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Can Tevin Coleman Rush For 1,000 Yards As A Rookie?


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Atlanta Falcons Rookie RB Tevin Coleman has set a lofty goal for himself this fall: to rush for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. In most team’s offenses, that’s not out of the realm of possibility given that we’re talking about a starting running back. But in Atlanta, Coleman will likely split carries with second-year tailback Devonta Freeman in the Falcons backfield. Under new OC Kyle Shanahan, what would it take for Tevin Coleman to reach his goals for 2015?

Kyle Shanahan enters his eighth season as an offensive coordinator in the National Football League. He has spent two seasons with the Houston Texans (2008-09), four coaching under his father Mike with the Washington Redskins (2010-13), and a lone season last year with the Cleveland Browns (2014).

Shanahan has usually had decent but not great quarterback play in his seven seasons as an OC, but his teams do run the football with authority. An average Kyle Shanahan-led offense will run the ball 437 times for 1,859 yards and 14 touchdowns, with 4.2 yards per attempt.

If you consider the 2012 Washington Redskins rushing attack as an anomaly due to QB Robert Griffin, III’s mobility during his rookie campaign, a Kyle Shanahan offense will rush the ball 423 times for 1,715 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 4.1 yards an attempt. Then take into account that running the football was Kyle’s offenses’ bread and butter as he really only had three seasons of strong quarterback play: Matt Schaub in Houston (2008-09) and RGIII’s rookie season in Washington (2012).

Kyle Shanahan will have by far and away the best aerial attack he has ever had by coming to the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 with the likes of QB Matt Ryan and WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White. So he might not have to rely on running the ball as much as in years past. What does this mean for Tevin Coleman?

If Coleman were to have a true platoon with Devonta Freeman in the Falcons backfield with each back getting 45% of the handoffs, they would each rush for 772 yards and 6 touchdowns, assuming Shanahan’s offensive averages (1,715 total yards) minus the 2012 Washington Redskins campaign.

For Coleman to hit the 1,000 yard plateau in an average Shanahan offense, he would have to establish himself as the starting running back and get roughly 60% of the Falcons’ rushing attempts (~1,029 yards). He would have to receive 75% of the carries to get 10 touchdowns in this forecast.

Can Tevin Coleman beat out Devonta Freeman and win the starting job at running back? Certainly. And can Kyle Shanahan’s offense be explosive both on the ground and in the year? Of course it can. But with major competition in Devonta Freeman, it doesn’t seem likely at this point for Tevin Coleman to reach his lofty rookie season goals of 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. But I’d love to see him try on a ground game that accumulates over 2,000 yards this year. Here’s to wishful thinking. Rise Up, ATL!

http://atlallday.com/2015/06/28/can-tevin-coleman-rush-for-1000-yards-as-a-rookie/

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First --I concur with the O-line not being " decent" yet

second --if Freeman and Smith are used at all it may be hard for Coleman to get enough carries

third -- I'm not convinced that Coleman will be the #1 RB--Freeman will give him a run for it (may the best one win out)

fourth----the team will have to achieve a balanced attack --something they have not been good at doing.

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Everybody is doubting a line that they haven't seen play a snap in a new scheme

agreed ---but we have seen most of them enough to have a good idea about their talent levels --regardless of scheme

added

if they can't stand still in one spot and pick up their block

How are they going to move quickly and then pick up their block?

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I think he can get there rushing and receiving combined.

To get there rushing, he'd have to get a decent number of carries, and have a very high yards per carry.

Shannahan runs the ball about 25-27 times per game, unlikely to go up with a good passing game.

If Coleman gets 10 carries a game (and devonta 10, and tone/etc. 5) then Coleman would need to average over 6 yards a carry to reach 1000. So, that would be insane (and great). He's have to have a bunch of Norwood-esque long runs.

However, if he can creep those carries up to 15 a game, he'd only need a bit over 4 ypc, which is likely doable.

My hope is a successful running game, with high ypc, and good short yardage runs.

If both primary backs are at 800 yards, 4.5+ypc, and we pick up short yardage...fantastic.

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agreed ---but we have seen most of them enough to have a good idea about their talent levels --regardless of scheme

added

if they can't stand still in one spot and pick up their block

How are they going to move quickly and then pick up their block?

It's not that simple, the ZBS isn't just moving and then blocking the same way as a power scheme would. It's a different skill set all together. In basic terms it doesn't require our O-Linemen to be stronger than the guy they're blocking, which is what we struggled with in past years.

As for Coleman, I doubt he gets the carries required to get 1000 yards. Seems like Free and him will split carries quite a bit, at this point.

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First --I concur with the O-line not being " decent" yet

second --if Freeman and Smith are used at all it may be hard for Coleman to get enough carries

third -- I'm not convinced that Coleman will be the #1 RB--Freeman will give him a run for it (may the best one win out)

fourth----the team will have to achieve a balanced attack --something they have not been good at doing.

If Tevin Coleman can adequately and reliably pick up a blitz, the he will win the starting job over Devonta "Traffic Cone" Freeman.

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If that Oline is suspect(run blocking) its gonna come down to pass blocking...I give the edge to TC.

Freeman could have gotten more touches/carries last season if better at pass blocking. Folks, this is why Quizz was implemented so soon.

I'm not sure TC will achieve his goal, but by mid-season he could be the starter.

I agree. Freeman better have more want-to in his blocking this year. The reason I despise backs who don't block is that for a rb, it is more about wanting to than any real technique. Obviously, there has to be some basics involved, but if 180 pound Warrick Dunn could pancake linebackers, then no 200+ pound back has ANY valid excuse to not be at least an adequate blocker on a blitz. If they don't, it's because they don't WANT to.

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I think he can easily. All the dude needs is an inch and he can slip through for a big gain. If he was the feature back last year i think he would have gotten over 1000 yds. If you go back and watch some of the games and you put Coleman in for Sjax you can see the plays where he would have made a huge gain. The difference in acceleration between those two is insane.

And while he isn't a pile mover, he does finish his runs. I think thats a pretty underrated part of his game. He can be a grind it out runner. Not that i would prefer that since he is a thinner guy, but he can do it. My only fear is him staying healthy. If he is healthy he's going to lead our backfield in rushing yards. I think at least.

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