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. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrepectful fans

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by Desean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  2. NFL owners' unity with players might be short-lived

    Bucs

    The image was striking — several owners of NFL teams locking arms with their players on the sidelines Sunday, and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones on Monday night, in a dramatic statement of defiance to a president who ridiculed their sport and condemned players for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a …

    Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, currently without a team, has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for not standing during the national anthem. [Associated Press]
  3. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity

    Bucs

    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  4. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support

    Sports

    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  5. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)