Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen catches a ball during an NFL football camp practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.
Tarik Cohen was not happy with his 2019 season and, more specifically, his work during the offseason in 2019.
« I didn’t really concentrate and grind the way I usually grind in the offseason, » Cohen said. « I feel like it showed up a little bit toward the end of the season. My body started deteriorating a little earlier than it would normally do. I didn’t feel the same explosion that I would usually feel, the same speed, and the same fire. »
Cohen had a « great offseason » in 2020 and is « ready to ball. » He’s hoping that will lead to more longevity in 2020.
This is a huge season for Cohen, who enters the final year of his rookie contract. He drew attention as a rookie in 2017, and played an even more integral role in 2018 when head coach Matt Nagy took over.
Cohen rushed 99 times for 444 yards and three touchdowns in 2018, while catching 71 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns.
His presence in the run game dwindled in 2019 to 64 carries, 213 yards and no touchdowns. Though he caught more passes (79) in 2019, they went for 456 yards, only 5.8 yards per catch.
« The season I had last year was definitely not my best work, » Cohen said. « I definitely have to get that bitter taste out of my mouth. »
Tuesday wasn’t a great day of practice for the quarterbacks. Nagy said both Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles could be more adventurous with their throws, especially during 7-on-7 drills.
« I thought you saw a little bit of that from both of them today, » Nagy said. « In seven-ons is a good time to test it, even if it’s not so much the greatest read, test it and see what some of these players can do. »
The position battle at quarterback could come down to who makes fewer mistakes throughout camp. That would naturally lead someone trying to win the job to play conservatively.
Foles talked before camp about how he wants to do the little things right. Often, that means checking down to the running back.
« Executing a play, if it’s checking it down to the running back, check it down to the running back, » Foles said in July. « The biggest problem is we watch the other guy and he makes a big throw and you think, ‘Oh man, I’ve got to make a big throw,’ and then you don’t even ready the play out. »
But there’s a balance between reading the play out, and giving a receiver a chance to go up and make a play. Now is the time to be adventurous. Not Week 1 against Detroit.
Nagy seemed a little frustrated initially that his quarterbacks weren’t doing that. He’ll learn more when he goes back through the practice tape and understands why they made the decisions they did.
« Once you see the why part, now we’re able to say, ‘OK, this was a good decision,' » Nagy said.
About 30 miles north of Halas Hall in Lake Forest, protesters took to the streets in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer.
Numerous NFL players have spoken out on social media. The Detroit Lions canceled practice and posed with signs outside their team facility.
« It’s very disturbing for everybody and it has to stop, » Nagy said. « We talked about it with our football team, the biggest thing is all of us understanding the platform that we have and that we need to use that every single day and it’s imperative that we do that and use that platform and do it together. »
Offensive tackle Charles Leno said he was going to see what the Bears can do with their public relations staff to bring awareness to the issue. He said he believes police need more training.
« I don’t know how many hours those guys do, » Leno said. « But I know we train a lot on the football field. I think they need a little bit more because they’re dealing with lives. »
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