Three weeks ago, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains called rookie running back Tarik Cohen the Bears best playmaker. For a team who has a lack of talented players on offense, one would think Cohen would become a featured part of the Bears offense. Well, those people would be wrong.
On Sunday against a Green Bay Packers defense who has been struggling, Cohen touched the ball just two times and only played on 13 of the 60 offensive snaps. Jordan Howard played on 29 of the snaps, while Benny Cunningham played 28.
Bears final HB snap count:
Jordan Howard 29
Benny Cunningham 28
Tarik Cohen 13
Out of 60
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 12, 2017
The Bears deserved to be questioned for their use of Cohen. He should be playing much more than Cunningham and just under Howard. Yet, he was a non-factor on offense Sunday.
What has changed?
Head coach John Fox had an interesting explanation on Monday.
“We went through a stretch there where maybe we didn’t throw it as much as some people. But he’s involved quite a bit,” Fox said, via Adam Hoge of WGN Radio. “Defenses are doing more to take him away. I think there were situations in that game yesterday where he was doubled so we had to go to somebody else.”
Typical John Fox dancing around the question and underestimating Bears fans knowledge of football.
If a player is getting doubled, ten times out of ten you want him on the field in order to give the other players on offense a favorable matchup and an advantage. There were numerous times on yesterday’s broadcast when both analysts brought up that the Packers were playing man coverage and not respecting the Bears wide receivers. If Cohen was on the field he would have drawn a lot of attention; whether he was getting the football or not.
There is no excuse for the Bears not having Cohen on the field more often. In the first four weeks of the season, Cohen rushed for 181-yards. Five games since then, Cohen has just 48 rushing yards. Cohen also had 150-yards receiving during the first four weeks of the season. He has 99-yards receiving since that point and 70 of them came on one play against the Carolina Panthers.
Cohen needs more touches to be effective. Bottom line. Dowell Loggains seems to be having a hard time making personnel decisions and it cost the Bears on Sunday, against the Saints, and probably will again in the future.
This isn’t little league where everyone “has to play.” This is the National Football League. The best players play. There is no reason Benny Cunningham should be outplaying Tarik Cohen. Loggains deserves all of the blame. For his sake, he better figure things out and fast.