Bears Season in Review: Tarik Cohen

Bryan Perez

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.

Bears Season in Review: Tarik Cohen originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago