Bears rookie running back Ryan Nall showed his versatility and big-play ability in Thursday night's preseason-ending 28-27 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field.
The undrafted free agent from Oregon State rushed for 79 yards on four carries including a 32-yard touchdown and also played fullback and on special teams.
"The nice thing with Ryan is we want to test him out there and see, ‘Can he [play fullback],' so it was a spot for us to see what he could do," said coach Matt Nagy. "Ryan's done a great job. You saw what he was able to do running the football, and he's had a good camp. He's got a ways to go. He's still kind of young and learning the system. But we're glad we have him."
Nall admittedly carries a large chip on his shoulder after not being chosen in the draft.
"It's motivation for sure," Nall said. "I'm trying to prove something. I'm trying to show that I'm just as good if not better than some of the guys that were drafted. I think that going into this preseason, these past five games, I've put everything that I've got out on the field and I'll see where it takes me."
Nall led the Bears in rushing this preseason with 223 yards and one TD on 32 carries, an average of 7.0 yards per carry. He's the only player in Oregon State history with three rushes of at least 75 yards.
"My style of running is a little bit of physicality with a little bit of finesse as well," Nall said. "People underestimate my speed on the edge. I think that's where I have a lot of success. They think that I might run them over, but I might hit them with a hesitation and go for the outside and then the next time I might run them over."
Nall said that he's never before played the true fullback position.
"It's new to me, honestly," he said. "In high school, in college, I've led blocked out of two-back or out of split-back formations, but the fullback position is a newer position to me. Figuring out the technique, how to get under someone's pads and the technicalities of the position is definitely new to me, but I am trying to pick it up as I go. The more versatile I can be, the better I am. I'm just going to do what the coaching staff wants me to do and move forward."