Chicago Bears: Five Most Important Offensive Backups

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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Jeremy Langford (33) scores a touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the second half in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Bears 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Langford, RB

I was thinking of cheating and slipping Langford and Ka’Deem Carey in the same slot on this list, but I’ll go with Langford since he was drafted by new franchise leaders Ryan Pace and John Fox.

Drafted in the 2015 fourth round, Langford had a stellar career at Michigan State, where he served as the feature back for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He was used a ton in those two years, carrying the rock more than 275 times both seasons.

Whichever running back backs up Matt Forte should still see plenty of playing time as the team shifts back to a run-based offense. I’m thinking it will be Langford for two reasons: First, he has more big-gain potential than Carey, with the Michigan State graduate clocking in with a 4.42 40-time, while Carey ran no faster than 4.66. Secondly, Carey is a Phil Emery-Marc Trestman pick, while Langford was selected by Fox and Pace. He’s one of their guys, and I think that will be telling as the season starts.

Ideally, Carey and Langford will both make the roster, and I hope that will be the case. I liked what I saw from Carey in 2014; the problem was that Trestman only gave him 36 carries on the season. I don’t consider that a knock against Carey. I consider that more evidence Trestman didn’t know he had an inconsistent quarterback and should lean on the ground game. That’s one of many reasons Trestman is gone.

But I’m not convinced Carey will make the roster; Forte and Langford are locks, the team signed Daniel Thomas and Jacquizz Rodgers, and Senorise Perry contributed last year on special teams. It will be tough sledding for Carey through all that competition.

Next: The (Still Waiting) Breakthrough Candidate