Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bears rookie Tarik Cohen 'hell' to contain, Bucs defensive back says

Tarik Cohen of the Chicago Bears avoids a tackle attempt by Brooks Reed of the Atlanta Falcons Sept. 10 in Chicago. [Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]

Tarik Cohen of the Chicago Bears avoids a tackle attempt by Brooks Reed of the Atlanta Falcons Sept. 10 in Chicago. [Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]

As much as Bears rookie Tarik Cohen surprised much of the NFL with a breakout debut Sunday, at least one Bucs player knew exactly what he'd be facing this week as Chicago comes to play Tampa Bay.

"When I saw what he did in his first game, I wasn't shocked at all," said cornerback Ryan Smith, who played at N.C. Central when Cohen played for rival N.C. A&T. "He's a great player, a great athlete. I played him my last two years, and he gave us hell. We beat him, but he was a great player."

Smith and Central won both meetings in close games -- close enough to win by a single yard. In 2014, Cohen rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and was on his way to a tying score in the final five minutes when Central forced a fumble inside the 5-yard line; Smith recovered the loose ball at the 1-yard line to preserve the lead.

Smith had eight tackles in that win, and in 2015, Central won again, but the 5-foot-6 Cohen, nicknamed "The Human Joystick" for his video-game moves, went for 112 yards in a 21-16 loss.

Cohen, a fourth-round draft pick, may have caught the Falcons by surprise, but the Bucs have an advantage in that they were able to watch the Bears' season-opening loss. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith said it was clear that Chicago wanted to get Cohen involved -- he had five rushes for 66 yards, including a 46-yard run to set up a tying touchdown before halftime, and also caught eight passes, including a 19-yard touchdown.

"They obviously wanted to get that rookie the ball as much as possible," Mike Smith said. "By the way, he's a game-wrecker. He's a guy that can really scoot. He's got great speed. He's not very tall. He's going to create mismatch issues for our linebackers, and they want to get him the ball. ... He's a talented guy and they definitely were wanting to have him be an integral part of what they want to do offensively."

Sign up for Bucs Red Zone

A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.

 

Sign up for our other newsletters

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bears rookie Tarik Cohen 'hell' to contain, Bucs defensive back says 09/13/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 2:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State

    College

    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.