Bears’ Howard looks for more af­ter big rookie sea­son

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

BOURBONNAIS (AP) — This time last year, Jor­dan Howard was try­ing to make an im­pres­sion with the Chicago Bears af­ter be­ing drafted in the fifth round. To that end, he sure suc­ceeded. He broke the team’s rookie record by rush­ing for 1,313 yards and comes into his sec­ond sea­son as a key fig­ure on a re­built of­fense.

Only Dal­las’ Ezekiel El­liott rushed for more yards last year. While El­liott won the NFL’s rush­ing ti­tle with 1,631 yards, Howard av­er­aged more per carry (5.2 to 5.1).

As good as that sounds, he was more fo­cused on the yards he didn’t get than the ones he col­lected. To Howard, there were too many missed op­por­tu­ni­ties, big­ger plays that got away.

“I def­i­nitely should’ve had more yards,” he said. “I should’ve been in bet­ter shape. I should’ve been play­ing ear­lier if I would’ve han- dled what I had to do. I def­i­nitely could’ve had a lot more yards.”

He in­sisted he can do bet­ter. How much bet­ter?

That’s one of the ques­tions hang­ing over the Bears as they try to pick them­selves up from a 3-13 sea­son that left them last in the NFC North. “He’s a big, tough back,” cen­ter Cody White­hair said. “He hits the holes very well. You know, it’s good to see him back out there again this year. He’s made some im­prove­ment.”

The Bears gut­ted the quar­ter­back po­si­tion, with Jay Cut­ler gone, Mike Glen­non start­ing and No. 2 over­all draft pick Mitch Tru­bisky gear­ing up for a run at the job down the line. On an of­fense that also has some ques­tions at re­ceiver — Kevin White’s abil­ity to stay healthy and be­come a No. 1 tar­get top­ping the list — Howard is a ma­jor cat­a­lyst.

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