte: They were talking about my size and speed. They questioned my speed a little bit, but the Combine is coming up and I'll prove that. They like my size, my hard work ethic that they've heard from my coaches and the ones who have been around me. They like my running style, how they can use me as a power back because of my size or make people miss. They also liked how I practice.
Matt Forte during Thursday's no-pads practice during Senior Bowl week.
Thompson: Were you surprised by all of the attention you garnered that week?
Forte: Somewhat. At first, I thought a lot of people wouldn't know about me as much as some of the other guys. I expected it as it went on and I showcased my talent out there. I got a lot of attention from coaches, which was exciting for me.
Thompson: What have you been doing to prepare for the Combine?
Forte: I've been working on the drills that we do at the Combine – running the 40, lifting weights, getting ready for the 225-rep test. I plan on doing basically everything at the Combine. So I've just been working hard and perfecting all of those drills to go out there, give a good performance and do everything right.
Thompson: Do you think the 40 will be the key to silencing the scouts who have any doubts about you?
Forte: Yeah, I think that's the only thing they're still looking for. At the Senior Bowl they got to see me up close and how I actually play football, so now they just want to see the speed I've developed going into the Combine. My goal is to show them that I'm a good back who can run well.
Thompson: When's your Pro Day?
Forte: March 12th. At the Pro Day I plan to show them some of the same stuff I'll be doing at the Combine, and also run around and catch the ball.
Thompson: Is there anything you want to say to the fans who'll be watching the coverage of the Combine this week?
Forte: Just look forward to seeing me, and expect the unexpected with me.
Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FOXSports.com.