The Chicago Bears should look to the past when figuring out how to utilize the unique skill-set of rookie Tarik Cohen.
What’s the saying? History repeats itself because nobody listens. The Bears would be wise to consider that saying when figuring out their new rookie Tarik Cohen, because this story has already been written.
Way back in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected Garrett Wolfe in the third round with the 93rd pick. The diminutive Wolfe was dominant in college, using a blend of surprising strength, superior balance and agility, an almost Barry Sanders-esque change of direction, and great burst through the hole to absolutely destroy his mostly MAC opponents to the tune of over 5,000 rushing yards in three years. He was impressive against Michigan in 2005. His breakout performance, however, in 2006 against Ohio State – 285 total yards (171 rushing, 114 receiving) –really put him on the map.
So when the Bears drafted him, the fan base was naturally excited. We all expected a bunch of swing passes, toss sweeps, and screens. When that type of play did happen, Wolfe had a moment here and there that kept Chicago Bears’ fans excited about his potential.
Similarity to Tarik Cohen
Comparing Garrett Wolfe to Tarik Cohen doesn’t require a large amount of neurons. Similar to Tarik Cohen being considered a reach in the fourth round, Wolfe was considered a reach in the third. The similarities don’t end there. In fact, their similarities are striking.
Learning from Past Mistakes
Unfortunately for the Bears, the Garrett Wolfe experiment did not work out. The biggest cause was mental-midget Ron Turner, who favored sending a 180-lb RB up the gut, from his own 2-yd line, against Pro-Bowl defensive tackles who block out the sun, because the plays were already scripted. That’s just stupid. Turner was run out of town because he lacked imagination. Indeed, he simply didn’t know how to use the weapons he had. Instead, he tried to shove a square peg in a round hole. Dowell Loggains, however, should not make the same type of mistakes.
Players like Wolfe and Cohen do well in space. Stretch plays are great. Sweeps work well. Plays that allow the RB to juke are ideal. Cohen can cross-up a defender in a phone booth; so, all he needs is room to operate. Think toss-sweep plays where he needs to make one cut and run downhill. His highlights unequivocally spotlight his skills.
Let’s hope Loggains is burning the midnight oil devising ways to get Tarik Cohen the ball in space. If he does, then Cohen could put his home-run speed to good use, and serve as a future building block in what will undoubtedly be a Chicago Bears’ offense we are unaccustomed to seeing.