Bears Season in Review: Tarik Cohen

Bears Season in Review: Tarik Cohen

The Bears offense as a whole was one big disappointment in 2019, and that includes running back Tarik Cohen, whose inability to produce big plays hindered the team's ability to flip the field and keep defenses honest.

Cohen was supposed to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the hiring of Matt Nagy in 2018. There was a suggestion at the time that Nagy would use Cohen the way the Chiefs use wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but it's become blatantly obvious over the last two seasons that Cohen simply isn't that kind of elite playmaker, nor is he as explosive as Hill despite possessing exciting first-step juice.

Cohen ended 2019 with a career-low 213 rushing yards while averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, also a career-worst. And while he did post a career-high 79 receptions, he managed just 456 yards (an embarrassing 5.8 yards per reception) and three touchdowns.

There was nothing about Cohen that was exciting last season and there's no reason to think his role will change all that much next year. He just has to do a better job producing big plays when his number is called, but for some reason, he just couldn't get into a rhythm in 2019.

Cohen finished the 2019 season with a 60.6 grade from Pro Football Focus, a score that ranked 14th on offense and rated among the team's sub-par performers like tight end Adam Shaheen (60.9) and Charles Leno, Jr. (58.6).

There's plenty of evidence in Cohen's three seasons to suggest he has the skill set to be a valuable dual-threat option out of the backfield, and there's no reason to think he won't be given the same opportunities to be that guy in 2020.

He'll have to up his game next season, however. It's the final year of his rookie contract and he'll have to prove to GM Ryan Pace and the rest of the NFL that he warrants a rich second deal.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

Laurence Holmes, JJ Stankevitz and Mark Grote join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - The pressure continues to mount on Rob Manfred as the Astros scandal lingers. He apologized on Tuesday but should that be enough for him to keep his job?

17:00 - Drew Brees is heading back to New Orleans, so Teddy Bridgewater will be looking for a new home. The guys discuss if he'll be too expensive for the Bears. if he is, who could come to Chicago to join Mitch in the QB room at Halas Hall?

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast


TE Greg Olsen signed with Seattle Seahawks, previously hoped Bears would contact him

TE Greg Olsen signed with Seattle Seahawks, previously hoped Bears would contact him

Former Bears first-round pick TE Greg Olsen officially signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Olsen previously played with the Bears and Panthers over a 13-year NFL career.

After mutually parting ways with the Panthers, the 34-year-old hoped the Bears, the team that drafted him in 2007, would reach out about signing him once he hit free agency. He told ESPN’s Waddle and Silvy that he wanted to come home to Chicago but wasn't contacated by Bears' management.

RELATED: Now that he's retired, what's next for Kyle Long?

One of the Bears biggest needs this offseason is an upgrade at TE and Olsen’s pass-catching experience along with his working knowledge of the Bears' organization makes him a seemingly ideal fit for the team. Ryan Pace disagreed and the chance for a reunion is gone for good. While his age is showing (he appeared in only 16 games in 2017 and 2018 combined), Olsen is still a stronger receiver than anyone currently on the Bears depth chart.

Interestingly enough, one of Olsen's best moments as a Bear came during Chicago's playoff win against the Seahawks in January 2011 when he scored a touchdown after catching a 58-yard pass from Jay Cutler in the first quarter.  

We will see if Pace regrets not giving Olsen a call. It would be the breakup movie of the season. Too bad the Bears would be playing the part of the groveling ex-boyfriend. Until then, Bears’ fans can imagine a scenario where Pace or head coach Matt Nagy chases after Olsen in the rain (which makes perfect sense, seeing as he’ll be in Seattle), holding a boom box over his head, begging him to return to Soldier Field. That’s the sports rom-com we all deserve in 2020. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.