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Bears' Adam Shaheen, Tarik Cohen Making Early Impression On Matt Nagy

May 17, 2018 - 6:22 pm


(670 The Score) -- Though the rookie season of tight end Adam Shaheen was unfulfilling, he realized the potential ahead after an offseason of work.

Shaheen, the Bears' second-round pick last spring, had just 12 receptions and three touchdowns in 13 games last season before a shoulder injury shut him down. Much of 2017 was a whirlwind for Shaheen, moving from Division II Ashland University to NFL training and then to Chicago with the Bears. Life didn't slow down much, and the game certainly didn't for him, too.

Through it all last season, Shaheen never showed he was ready to make an impact hoped by the Bears, which was why he was looking forward to improving in the offseason. 

New coach Matt Nagy likes what he has seen of Shaheen, who looks to have added some muscle to his 6-foot-6, 270-pound frame this offseason. The Bears and Nagy are hoping he can become a mismatch in their new schemes.

"He's a guy that fits our offense really well," Nagy said of Shaheen after Wednesday's practice, part of OTAs ata Halas Hall. "Now, it's just a matter of how fast is he going to learn it and figure out the details, the ins and outs of the different routes that we run."

The Bears would love nothing more than to see Shaheen replicate the success of Travis Kelce, a dangerous player for Nagy in Kansas City. But for now, they just want to see him display readiness for a key role this season. Expectations for a player highly coveted last spring can grow from there as warranted. 

The first impressions for Nagy was that Shaheen's catch radius was ever greater than he anticipated from studying film. The Bears made a major investment at tight end in Trey Burton, signed to a four-year deal this offseason. General manager Ryan Pace is hopeful that Burton can complement Shaheen in two-tight end packages.

It's up to Nagy to put Shaheen in the right positions to benefit from Burton and new weapons like Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. At the very least, the Bears have added targets for 23-year-old quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Nagy has also come away impressed with another 2017 draft pick in Tarik Cohen. The presumption when Nagy arrived was that Cohen would be a natural fit in the new-look Bears offense -- perhaps a blend of Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill. Nagy could see through the tape that Cohen could be a productive piece for his offense.

Cohen, a fourth-round pick last year, averaged 4.3 yards per carry while adding 53 receptions in a role mostly out of the backfield. Nagy could utilize Cohen out wide as a receiver and all over within his offense.

“He’s actually the one kid on this team that I knew had a lot of talent, but he comes out here and runs every route the right way, catches most balls and he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes," Nagy said. "You see how he is in the meetings rooms: he listens to the play and when he comes out here how serious he is and he knows how to have fun. He’s a player that for me you get giddy about."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.