It appears that a report that Chester Taylor will be released by the Chicago Bears is going to prove to be unfounded.
The Bears signed the veteran running back to a $12.5 million, four-year contract a year ago, and it stands to reason they want to get more out of their investment after he earned $7 million from the deal in 2010 alone. Plus, the presence of Taylor was one reason general manager Jerry Angelo cited for the best season of Matt Forte’s career.
But Taylor did struggle last year and there’s no way around his poor statistics: He was the first running back with more than 100 carries since the merger in 1970 to average less than 2.4 yards per attempt.
“I like the way Chester works for us,” Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer said. “He does a great job. He’s a pro. I think it’s unfortunate, you look at it statistically and I think he probably got a little bit more of the short-yardage, goalline-type carries. That sort of hurt his average.
“We’re definitely satisfied with him. I am sure he would have liked to have had more yards, more carries, but Matt took off and Matt is the horse we rode. I certainly like Chester and I am sure he will be better next year statistically. I am happy with him. Chester made everybody better.”
Spencer also singled out Taylor for being a model for younger players. That’s a little surprising given the fact that Taylor has a reputation for dust-ups with teammates. Spencer, though, focuses on the effort the man puts in.
“He’s a pro,” Spencer said. “Those two (Taylor and Forte) hit it off because they work hard. The other guys see those guys working. If you want to make it, and you want to be successful, Chester has been around a long time. You have to prepare. I like the way Chester prepares. He doesn’t like to make mistakes and he doesn’t make mistakes. I have nothing but good things to say. Obviously, we’ve got things to improve on but it’s nothing big.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune