Joniak’s Journal: Tarik Cohen Feels He Can Handle Heavy Load For Bears

By Jeff Joniak

(CBS) The Bears (0-1) are on the road to face the Buccaneers (0-0) on Sunday at noon. Here are my observations leading into the game.

— Whenever a player leaves you wanting more, it’s good sign. That custom-designed package for rookie running back Tarik Cohen resulted in two touchdowns in the loss to the Falcons. From wildcat quarterback to slot receiver to primary read in a bunch set to check-down back to designed screens to serving as the primary punt returner, Cohen was the most exciting player on the field. Now what? Cohen feels he can handle the load, and the Bears believe that within reason as well, as he still needs to rep situational plays. Like most rookies, Cohen’s pass protection technique needs to be refined.

— Offensive coordinators love designing plays for players like Cohen, and the Bears’ Dowell Loggains will keep coming up with matchup packages for the budding playmaker, especially with uncertainty at receiver.

— Loggains has been frank about losing receiver Kevin White and Cameron Meredith. It’s about Mike Glennon trusting the remaining receivers and still going through his progressions. Loggains called it an awesome challenge for the coaching staff and for Glennon.

— A tremendous opportunity awaits linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski with the unfortunate pectoral tear and impending surgery for linebacker Jerrell Freeman. A 2016 fourth-round pick, Kwiatkoski is going to improve with experience and will learn a lot from defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s hands-on teaching.

— If there’s ever a game to start taking the ball away, this is it for the Bears. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has turned it over 42 times in two years. He’s as dangerous as they come, but he’s prone to picks and fumbles. Winston led NFL quarterbacks in passing yards last season, but taking those deep shots lowered his overall completion percentage, which ranked 20th.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.

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