CINCINNATI -- Bears’ second round pick Adam Shaheen’s limited contributions on offense has been a hot-button issue, but the rookie tight end more than tripled his workload in Sunday’s 33-7 victory in Cincinnati.
One week after playing a paltry nine snaps (24 percent) against San Francisco, Shaheen lined up for 32 of Chicago’s 76 attempted offensive snaps ( 42 percent) at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bears were technically credited with running 72 plays on Sunday.
Shaheen finished the game with four receptions for 44 yards and one touchdown. His 18-yard reception on third down in the first half tied for the Bears’ fifth longest play from scrimmage.
“We had a good game plan going in,” Shaheen said. “We setup the play action because we were running the ball so well [Sunday], so that really set everything up.”
A couple of factors contributed to Shaheen’s increased role.
First and foremost, the Bears offense stayed on the field for 38:09 minutes against the Bengals, compared to 21:13 the previous week (they ran just 36 plays versus the 49ers).
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said Shaheen is included in certain packages each week, but that circumstances often dictate changing the game plan on the fly.
Chicago also had the luxury of playing with a large lead most of Sunday, therefore eliminating the need to run their two-minute, hurry-up offense. The Bears favor veteran Daniel Brown over Shaheen -- similar to how Benny Cunningham is frequently used as Chicago’s third-down back over Tarik Cohen -- because the rookie is still learning the complexities of the entire offense.
But when Shaheen had an opportunity to make an impact on Sunday, he made the most of it.
“Adam did a great job when I threw him the ball and he was coming down with it every time,” said fellow rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who passed for 271 yards and one touchdown.
“It was awesome, and I guess it was just a tribute to the extra work we put in before and after practice, and me and him just getting on the same page."