Bears Training Camp Preview: Running back

Bears expecting big things from second year RB Jordan Howard
Bears expecting big things from second year RB Jordan Howard /

What are the things to watch among the running backs at Bears training camp?

Every player is fighting for something. A roster spot, a starting spot, a chance to earn an extension during camp or in the offseason. Training camp is about progression. This series will break down what to be watching for throughout training camp and during the preseason for each player. Today, we look at running backs.

Jordan Howard

We all the know the term “sophomore slump”. It is the athletes equivalent to a “Freshman 15.” All of the sudden you have money saved, you are seeing opportunities you have never seen before and your schedule will most certainly look different than it did the year before. For Howard, you just want to see him back in shape, and stronger.

Howard has the fluidness and the ability to make quick cuts and shifts, but he still has to work on his craft. Still, for the most part, as long as Howard is on the field and looks in shape early into the season Bears fans should be happy.

Jeremy Langford

For Langford, his question is his usage. The Bears signed Benny Cunningham and drafted Tarik Cohen to be pass catching backs. Langford has 10 touchdowns in two seasons, but it is tough to call him a goal line back. He also only has 88 career special teams snaps. He will likely have to try to find a place on special teams or prove he has that knack for the end zone or all of the sudden he will look very expendable.

Ka’Deem Carey

Carey is in a similar boat to Langford. Carey gets the nod over Langford due to special teams snaps. If he can earn a job on one of the units, he gets a boost in making the roster. However, where Langford may ascend over Carey would be on the goal line. Carey has just two rushing touchdowns in three years. It is tough to envision both of them making the roster, so whoever can adjust and prove valuable either on the goal line or on special teams can improve their chances.

Benny Cunningham

For Cunningham, you are hoping for him to prove to be a valuable signing. When Cunningham signed it felt like a nice fit and an underrated signing. Then, the team drafted Tarik Cohen who fills a similar role. Digging deeper, Cunningham is signed to a one-year deal with $80,000 guaranteed and it is no sure thing that Cunningham will be on the roster. Cunningham had better grab onto the pass catching role early on and hold on with a firm grasp to keep his job.

Next: 5 players with the most to lose

Tarik Cohen

For Cohen, it is all about the role. He is a running back but can be used similarly to Tyreek Hill and Tavon Austin. Reverses, screens, deep balls, and of course handoffs out of the backfield are on the table. How involved is Cohen in the offense early? Is there a package for him? Is he returning punts? There is a lot to watch for schematically with most of the running backs, but most of all it will be the use of the human joystick.