Chicago Bears: Is Jeremy Langford ready for the spotlight?
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The Chicago Bears have pieces remaining from failed seasons that are looking to make amends for past failures but they also have a player that is looking to make a name for himself in 2016. Jeremy Langford feels he’s ready to take the torch from Matt Forte but does he fully understand what that means?
The Bears are a proud franchise, not just in term of winning but RBs in particular. They require much of their backs and in the past the backs have delivered with Walter Payton, Gayle Sayers, Forte and more but 2016 will offer Langord an opportunity to put his name in the record books with those greats.
If the offense is looking to scale back the pressure that’s on the shoulders and mind of QB Jay Cutler then Langford will be called upon to have a Payton like season. Last year he provided a glimpse of what he could do when Forte was out but much like Thomas Rawls in Seattle, the spot-duty is gone, it’s time to produce on a weekly basis as they were both giving keys to the offense.
Langford carried the ball 148 times for 537 yards and 6 TDs but those numbers must double if the Bears are going to fight their way back into the playoffs. This is still Cutler’s team, much like it was when Forte was in the backfield but Cutler knew he had an insurance policy in terms of handoffs and dump passes. Can Langford be that guy in ’16?
To be honest, he has no choice. His success will determine the success of everyone around him. The NFL is a passing league but even those ariel attack teams have a suitable runner or two to help soften the defense. If Langford can break out for a few 100 yards games that should take pressure off Cutler which in turn will open receiving lanes for Alshon Jeffery and makes the offense that more explosive.
Langford didn’t gain 100 yards all of 2015 but he wasn’t the featured back either. Times have changed and he will be looked upon to help lead a team that lost of one the league’s best dual threats. Is Langford up for the challenge?