Drama in the Bears backfield? Hardly according to Howard, Cohen, and Nagy
CHICAGO – There are many conclusions that one could jump to after arguably one of the Bears’ best offensive performances in the last decade.
Mitchell Trubisky appears to be the right fit for the offense after throwing for six touchdowns and helping the offense to 48 points in a win over the Buccaneers on September 30th. You could say that Matt Nagy’s offense, when running at full power, has the potential to make the Bears’ unit one of the best in the NFL.
Another conclusion that might be drawn from the performance is that it runs better when Tarik Cohen is taking a healthy amount of the offensive snaps. He was targeted more and rushed more than Jordan Howard, having some wondering if this would signal the phasing out of the latter.
It’s a lot of conclusions to make from one performance, even if it was great, but there was some thought that the offense’s success with Cohen getting the majority of the touches could signal an increase of the second-year player’s workload. Matt Nagy insists there was no reason to read it like that after the game and then when the Bears came off the bye week.
“It just so happens in this past game that Tarik got more plays in regards of getting the ball to him – and he was productive,” said Nagy of the split of time between the running backs. “But that has nothing to do with what Jordan Howard is doing. Jordan Howard is a big part of this offense, and I think that for us to keep trying to grow, everybody on this offense has a role.
“This is not going to be an offense where it goes through one person and just one person.”
Yet a game where he was targeted in the passing game just once and carried the ball two less times than Cohen (11) can’t sit well with Howard, right? Especially since he had 53 carries and ten catches in the first three games of the year?
The running back insists that’s he’s not upset about the lack of carries.
“In a game like that, you don’t have nothing to complain about,” said Howard, who rushed for 25 yards on his 11 carries against Tampa Bay. “You’ve just got to be happy about a win.
So was he frustrated?
“No I wasn’t frustrated, I was happy that we won,” responded Howard. “You see how much we won by. I’ve got nothing to complain about.”
Cohen certainly didn’t as he enjoyed one of his best games of his young career. He got 53 yards on his 13 carries against the Buccaneers but really got things going with his pass catching, snagging a team-high seven receptions for 121 yards and a touchdowns. Since joining the backfield with Howard in 2017, Cohen has always said the chemistry between the players has been good, and doesn’t see that changing.
“We just go how the game goes,” said Cohen. “In the majority of the games he gets more workload than I do. He understands that some games are different.”
At least for now, that seems to make things all good as they Bears continue to develop their offensive rhythm in 2018.