The Positional Quick 3: Running Backs

| June 8th, 2018

I’m traveling in Dingle, Ireland years ago and I’m exhausted. This was my first day ever in Europe and I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 4:30 in the afternoon. My uncle turns to me and says, “Have a quick three. You’ll be fine.” I drank three Guinness in the span of a half hour. Seven hours later I’m dancing to a shitty Irish house DJ with Jenny Pye, a local lass who dreamed of being an EMT in New York City.

I’m very tired of this 2018 off-season. And incredibly eager for the season to begin. So I’m taking the quick three approach to each position group as we head into the summer. Not grading the groups or anything. Just making some points.

Running Backs

  • Folks comparing Tarik Cohen to Tyreek Hill need to calm down. They are not similar physically, as Hill’s size is what allows him to line-up outside as a de facto wide receiver. That’s not to say Tarik won’t be productive in the Nagy/Helfrich offense. He will. But I see most of that production coming from either (a) the backfield or (b) creative alignments by the coaching staff. Tarik is a toy the coaches will love playing with but I don’t see him as being one of the top two or three producers in this offense.
  • Jordan Howard is the best player on the Chicago Bears. Offense. Defense. Specials. Howard is their best player and he might be the best hand-off-and-hit-the-line running back in the game. While Nagy is coming from an Andy Reid program that seemed to abandon the run at the first sign of adversity, he and Helfrich need to recognize and embrace this basic fact. With the new weapons assembled on the offense, the coaches should put Howard in position to win MVP or offensive POY.
  • Prediction: Benny Cunningham, if he holds on to make this roster, will double his 20 catches from 2017 to 40 in 2018.

Monday: Wide Receivers

Tagged: , ,

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    RYAN NALL!!!!

  • SC Dave

    On the money regarding Howard, Jeff. The staff does indeed need to recognize what they have.

    • Big Mike

      Unsung player of the off season is Jordan Howard. If he could put up the numbers he did, with the POS play calling, non existent deep threats and well below average intermediate threats, what can he do in an offense with weapons, strategy, match up problems, speed and intelligent play calling? I expect his rushing yardage to be in the 1,200-1,400 yards range, but I expect his YPC to be up 5.2-5.5.

      • CanadaBear

        With ya all the way Brother!

      • Malice Halice

        Fa shizzle!

  • Irish Sweetness

    Seriously Jefe, go and have a pint in Dick Mack’s. It’s the strangest, weirdest, most wonderful Irish pub I was ever in. You turn a corner from a traditional looking boozer and all of a sudden you’re in a drawing room … back into a boozer. Then you have little pubs that double as fishing tackle shops or they sell bicycles. Great place to go on the piss.

    My Dingle story.

    I was standing on Dingle pier with my ex-gf trying to get a bead on Fungi the Dolphin (he’s the most loved animal in Ireland not on four legs) … don’t ask. I get a phone call from my boss and he’s trying to explain that the company we worked for (Corel) was moving its office (our jobs anyway – my gf worked for them too) to Bangalore. Anyway as he’s trying to explain, I’m on a windy pier and I’m being attacked by this crazy fucking dog that’s trying to bite my ankles. I escape into a phone box only to realize that the bottom panes have been kicked out (natch) and the dog starts attacking me through the gaping hole. I found out we were made redundant whilst screaming bloody murder at that fkin mutt.

    And that all ended up in Toyland.

    That’s all I got.

    • SC Dave

      Now that’s a tale!

    • CanadaBear

      I’m riding up a super steep hill (around 20%) and a little dog comes charging out and is trying to bite my ankles. I carried a can of CS gas just for this purpose. The dog is going from one side to the other trying to bite me. I’m spraying the CS gas and it has no effect whatsoever. Finally I’m super pissed, get off the bike and I’m going to kick the shit out of that dog. The owner comes out screaming at Fluffy (actual name). Needless to say I didn’t do anything to the dog and went home startled by the fact that CS gas had no effect. As I’m taking my bike shorts off I realize all I did with the CS gas was squirt it on my fat ass. Never carried it again!!!!!!

      • AlbertInTucson

        Now THAT was FUNNY!

