Why is Adam Shaheen’s Playing Time So Limited?

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Adam Shaheen
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Adam Shaheen /

Why is Adam Shaheen not playing much when the team is looking to 2018?

When the Bears spent a second round pick on Adam Shaheen, everyone knew he would be a project. Coming out of a small school like Ashland, he wasn’t going to take the NFL by storm, he was going to take awhile to get his feet wet, grow accustomed to the speed of the NFL and adjust to the strength and skills of NFL competition. Shaheen also needed to work on his blocking skills, so with all that in mind, there was no rush to get him on the field.

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With that in mind, there was no surprise that he barely played the first four weeks of the season. Shaheen’s offensive snap counts were 8, 5, 15, and 8, roughly 15% of the offensive plays. Shaheen then played 19 offensive snaps per game over the next three games, roughly 40%, played 52% of the offensive snaps against the Packers in week 9 and 73% of the snaps in week 10 against the Detroit Lions. Shaheen rewarded the Bears with a fantastic game with four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. In fact, PFF graded him as the best tight end in week 10.

It would make sense at that point that his playing time would continue to improve and that he was now a staple part of the offense. Wrong.

Shaheen was cut back to 17 snaps against the Eagles and played just 9 snaps against the 49ers last week. If Shaheen’s playing time and contributions were improving, why is he suddenly trending in the wrong direction?

I’m not going to sit here and plagiarize Chris Emma, but it’s worth clicking on the link in the tweet because the quotes are ridiculous. So Shaheen was proving to be a better run blocker than expected and was coming into his own in the passing game, but Loggains basically says he isn’t ready and suddenly he needed to have his snaps cut.

Not to mention, the Bears are now out of the playoff hunt, so even if that’s the case, play the rookie! There’s no reason that Shaheen isn’t regularly on the field and part of the Bears’ offense. The fact that the Bears coaches are still making decisions like they are trying to make the playoffs this season is ridiculous. Get the young players on the field and get them reps!

As more information comes out, the more obvious it gets that the Bears need to fire John Fox and Ryan Pace needs to dictate to the interim coach who needs to play these final few games of the season, otherwise the Bears aren’t stuck in neutral, they are stuck in reverse.