Seven games into his NFL career, Tarik Cohen leads the Chicago Bears in receiving targets and catches.
Did I mention he was a fourth round pick … and a running back?
Cohen has looked like a natural when asked to run patterns, lining up outside and in the slot while forcing defenses to account for him at all times. And Mitch Trubisky has clearly taken a liking to him and they even connected for this 70-yard pass highlighted by NFL analyst Brian Baldinger:
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 25, 2017
But wait, there’s more praise – this time from Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, who compared Cohen’s route-running skills out of the backfield to a Hall-of-Famer who used to lineup in the backfield with Warner:
Better than most WRs w/ that Dble move!!! Reminds me of a guy I played with @marshallfaulk
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) October 25, 2017
Seeing a Hall of Fame quarterback say a rookie running back’s double-move was better than most receivers is one thing, but for Warner to see flashes of Marshall Faulk – who caught 767 passes, gained 6,875 receiving yards, and hauled in 85 receiving touchdowns in his 12-year career – is the highest praise any pass-catching back can get.
Let’s be real, Cohen’s double move is probably the best we’ll see from a Bears pass catcher all year. And that’s a bummer because Cameron Meredith had the best one in the NFL last year, which would have made him a nice target for Trubisky. Alas, Trubisky and Meredith will have to wait until next year to make that kind of connection.
Meanwhile, Trubisky can continue to build a rapport with Cohen, who is undoubtedly the Bears’ best playmaker on the offensive side of the ball (outside of, perhaps, Jordan Howard). Cohen has been a staple in the passing game, appearing on 41.4 percent of the team’s passing snaps as a receiver. That hasn’t changed much with Cohen being on the field for 40.6 percent of the team’s passing snaps since Trubisky took over for Mike Glennon three games ago.
Cohen figures to continue to receive a ton of action in the passing game between now and season’s end. That is, of course, if the team allows its rookie quarterback to attempt a forward pass more often than he has in his first three starts.