The Bears leaned heavily on rookie running back Khalil Herbert in their first preseason game. Herbert played 23 snaps, while the team’s other five running backs totaled 29 combined.
“He’s really caught my attention … ” Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday. “You talk about the word ‘trust’ — he hasn’t made many mistakes as a rookie. He’s very, very smooth. When he gets the football, you can see the burst that he has. …
“I just really like where he’s at right now.”
Training camp is filled with exhibition superstars — just ask fellow Bears running back Ryan Nall — but Herbert put together a well-rounded box score. He ran six times for 38 yards, caught three passes for 11 yards, returned a kick for 16 yards and totaled nine special teams snaps.
At best, Herbert profiles as the team’s third running back — and that’s not counting the injured Tarik Cohen. He figures to make the biggest impact on kicks. Herbert said special teams coordinator Chris Tabor “wants me to learn all parts of different special teams, so I’m able to go wherever he needs me to go.”
That applies to offense, too.
“Just show [coaches] that I’m able to do whatever they need me to do,” said Herbert, who played at Virginia Tech last year after transferring from Kansas. “Whatever you need me to do, I’m going to try to do it to the best of my ability.”