Tarik Cohen gets the frustration. The Chicago Bears running back and punt return specialist had an off year in 2019, netting career lows in rushing yards (213), yards per carry (3.3) and yards from scrimmage (669). After a 2018 season that saw him gain 1,169 total yards and earn All-Pro status as a punt returner, Cohen knows many fans were let down by his performance last year.
He took to Twitter this past weekend to have a Q&A of sorts with fans about plays on which he could have executed differently — or, as he put it in a more NSFW way — “Y’all show me some clips where y’all think i f—ed up on the field, and we can discuss what u was thinking.”
The end result revealed Cohen to be a more self-aware player than we may have given him credit for.
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Tarik Cohen Shares Hilarious — Yet Interesting — Game Day Insights
Cohen did not hold back in his self-assessments, and he was both blunt and comical when discussing each play. When one fan asked him what goes on in his mind before the ball snaps, he revealed: “It all depends on the play… sometimes if i was talking trash the last play i look for the dude i was talking to.”
Cohen also admitted on multiple occasions he did the wrong thing on different plays. He seemed to understand there were moments where he could have extended a play or perhaps even scored when instead he ran out of bounds or failed to make anything happen.
Cohen also discussed his thought process during a few successful plays, including this kickoff return for a touchdown he had against the 49ers his rookie year in 2017.
Even former Bears running back Jordan Howard got in the act when he teased Cohen about a handoff he should not have made…
But perhaps the most notable response he had was an acknowledgement of one of the primary knocks against him: his tendency to run backwards and sideways across the field instead of forward. In fact, he vowed to stop doing that all together, saying: “Imma stop running sideways this year. Issa wrap.”
Cohen Has Different Attitude in 2020 Than He Did in 2019
Last year, Cohen enthusiastically pulled into the team’s training camp in a Polaris Slingshot and was given a talking-to courtesy of Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
“I feel like he just didn’t like the way I brought it in, but I’m not doing donuts no more,” Cohen said about Nagy’s response to the Slingshot. “He wouldn’t let his kids get in with me, either. His wife said that, I think. But I’m a great driver.”
This year, he’s more focused on how to up his game, as he’ll be heading into a contract year in 2021. Cohen noted that the career lows of last season aren’t sitting well with him, and he’s looking to erase that season from his mind.
“I had a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the season, and that’s why I’m really ready to get back at it,” he said. “I need to make more plays, way more plays, than I did last year.”
Cohen acknowledging what is arguably his biggest weakness and vowing to eliminate it is encouraging, but it will only matter if it translates on the field.