CHICAGO – For a game that had a lot of reasons for fans to complain, the biggest involved their rookie running back.
Just one carry? Just one pass target?
Wasn’t this the guy thought of as the best playmaker on the Bears roster? How in the world did he not get the ball more when the offense was sputtering in another loss to the Packers on Sunday?
All of these points have been dragged up over the few days after the team fell to 3-6 on Sunday. But the man who is subject of these complaints, Tarik Cohen, isn’t one of them.
“I feel like defenses are starting to scheme for me, so if I’m getting double-teamed, it’s going to open up for other players on the offense,” said the running back when asked about his lack of touches at a speaking event at Bronzeville Scholastic Institute in Chicago on Tuesday. “So I’m really happy for that. It’s going to open up for Kendall (Wright) to get more catches, Dontrelle (Inman), you see him starting to come on. It’s just going to really open up our offense more.
“When everybody rises to that, they won’t be able to double-team me. I will get more touches as well.”
Even when a follow-up was asked about his number of plays on the day that he was in – numbering around a dozen – Cohen wouldn’t bite.
“I’m not saying anything, I have total faith in the offensive coordinator and the head coach,” said Cohen. “Whatever they want me to do, I’m all for it. As long as it is benefitting the team.”
Time will tell how much it is. After 50 carries in the first six games of the season, Cohen has just five in the past three games and has just five catches in the last five games. In the first four of the season, Cohen had 24 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Teams certainly took notice of Cohen after he showed potential game-breaking ability in the first couple games, which has led to teams paying more attention to him.
“Not like it is right now,” said Cohen when asked if his season surpassed his expectations. “I didn’t think I was going to get drafted. Then when I got to the NFL, I thought it was going to take a while to get in the media, to get in the spotlight a little bit, to make the plays that I’m making now.”
Cohen made so many of them that now when he doesn’t get the chance to do so, fans get a little bit upset.