Chicago Bears tight end Adam Shaheen has been a great addition to the offense in his first two starts
It would have been easy to be skeptical about Adam Shaheen making any sort of impact as a rookie. The jump from Ashland to the NFL would have to be mighty hefty. However, over the two games since Zach Miller and Dion Sims have gone out, all Shaheen has proven is that he should have been playing earlier into the season, and needs to to be involved in the playbook more.
The first note that has to be made of the last two Shaheen filled games is that Mitchell Trubisky is 6-6 when looking his way. Shaheen has been reliable and sure-handed. He has also caught a lot of passes near the line of scrimmage.
However, below, for the first time, we see Adam Shaheen get down the field for a reception. He does not create the most separation, but there is a window between two defenders. Shaheen holds on in traffic, takes a hit and gets the first down.
While that was a positive rarity, this should be exactly what Bears are going to see a lot of from Shaheen over the years. You can really see where his size comes into play. From the one-yard line Trubisky lofts it up to his huge target, who brings home a contested catch for six. That reach is going to be undeniable.
A lot of people thought the catching with the obvious red zone threat was going to be a smooth transition. However, what has been his most impressive and likely surprising attribute to date is his blocking. He has been a beneficiary on a play-to-play basis in the run game.
Below Shaheen clears out Tavon Wilson to free up the right side for a seven yard gain and a first down.
Later, the Bears motion him to the left, get him on a safety in space and have Shaheen drive back Glover Quinn to part the red sea for Howard to pick up 16.
When watching Shaheen over the past two games there are really two huge questions. One, why wasn’t he getting involved in the offense earlier? Two, why is he still not a major focal point of this offense? Yes, there will be rookie curves. There are negatives to go with some of the pros in his tape. Still, he is a red zone threat, a mismatch in the open field and a willing blocker who has proven to stand up to NFL opponents.
Shaheen should see a big role, and he should continue to have great success and efficiency with fellow rookie Mitchell Trubisky moving forward.