The San Francisco 49ers made one of the more surprising moves in the offseason when they signed Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $10 million deal. It’s an effort by the team to provide as versatile an offense as possible with a backfield already with Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon there.
It’s an exciting transaction that will add to the 13th ranked rushing attack from 2018. But a lot of it will have to do with the Indiana product’s familiarity with Kyle Shanahan’s system. Coleman was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons at the same time that Shanahan became the team’s offensive coordinator. And with being paired up with the current head coach of the 49ers, he’s put together some of his best statistics including his career-high eight rushing touchdowns.
But with a crowded backfield like the one in San Francisco, Coleman will need to standout to prove he’s the smart choice that the team made back in March. Here are three numbers to target for 49ers running back Tevin Coleman in 2019.
3. 10 Rushing Attempts Per Game
It’s uncertain as to what to make of the 49ers backfield going into 2019. Each back will likely be given a role to play going into the season. Matt Brieda has already asserted himself as the homerun hitter with his 5.3 yards per carry that ranked him second among all rushers with at least 150 rushes. Jerick McKinnon will likely take on the role of receiving back with how Shanahan will likely be utilizing him in different packages to create mismatches with defenders.
And as for Coleman, it’s undecided where he fits. But the 49ers don’t have a workload back or someone that’s a threat when they’re in the red zone.
Coleman scored nine of his 12 touchdowns in the red zone with Shanahan as his offensive coordinator. This includes a career-high three touchdown game that happened in 2016 against the Saints.
Dropping down to 10 rushes per game would be a drop from his 10.4 average over the last two seasons. However, it’s a significant amount with the talent in the backfield he has to fight with for touches.
2. 45 Targets
If there’s one thing that Kyle Shanahan can do, it’s getting his running backs involved in passing plays in any way possible. Tevin Coleman is familiar with being utilized in different ways to exploit weaknesses in the opponent’s passing defense.
He will need to contend with a lot of McKinnon and Brieda cutting into this area of his game. Not to mention the offensive weapon that is Kyle Juszczyk. But Coleman is someone that’s proven to be a reliable option out of the backfield and someone that can be used in many ways as a receiver.
San Francisco should be looking to use him in any way they can to get the advantage over the opposition.
1. Nine Total Touchdowns
As mentioned many times before, Coleman is a versatile tailback. It shouldn’t be too far-fetched to believe that he will match his total touchdown mark from last season.
In Coleman’s second season, he put together a strong 11 touchdowns that included his career-high of eight rushing touchdowns. He put this together in his backup role behind Devonta Freeman and with the scheming of Shanahan.
Given that he will need to be fighting for touches with the talented backs that the 49ers already have. But Coleman has an uncanny knack for getting into the end zone that makes him truly special for the 49ers offense to have.