The NY Jets officially introduced Matt Forte at a press conference and he had a lot to say about his new team.
The Jets have made the move official with Forte at a recent press conference held at the team’s facilities. Forte answered a lot of questions about the fit with his new team, his relationship with Brandon Marshall, and why he decided to sign with Gang Green. Here is what he had to say courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
Q: Matt what was appealing to you about the Jets situation?
“Yeah I had some interest from some other teams, but the Jets were the strongest interest throughout the whole process. Being with a new team and a new locker room it helped that I had some former teammates in Brandon Marshall and Kellen Davis and also the dynamic of the team.
“I know last year they had a really good defense and a really consistent offense. I know that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a big part of that too and getting him back. We need the receivers and the running backs and getting that chemistry.”
“I envision myself in this offense with this team having a great defense and running the ball. Also being able to throw the ball to our big receivers, I just really felt like this would be a good fit for me.”
Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Woah, in Forte’s very first question he reveals his desire to play with Fitzpatrick. That was very surprising, especially with the nature of the negotiations with the free agent quarterback.
Though Forte was later asked in the conference call about the hesitance with signing with a contending team that currently doesn’t have a defined quarterback at the position, he answered it candidly and without any real hesitation:
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“Yeah there was some hesistation, but I also thought that much of the organization and the team dynamic now. That with the defense we have and how the Jets ran the ball last year that it would be really enticing to Fitz to come back and to continue to build what he did last year. It was a major decision, but I thought about that and (took the risk).”
Q: Who would you like to be the starting quarterback for the Jets?
“Based off of last year’s production, Brandon has talked about the chemistry he’s developed with Ryan so I would expect and hope that Fitzpatrick will be retained. So the Jets can build off of the momentum of last year.
One of the bigger questions stemmed from the other moves the Jets made in free agency soon after inking Forte to a deal the Jets made quick work of bringing back Bilal Powell and adding Khiry Robinson from the New Orleans Saints to round out the backfield. Which led to one reporter asking Forte what his role may be heading into the 2016 season:
“Not as of yet, they have not. Only what we originally discussed about me being an every down back. So I kind of just left it at that, haven’t really spoken to them about it since like hey what am I going to be doing? I’ll learn more about that during OTA’s and stuff like that, then I can get a feel for the role.”
Head coach Todd Bowles historically has always preferred a deeper rotation at the running back position, though Forte appears destined for the majority of the carries in this offense. But more specifically, Forte won’t get just carries, what he’ll get is touches.
In Chan Gailey’s creative offensive schemes he’s going to be running between the tackles, running to the edge, catching the ball out of the backfield and really attacking the screen game.
Forte revealed that initially he didn’t consider the Jets a legitimate destination and thought it wouldn’t be a good fit. Forte considered other offers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and even the New England Patriots.
The Jets in a much different free agency approach have made a lot of really good decisions and it seems the offense and defense is ready to rock and roll heading into the second tier of free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft. But before that the Jets must decide who their starting quarterback is going to be.
The Jets have flirted with Robert Griffin III and appear strongly interested, but continue to wait on Fitzpatrick. Ultimately the Jets may decide to stop the waiting game and just go with their gut instinct. That same instinct which brought the Jets to a 10-6 record last season, so be patient Jets Nation, lets see if they can build on it in year two as Forte seems excited and ready to take care of business.