To make the offense more versatile overall, the Chicago Bears are going to be teaching Tarik Cohen a couple of specific routes this offseason
We wrote about once Matt Nagy accepted the job as Chicago Bears head coach. He sees Tarik Cohen and knows that he can Tyreek Hill. Hill is a wide receiver, Cohen a running back, but as we highlighted, the differences were not stellar.
During the first days of voluntary practices, Matt Nagy and Tarik Cohen came out talking about what he can do with an increased role in the passing game. Cohen talked about Hill and how he was “excited” to show that he can do more.
Nagy talked about his development path and what exactly he will be looking for from Cohen in the passing game.
"“He just needs to understand he’s not a receiver, so there’s a lot of details that the receivers themselves are putting into it,” Nagy said. “He’s a running back. So whatever we can do in the specific routes he’s going to (run) — his route tree is not going to be quite as big. So that ones that he does have, he can hone in on those and understand the specifics of that. Coach (Charles) London will do a great job of teaching him that. But then also remember, too, we need you to run the ball, too. If you become one dimensional a certain way, now it’s advantage defense.”More from Bear Goggles OnFranchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFLHow the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forwardChicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears"
This is exactly what you want to hear. Cohen being a running back makes him versatile. He can lineup under center, as a side car with Jordan Howard, and of course in motion via sweeps and reverses. However, adding a couple of strong routes to his game gives the team to line him out wide with two receivers and Jordan Howard in the backfield.
It is worth noting that Tyreek Hill does not a run a variety of routes either. However, when he runs them, he plants hard and quick to change directions on the fly and get separation. If Cohen can add a couple of tricks to his bag in the passing game, he is going to be a threat in a similar way. The versatility to consistently have multiple running backs and tight ends on the field while still being a passing team is what has opponents scared and morale high in Chicago.