Last week, new Jets RB Matt Forté came in at No. 90 on NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2016." After eight seasons in Chicago, Forté joined New York's AFC representative in March and he promises to fit in well in a locker room loaded with professionalism.
"He's the guy who wears the same thing every day, arrives at the same time. I can tell you what he's going to eat for breakfast," says Bears G Kyle Long of Forté in the NFL Network video. "He wears a shirt every day – 22 on the front, 22 on the back and across where the name reads, it says Work Horse."
Jets star WR Brandon Marshall was a teammate of Forté's in Chicago from 2012-14. Forté rushed for 1,000 yards in each of those three campaigns and his 102 receptions in 2014 were the most ever by a running back.
"Aw man, I'm excited," Marshall said when asked about a reunion with Forté. "This is a guy that, to me, over the past eight years has been the best all-around back our league has had. I think it's going to be a treat for all of New York to sit back and watch him really work and be a great teammate. He does it all. He picks up blitzes, he puts his nose in there, he catches the ball out of the backfield, he has amazing vision, and again, he's a leader. He's the type of guy you want in your locker room."
Veteran RB Has Amassed 64 TDs Over His Eight-Year Career
The numbers support Marshall's claim. No back has amassed more total yards than the 12,718 Forté has accumulated since 2008.
"He's one of those guys who easily could be a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in this league," said Ravens RB Justin Forsett. "He has great hands, he can catch with the best in the league, all-around all-purpose back. You're not taking him out on third down because he's smart enough to recognize blitzes whether it's from the secondary or from 'backers."
After some epic battles in the NFC North, Forté will make his AFC East debut in Week 2 as the Jets will visit the Bills in a nationally televised prime time matchup.
"I love playing against the great ones, but if he's leaving the division – I'm not going to shut the door," said Packers DT Mike Daniels. "Go ahead, get out of here because I also don't want to deal with you."
But Forté's teammates can't get enough of him. Long, a three-time Pro Bowler and son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, says Forté is a workhorse players should emulate.
"When I first got to the league, I was told to find a guy that you want what he has and you do what he does," he said. "If I have a friend that's coming into the league and is asking for advice, I'm saying, 'Watch 22' every day."