        • CanadaBear

          Little bastard got the best of me for sure!

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        When I was a kid I lived out in the country. During the summer I had to ride my bike into town (10 miles) for anything I wanted to do (baseball, swimming, tennis, etc). I always dreaded going by one house that had German Shepard mixed mutt(big ass dog)that would chase me and try knocking me off my bike or bite at my ankles. One day I got tired of him and I happen to have my tennis racket with me. Well let’s just say he quit chasing me after that day, and I had to get my racket restrung.

        • CanadaBear

          Usually a well placed squirt from a water bottle (right in the face) will discourage them. Once in a while you get one like you had. I stopped for a bowl of soup when I was out for a long ride. The place was closing for the afternoon and they gave me the biggest bowl of soup I’ve ever had. I’m just starting out after lunch when a German Shepard starts chasing me. I try to start cranking it up, the owner is yelling at the dog and I threw up the entire bowl of soup. It was literally sloshing around in my boiler. The dog stopped dead in his tracks and the guy yelling at the dog started howling with laughter. Good Times!

      • Fluffy bites Candyass!

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      “I was standing on Dingle pier with my ex-gf trying to get a bead on Fungi the Dolphin”

      Kind of sounds like an opening line of an erotic novel.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        …or a really embarrassing moment at the doctor’s office.

        “What do you mean Tinactin isn’t strong enough?”

    • Oh, are we exchaning dingle stories this Fri?


  • Tarik Hill isn’t the comp for Cohen. It’s Darren Sproles.

    A secondary weapon who can have a big impact in limited touches when used correctly. Go look at how NO used him in his prime; that’s what CHI needs to do.

    • Yeah, that’s the comp Pace was going for coming from NO. Sproles however seems a little thicker than Cohen.

      But lil guys can thrive as runners. I pointed out that Warrick Dunn in spite of being small still was a very effective HB for years.

      • CanadaBear

        Cohen’s up to 190 at 5’6″, so he’s pretty thick.

      • SC Dave

        Warrick Dunn was a beast tho.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Age 61 seems to be cursed this week.

    Dwight Clark.

    Now Bourdain.

    Not good.

    • CanadaBear

      Suicide. What a pisser.

      • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

        it’s hard to fathom a darkness so deep that you feel that the only way out of it is to die. Damn.
        I could see it if you got diagnosed with ALS and you didn’t want to go through that shit at the end or some crazy ass cancer…..

        • KentuckyBearsFan
        • CanadaBear

          Totally agree. We’re lucky! One of my good friends committed suicide a few years ago. Fuck! His wife will never be the same.

          • Yeah, it’s rough. Someone I knew checked into a room at a fancy 5 star hotel and hung himself in the shower. It was totally unexpected.

            So I drank a bit that night I found out , was going to work the next morning a lil hungover, and as I was climbing the stairs that image just hit me.

            No way I could work that day, interact with ppl as if nothing happened. They do stick in a person’s pysche.

            As a matter of fact, just last night I had a dream of another friend who hung himself last Xmas.

            Kinda strange, but sometimes they pop up in my dreams, like Im talking to them normally, then halfway through the convo, i realize they’re dead, and the dream tends to end shortly thereafter.

          • Nicodemus

            Hung himself in the shower….had he ever had any dealing with the Clintons? That sounds like their Modus Operandi..

          • CanadaBear

            I’ve got a couple of pics of my buddy on the nightstand. One of them is the two of us at a music festival. Gotta cherish the moments.

      • AlbertInTucson

        “Permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

        • CanadaBear

          It’s just so sad.

          • AlbertInTucson

            And, as you mentioned, the emotional wreckage a suicide leaves behind is just awful.

          • SC Dave

            The survivors normally get the worst of it.

          • AlbertInTucson

            While it’s sad, it’s not really surprising. He was pretty opening about battling demons, drugs and booze.

  • Said it before, Howard shouldn’t play more than 1 qtr tops in PS. And I would actually like to see him on pass routes in those limited snaps.

    We know what we have in Howard. No need to grind him down unnecessarily.

