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Chicago Bears TE Shaheen creating red-zone mismatches

August 2, 2018

BOURBONNAIS -- At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, Bears TE Adam Shaheen is an inviting target, especially in the red zone, where he demonstrated his ability to create mismatches during Monday’s practice on a couple fade routes in the end zone.

“The kid has a lot of tools,” coach Matt Nagy said of last year’s second-round pick from Division-II Ashland. “He wins 50-50 balls, (and) he has natural hands. So, for him, it’s more of just getting the experience of being able to have confidence in those type of throws. We’re going to continue to work on his routes every single day and the intricacies of this offense and what he has to do. When you get in the red zone, you can do some more of that stuff, but you have to have a plan when you’re down there. We’ll continue to keep working on a plan with him.”

Shaheen had a pair of four-catch games as a rookie but missed the final three games with a chest injury and finished the season with just 12 catches for 127 yards. Shaheen faces stiff competition from fellow TEs Dion Sims and Trey Burton, but Nagy believes there is a role in his offense for all three.

Plug him in anywhere

Second-year RB/WR/PR/KR Tarik Cohen is one of the most entertaining players to watch for fans and, as it turns out, coaches, too.

“He’s awesome,” offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. “He’s fun to coach. He’s a guy, literally, you can tell him anything -- to line up at any position, and he’ll do it with an unbelievably great attitude, a giant smile on his face and run 4.3.

“It’s amazing how many places he has never lined up before, and you say, ‘Hey, it’s like this,’ and he goes out and does it. That’s invaluable, to be able to plug and play a guy like that, that has the kind of characteristics he does with the ball in his hands. That’s rare.”

Keeping it simple

The new rule restricting the use of the crown of the helmet in tackling seems pretty simple as coach Matt Nagy explains it.

“As long as your head comes up, and you can show your facemask, then you’re OK,” Nagy said. “But the second you put the crown of the helmet down, no matter who you are — offense or defense — they’re going to look for that, and they’re trying to prevent that.”

For players who have become accustomed to tackling a certain way, it could be a difficult and expensive adjustment considering the possibility of ejections and suspensions.

“It’s going to be our job as coaches to educate our players,” Nagy said. “The league has done a great job of putting together some video clips of some examples of good and bad. So we’ll show our guys that. This game’s been played a certain way for a long time, and it’s going to be hard for some of these guys to naturally not do that. We’ve got to teach our guys right from wrong.”

Health beat

Rookie OL James Daniels (shoulder) was added to the injury report. Still out are ILB Danny Trevathan (hamstring) and Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder), OLBs Kylie Fitts (arm), Kasim Edibali (oblique) and Aaron Lynch (hamstring), CBs Sherrick McManis (hamstring), TE Ben Braunecker (hamstring) and C Hroniss Grasu (calf) did not practice.

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