It’s probably been easy for Bears fans (that’s you, reading this) to daydream about what Matt Nagy’s offense can look like come September. Think of Mitch Trubisky slinging the ball and running RPOs, Allen Robinson leaping over cornerbacks on jump balls, Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel whizzing around the field, Trey Burton bodying up defensive backs, Jordan Howard gouging defenses designed to stop the pass, Adam Shaheen hauling in touchdowns, Kevin White producing too…it’s a lot of fun, right?
You’re also not alone in those daydreams — Cohen has them too. How could a guy known as “The Human Joystick” or “Chicken Salad” not get excited, for instance, about teaming up with a guy nicknamed “Turbo?”
“We have guys like Turbo out there,” Cohen said, referring to Taylor Gabriel. “With a name like Turbo you’ve got to be fast.”
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Of course, this offense has more than a couple of diminutive, speedy guys.
“Just the weapons that we have,” Cohen said. “With Turbo taking the top off of every defense, K-White and AR just going up and grabbing any jump ball. And then we have Trey Burton — just the names we have, it’s hard not to get excited. And you want to get excited about it, like where do I fit in, and when do I get my shot, and stuff like that.”
So there’s a purpose to this excitement, in that Cohen wants to do what he can to be a part of it. Surely that’s felt by other players, too, as veteran minicamp wraps up and the Bears take a little over a month off before reporting to Bourbonnais for training camp July 19.
But for Cohen, it’s easy to see how a player as dynamic as him can make an impact in this offense. Cohen is working not only as a running back, but as an inside and outside receiver as the Bears give him of responsibilities to figure how he can fit.
"It's a great thing that he has a lot to learn, becuase that just means that we're trying to get him the ball in so many different ways and utilize him within this offense," Trubisky said. "Tarik's a really smart player. That's the great thing about him. Not only is he dynamic with the ball in his hands, but he understands the offense and knows how to open up his other teammates as well, whether it's just doing his job, making his block or running a specific route without the ball in his hands. We all know what he can do with the ball in his hands, and for him to be a smart player and understand this offense, we could pretty much line him up at any position.
"He could argue he could play my spot now, too."
Cohen, too, should have more opportunities to make plays this year after slogging through his rookie year as, essentially, the only versatile weapon in John Fox and Dowell Loggains’ dour offense (Loggains, infamously, said last year Cohen didn’t receive more snaps because he was double-teamed). In Nagy’s offense, though, with more weapons around him, defenses won’t be able to key on just Cohen.
“I feel like I fit very well into the offense,” Cohen said. “I’m doing a little bit of everything out here. … I feel like this is the offense for me.”