On a team that features Jordan Howard and Kendell Wright, rookie running back Tarik Cohen might be the best weapon of all. That's according to NFL analyst Bucky Brooks, who had high praise for the young back after a strong week one performance.
Cohen, a 5-foot-6 running back out of North Carolina A&T, was fantastic in his debut for the Chicago Bears against the Atlanta Falcons, providing a playmaking spark to help keep the Bears in the game until the final seconds, when a fourth-and-goal situation ended in a Mike Glennon sack and an Atlanta 23-16 win.
The diminutive back ran 5 times for 66 yards, including an impressive 46 yard flip-the-field scamper:
When they tell you to run left, but your #TarikCohen, so you do what you want
— YourSports (@YourSports) September 10, 2017
His 66 rushing yards was a team and game-high (Jordan Howard ran 13 times for 52 yards and Atlanta's Devonta Coleman ran 12 times for 37 yards and a score) and Cohen also led the Bears in both receptions (7) and receiving yards (47), adding his first career touchdown on a 19-yard catch-and-run play:
On Sunday night's Move the Sticks podcast, Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks — who have been big fans of Cohen throughout the pre-draft process and 2017 NFL Draft, lauded the play of the young running back.
Brooks, in particular, had good things to say about Cohen:
"He absolutely kept them in the football game. He is a one-man show on the perimeter.
You can make the argument that even though Jordan Howard wa the No. 2 rusher in the National Football League a season ago, Tarik Cohen may be a more impactful player for the Chicago Bears. When you don't have weapons in the receiving game, you don't have someone who can really take the top off the defense or stretch the field or act as a true No. 1, we're finding that Tarik Cohen might be their No. 1 receiver and their best impact player at running back already, and we've only seen him play in one game. "
Considering starting wide receiver Kevin White is potentially out for the season with a broken collarbone and subsequent surgery, it's a good bet that Cohen will continue to see a heavy dose of carries and catches.