Jets RB Matt Forte is looking to former Jet Curtis Martin for inspiration as he aims to excel in 2016.
Forte, who recently turned 30 years old, told Rich Cimini of ESPN that he has the ability to win the rushing title -- as Martin did with the Jets when he was 31.
"That's motivation for me personally, to strive to achieve that," Forte said. "It just goes to show you all the cliché sayings aren't always true. It's not going to be easy -- it's a tough thing to do -- but there's definitely a lot of motivation in that respect."
Martin weighed in on Forte, saying he was a fan of the signing.
"Based on sheer talent, I think it's an upgrade, in my opinion," Martin told Cimini. "I don't mean any disrespect to Chris Ivory -- he's a really good running back -- but I think Forte is a better pure runner."
According to Football Outsiders, Forte was second among running backs in their measurement for total value (volume based) last season. He was also their seventh-best running back on a per play basis (efficiency).
30 is the number that is commonly ascribed to the falloff at running back, but until Forte has not fallen over the cliff, instead continuing to play at a very high level. One of the quickest ways to know whether or not a running back is starting to regress is by looking at how they rank at catching passes. Over the last three seasons, Football Outsiders has ranked Forte in the twenty in per-play efficiency as a pass-catcher, with his best year actually coming in 2015 (11th in DVOA).
Forte, like Frank Gore, has proven that it is smarter to bet on them than against them from a productivity standpoint until they prove otherwise. Based on his age it is clear that Forte is nearing the end of his career, but the Jets were able to grab him as a free agent due to the recent regime change in Chicago along with his age and cost.
With the quarterback position still unresolved, having a player the caliber of Forte is going to be a great addition for whoever is the team's signal-caller this year.