For one half of football, Tarik Cohen was the best player on the field for the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

The rookie fourth-round pick from North Carolina A&T, who had been showered with praise during training camps for his speed and elusiveness in the open field, performed as advertised in his first NFL game against the Denver Broncos.


Cohen, the 5-foot-6 running back, got snaps with the first team offense and carried the ball seven times for 39 yards, including a pair of 11-yard gains where he displayed all the attributes that made him one of the best tailbacks in MEAC history.

Wrote Chicago Bears beat writer Brad Biggs on Cohen’s performance:

Of course, running back Tarik Cohen, who had been extra slippery in training camp, proved elusive in the open field. He’s got a nice burst and in my opinion what separates him from the last very undersized back the Bears had is Cohen had more lateral quickness than Garrett Wolfe. Just my take.

The Chicago Sun-Times had this to say about the Human Joystick:

Rookie running back Tarik Cohen looked to be the biggest reason for optimism, that is until quarterback Mitch Trubisky ran the two-minute drill that led to a touchdown to end the first half.

The 5-6 running back did his best to show that his captivating training camp can translate to game action. Cohen, whom the Bears consider a true third-down back, showed that he’s more than a pass catcher. His speed translated into outside runs, and his body withstood the punishment of live NFL action.

The fourth-round pick carried seven times in the first half for 39 yards. Had he not grazed the sideline on a spin move, he would have finished with double the yardage.

If Thursday was any indication, Cohen will be a major factor in a Chicago offense this season that is in dire need of playmakers.

About The Author

Kendrick Marshall
Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor for HBCU Sports, award-winning journalist, and a graduate of Jackson State University.

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