Chicago Bears Tarik Cohen is a swiss army knife performer. Which area will he shine brightest at the rest of the season?
Tarik Cohen is your definition of an offensive weapon. He is not a running back, nor is he a wide receiver. However, he is a player who can take the ball and make plays. The plays have dwindled down, but the second half should be about finding ways to get Cohen the ball in space. Cohen has 228 yards rushing and 239 yards receiving. Will he finish the year as a better receiver or running back?
Early on, it would have been obvious that he was going to be a better receiver. It was discussed early in the season that he might be the team’s top pass catcher, and he is still currently second on the team in yards. However, after 16 receptions for 102 yards in the first two weeks, Cohen has had 12 receptions for 137 yards over the past six games. That is a dramatic drop-off. He has not been dynamic in the running game, but in the past four weeks, he has just four total receptions, essentially making him nonexistent.
Still, the safer bet is that the Bears will find ways to use him in the passing game more efficiently moving forward. Benny Cunningham has been strong as the third down back and has really cut into the playing time that Cohen would get at running back. Still, the Bears are very weak at wide receiver and need to find some sort of spark in the passing game. Cohen could line up wide, and they could try to test teams with deep him. They can also run screens, and branch off deep passes with pump fakes to the screen.
At times the team could look to run Cohen on the outside opposite of Dontrelle Inman with Kendall Wright in the slot. At the least, the respect teams have to pay to his deep ability has the potential to open something up in the short passing game schematically.
The team has a need for a player like Cohen in the passing game, they are just not using him to his full potential. It does not always have to be gadget plays and once per game shots. Cohen provides enough as a big play threat that his presence on the field goes a longer way than some others. Hopefully, he will get these passing game chances in the second half of the year.