    I remember the Queens would rest AP in PS and he was still a beast in Dec.

    Work in Nall, Benny, Cohen and some other UFDA.

    • John F

      Because the offense is SO new, he may need significantly more touches in the preseason.

    • Big Mike

      I disagree. Players need to play a bit. They don’t get tackled in the practice, training camp, etc. They need some full speed action. Just my opinion.

  • Nicodemus

    The one player Cohen really reminds me of is….Barry Sanders. You younger guys might not know the name, but he was a smaller guy who played for the Lions and could turn on a dime and had a real burst…like Cohen. By the way, Sanders is in the Hall of Fame…

    • beninnorcal

      Pretty sure everyone around here knows who Barry Sanders is, he’s kinda of famous. Maybe coulda been the goat had he stuck around a few years.

    • Johnnywad

      You can’t be serious.

      • Nicodemus

        Absolutely…he has the same shiftiness, cutback moves and burst. Obviously Cohen hasn’t put up the same numbers yet, but I see some similarity in their running style….got some old Bears-Lions games on VHS I’d share, but we’re talking really old tech there….

        • Johnnywad

          Barry Sanders weighed 200 pounds and was every bit as fast as Cohen. He ran for 1400+ yards as a rookie and had 14 touchdowns. He was something like a 6 time All Pro. He ran for over 2000 yards in a season. He could score from any spot on the field and had no trouble running between the tackles.

          Cohen is none of those things. He’s short. And he’s shorter than Sanders. That’s about as close a comparison between the two as can be made. He had less than 400 yards last year. He’s not even the best back on his team. He’s Darren Sproles Light if we’re lucky. I like the kid, and he’s nice for a bit of surprise and trickery. But he should never be mentioned in the same breath as Barry Sanders. And I hate the Lions

          • Nicodemus

            And your point is? I was talking about running style, not production! Sanders was a feature back who got lots of carries. Cohen was underutilized by Fox, was totally ignored in some games, and often got the ball when the defense KNEW he was going to get it and were in the backfield before he got going. Still…look at his Yards Per Carry, the way he eludes tacklers and runs away from defenders. If he was the year I expect he’ll have this year, then maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from…

          • SC Dave

            Everyone knew Barry was getting the ball – he was the only offensive weapon they had. Yet he would likely have finished as #1 all time in rushing, but chose to go out on top like Jim Brown rather than hanging on for stats.

            Cohen’s yards per carry was 4.3. Barry Sanders’ career ypc was 5.0.

            Overall, I’d say it’s pretty unlikely we’ll understand where you’re coming from.

            But all things are possible, I suppose.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Barry was probably the best pure runner of them all.

          • CanadaBear

            I’m sticking with the guy in my avatar.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            What a homer!

      • Irish Sweetness

        Trolls never are. It’s a thing.

    • ButtonShoes

      Are you insane? Legitimately asking here.

    • AlbertInTucson

      You are dreaming, sir.

  • willbest

    Golden Knights let the moment get too big for them. Impressive run for an expansion team though. Probably not the best way to set up expectations for your city. I am sure Gruden’s Raiders will do a better job of managing expectations

    • AlbertInTucson

      I was rooting for the Caps.

      Chicago fans KNOW what it’s like to wait DECADES for a championships. Vegas can learn to wait at LEAST another year.

    • BerwynBomber

      More about the Caps winning than Vegas losing. Caps showed tremendous resiliency during their post-season run. Historically resiliency I would guess. They trailed in all four series and won every clincher on the road.

      Have to say that was the most moving Stanley Cup presentation I ever witnessed. Even more than the Blackhawks’.

      Vegas had a magical year. Washington had an all-time magical post-season.

  • BenderMcLugh


    Way to install some confidence about your recovery there Floyd.

  • SC Dave
  • AlbertInTucson

    So today, “Justify” was justified.

  • Irish Sweetness

    UFC Chicago was awesome.

    • SC Dave


  • Irish Sweetness

    On running backs. Just found this clip of how one can tackle Earl Campbell. This didn’t happen very often.

    Doug Plank, natch, 2:54 …..

© Da' Bears Blog