Chicago Bears Notes: RB Tarik Cohen wants to be versatile weapon for offense, special teams

Cohen used rookie minicamp to show Bears coaches his dynamic skill set

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Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen works out during NFL football rookie minicamp in Lake Forest, Ill., Friday, May 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen works out during NFL football rookie minicamp in Lake Forest, Ill., Friday, May 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) — Nam Y. Huh

LAKE FOREST — Tarik Cohen stands 5-foot-6, but John Fox said the Bears rookie running back “views himself about 6-6.”

Addressing the media for the first time as an NFL player, Cohen’s big personality shined as the Bears concluded their rookie minicamp. He joked about the biggest difference he noticed coming from the MEAC to an NFL practice, albeit with mostly first-year players.

“First thing is less cutback lanes. So as many 80-yarders I had in college, not going to get quite that many on this level,” said Cohen, known for his explosive runs at North Carolina A&T. “But I still think I could pop out a few here and there. The defense is way faster than the level I was at.”

Cohen wanted to spend the weekend showing coaches his versatility as a receiver, runner and special-teamer. He took reps as a punt returner, something he was too valuable to do in college. His role on offense will likely be on third down, Fox said, as a "joker back."

Jeremy Langford had five receptions on third down last season, which led the Bears but tied for 40th in the NFL. Darren Sproles had 16 catches.

Cohen wants to be a “Tyreek Hill type of player, very versatile, do things in the slot and also out of the backfield and then not to mention also the special teams.”

The offense has lacked that type of weapon in recent seasons, but in limited reps during rookie minicamp, Cohen showed off the open-field speed that could be an asset for the Bears. He explained what he looks for when he has a chance to take a play to daylight.

“If it’s an aggressive defense, they want to hurry up and get to the point of attack and hurry up and stop me before I get into my cut, and then I can work on the cutback because they’re flowing over the top,” he said. “But if it’s a laid back defense, really tracking my backside hip, then I hit it outside the front door and try to beat the safety and the DBs.”

Cohen left his interview adding another nickname to his already long list, saying that he can be called "Big Daddy.”

Easier transition for Morgan: Going from Division II Kutztown to the trenches in the NFL won’t be simple for guard Jordan Morgan, but his experience at the Senior Bowl with the Bears coaches prepared him well for minicamp.

“I would definitely say it did, just getting used to a higher level of play than I did play traditionally in college, as well as just terminology and how certain things work,” he said. “I think coming out here, I didn’t even feel a gap. Like, I felt pretty used to it pretty quick.”

Roster move: The Bears signed tryout player Titus Davis, a wide receiver from Wheaton Warrenville South and Central Michigan. He was with the Chargers in the 2015 preseason and is the older brother to Titans first-round pick Corey Davis. The Bears waived rookie wideout Levonte Whitfield.