It Could Be Adam Shaheen's Time to Shine (Yes, We Really Mean It This Time)

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It Could Be Adam Shaheen’s Time to Shine (Yes, We Really Mean It This Time)

Chicago Bears

Adam Shaheen’s career has been full of false starts – and we’re not talking about the ones that cause five-yard penalties.

There were times when Shaheen, the Chicago Bears’ second-round draft pick in 2017, had the look of a good investment – like when he was PFF’s top-rated tight end after his performance against the Lions or when he showed out against the Bengals in a late-season road win. And then there were times when, well, you wondered if the Bears totally forgot he was even dressed or on the roster.

But it was hard to ignore Shaheen on Thursday, as he caught all three of the targets thrown his way for 53 yards, including a 29-yard catch and scamper. That comes out to a 17.7 yards per catch average, which suggests that it was actually possible to target and use Shaheen in areas other than red zone situations. Allowing Shaheen to showcase his run-after-the-catch skills is something that could open up another dimension to an offense that otherwise looked sloppy in the early going. And if Shaheen can keep this up and show off more growth, then perhaps the breakout we dreamed about seeing unfold can actually happen.

Shaheen looked good as a rookie in training camp back in 2017, but got off to a slow start once preseason games started. From there, the Bears slow-played his development by primarily working him in a run-blocking role … something that made the offense awfully predictable. Shaheen’s role was so clear cut, you could predict with a fair amount of certainty that the team was going to run the ball when he was in the lineup and pass when he wasn’t on the field.

But this year, there’s no mistaking that tight ends are/will be a focal point of the offense. On Thursday, for example, tight ends combined to catch 11 of 12 targets for 174 yards. That’s a 118.8 passer rating when targeting a tight end, if you’re keeping track at home. And if Dion Sims can’t suit up because of the concussion issues that kept him from traveling and playing in Thursday’s game, then Shaheen will have plenty of opportunities to make a good impression and a positive impact on the offense. Just like everyone wanted all along.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.