When the Chicago Bears drafted running back Khalil Herbert in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, questions immediately arose about Herbert’s role with the team. With veterans, David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, and Damien Williams on the roster, Herbert’s future with the Bears seemed to be another special teams player.
Fast forward to Saturday’s preseason contest against the Miami Dolphins and Herbert was one of the Bears’ bright spots. With six rushing attempts for 38 yards, Herbert averaged 6.3 yards per carry. His receiving ability was on display too with three receptions for 11 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per reception.
“He’s really caught my attention,” said Bears head coach Matt Nagy via the Bears official YouTube channel. “He’s somebody that 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. He’s always going to go forward with yards. I just really like where he’s at right now.”
Nagy taking notice of Herbert’s quick emergence is good news for the Bears, who hope that the 2021 rookie class will form the foundation of a roster that will allow Chicago to contend for the foreseeable future. Herbert seems himself being a major part of the Bears plans moving forward, especially due to his flexible mindset.
“Just show them that I’m able to do whatever they need me to do,” Herbert said via the Bears official YouTube channel. “Whatever you need me to do I’m going to try to do it to the best of my ability. That’s really what I’m just trying to show.”
Saturday’s strong performance against Miami was just an indication of what’s really to come for Herbert, who will look to take advantage of opportunities gives him to by the Bears coaching staff. Throughout training camp, Herbert has been involved in the return game on special teams, likely setting his rookie season up to be one where Herbert solely is involved in the return game. However, if Herbert showcases more over the next two weeks, expect him to be a big part of the Bears offense moving forward.