Chicago Bears Training Camp Profile: Tarik Cohen

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

In today’s training camp profile, we focus on Tarik Cohen who should make a jump under new head coach Matt Nagy.

If I had to describe Tarik Cohen’s rookie season, I would say it was a mixed bag. Early on the Chicago Bears’ rookie separated himself from the rest of the running backs on the roster as an explosive playmaker. Cohen caught opposing defenses off-guard with his agility and speed in the open field.

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Cohen showed that he can be a threat running the ball, but what also makes him unique is his ability as a receiver. Unfortunately, the previous coaching staff held him back. As a result, he didn’t make the impact that he was capable of.

The good news is that Cohen will have a well-respected offensive mind in new Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy to help him break out.


Cohen’s agility stands out when he has the ball in the open field. His ability to change directions quickly and keep the same speed makes for one dangerous weapon. This attribute really comes into play as a receiver.

When he’s lined up as a receiver, he’s going to be a mismatch against the majority of linebackers in coverage. He can run just about all the routes on the route tree despite his size. Cohen has the potential in an offense that schemes receivers open, to make a big impact in that department.

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As a runner, Cohen is not going be a workhorse. On the other hand, he’s still dangerous as a runner, specifically on stretch run plays to the outside. It only takes a small crease into the second level for Cohen to make something happen.

Cohen’s strength as a punt returner also can’t go unnoticed. New special teams coach Chris Tabor (former Dave Toub protégé) at the helm, should scheme some blocks for Cohen in the return game.


As I mentioned before, Cohen shouldn’t be counted on to carry the ball more than 10-15 times a game. He’s not a heavy duty back, which is fine when you have a legit one in Jordan Howard. Both backs complement each other well. What Howard lacks in game-breaking ability, Cohen has it plus more.


Fans expect many players on the Bears’ offense to a spike in production — and Cohen is at the top of that list. In Nagy’s west coast offense that will incorporate spread concepts, Cohen is expected to get the ball more in space and let his agility and open field awareness take over. Therefore, it would not be a surprise if he got 1,000-1,200 combined yards (rushing and receiving) this season.