An anonymous New York Jets defender said before their game in Chicago against the Bears that there was only one offensive player they were worried about. It wasn’t Allen Robinson or Trey Burton or Mitch Trubisky. It was Tarik Cohen. Sure enough, that concern became validated when the running back burned them for a 70-yard touchdown on a screen pass in the 1st half.
It was a perfect illustration of the reality about Cohen. You can gameplan for him all week long and he still finds a way to burn you. That is the sort of weapon he’s become for the Bears offense. One that can do a little bit of everything. That versatility makes him a nightmare to deal with because there’s no one solution to handling what he can do.
Matt Bowen of ESPN is one of the best tape specialists in the media today. The former defender understands perfectly what teams are going through trying to deal with Cohen. Yet even now people may not be grasping exactly how much of a headache he can be. So Bowen took to Twitter with a series of clips to break down all the ways he is dangerous.
Tarik Cohen separates from others due to dual-threat status
Note the sequence there. Pass, run, pass, and run. Each time Cohen was doing the same thing. He was gashing the defense for a chunk play. Perhaps the scariest part of all is that was his first year in the new offense under Matt Nagy. Now that the head coach has a firm understanding of what he can do, the creativity should shine even brighter this year.
The addition of David Montgomery and Mike Davis to the running back stable actually may help as well. Their own versatile skill sets will make it tougher for defenses to surmise when Cohen will get the ball. This because those two backs are more significant receiving threats than Jordan Howard was last year. That extra little concern should give Cohen a fraction of a second extra time to operate.
As the tape shows, giving him even a small window leads to bad things.