With Evan Rodriguez having been slowed by injuries to this point in the season, the Chicago Bears have lined up tight end Kyle Adams in the backfield on occasion.
Chicago recently signed tight end Brody Eldridge, who said he would "love" to play fullback for the Bears.
The 6-5, 265-pound Eldridge hasn't played fullback since his college days at Oklahoma, but he thinks its a way he could contribute to the team.
"I think I can do everything and more," Eldridge said. "I hope to get in the backfield and play a little fullback. I haven't done that since college but it's something I enjoy. So we'll see."
This idea got us at Bears 101 thinking. Chicago has two great running backs in Matt Forte and Michael Bush. Why not line them both up in the backfield?
We're not suggesting turning Michael Bush into a fullback, but we think they could thrive in a split back formation.
We also aren't suggesting an option package either–even though that could also utilize Devin Hester in a creative way. All we are saying is that the two-back system can use misdirection on runs and cause confusion for opposing defenses. Not only will it help the running game, but the passing game could improve as well.
Let's start with play action. You don't think teams will respect the run with two solid halfbacks are lined up in the backfield? Safeties could be creeping down, leaving the rest of the field for Brandon Marshall to do work in one-on-one coverage.
Both Forte and Bush can pass block, so Jay Cutler won't be hung out to dry when he drops back to pass. It may also be beneficial as there will be someone else in the backfield to stop someone getting through the line.
But as well as blocking, both backs have good hands (Forte's being better) and can both be outlets for Cutler if nothing is open downfield. Chicago's pass offense could be deadly utilizing screen passes as defenses won't know which side they'll be run to.
As well, this allows the Bears to completely use Forte's full arsenal of skills. With Bush in the backfield, Forte could be split out wide, which will give Chicago a better read on the coverage they're facing, as well as another possible way to get Forte the ball in space.
As much as Eldridge wants to be in the backfield, this formation using the two running backs may be better for the Bears moving forward. Now, if only somebody could get this message to offensive coordinator Mike Tice…
Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.