Bears News: Herbert on running back competition, offensive weapons

Bears News: Herbert on running back competition, offensive weapons

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - The Bears had the best-running offense statistically in the NFL last season. However, that run game was led by quarterback Justin Fields, and running back David Montgomery is now playing with the Detroit Lions. That has thrust Khalil Herbert into the starting back for the Bears - or does it?

The running back room is now full of talented backs - Herbert, free agent additions D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer, and fourth-rounder Roschon Johnson. Trestan Ebner was a rookie for Chicago last season and is also competing for a job.

Despite all of these backs, Herbert is confident he will be the starter come the season opener on September 10.

“I come in with a mindset, you know, obviously, I want to be the starter,” Herbert stated. “So, just coming in with the mindset to lead and do what I got to do. Doing what I do every day that I’ve been doing, you know, I feel like things will work out.”

Five running backs seems like a lot, definitely different from how the NFL used to be, particularly given how many games these players have been in.

Foreman, for example, rushed for 914 yards last season, many of those coming after Christian McCaffrey was traded from the Panthers, elevating Foreman to the starter.

Someone with this skill coming into the game still does not concern Herbert.

“You know how things go in the NFL now. They’re doing things running back by committee,” Herbert said. “You need one, two, three really good guys that can really carry the rock, and you know there’s going to be no dropoff. So, you know, I feel like as a group, we’ve got a really strong group. We got guys that can take it to the house at any given moment, so I’m excited about what we can do.”

Of course, we cannot forget about Fields. With his 1,143 rushing yards, he led the Bears in rushing and was second among quarterbacks all-time in rushing yards in the season.

While he probably will not have 1,000-plus rushing yards again, Fields will still contribute to the rushing game.

“Obviously, after last year, just the excellence and the plays that he made, you know, the command that he had of the offense, this year is kind of, we added a bunch of different playmakers, and we all kind of want to do the same thing he does so he doesn’t have to do it all,” Herbert said. “So, just having that element that you got this explosive quarterback that can make a play anytime he has the ball in his hands and wants to be there to do the same thing, help him out. And you know, I feel like we have the guys for it.”

The offseason also included the addition of offensive weapon DJ Moore. Hopefully, him coming to Chicago will allow the offense to balance the passing and rushing attack, something they were not even close to doing last season.

“He’s a playmaker, and that’s what he does. He made some plays today, and I feel like that’s kind of how he likes to show how he handles business - get the ball in his hands and do what he does,” Herbert explained. “Very deceptive (speed). It’s kind of effortless how he runs. He’s covering ground, and he’s covering it fast.”

The first action all of the starters will have will be in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers. Herbert only played once against them last season due to injury; hopefully, that will not be the case this season.

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