Taken in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman arrived to his new professional home to pretty lofty expectations. After running for 2,036 yards as a senior at Indiana and finishing seventh in the voting for the 2014 Heisman Trophy despite his team’s depressing 4-8 record, Coleman would hopefully give a pedestrian rushing attack in Atlanta an element of explosiveness that it had previously lacked.
However, with the franchise having spent a fourth-round pick on Devonta Freeman just a year ago, Coleman had to battle for a chance to win a starting role before he could make good on the potential that has so many Falcons fans excited to see what the rookie he can do. On Tuesday, Coleman found his name atop of the Falcons’ running back depth chart in advance of the team’s first game on Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles and new head coach Dan Quinn made it official by claiming Coleman would get the start.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) September 8, 2015
With Freeman unable to get on the field for any of the Falcons’ four preseason games, Coleman may have won the job by default, and when Freeman does get back up to full health we’ll likely see the workload balanced rather evenly. For now, however, Coleman is going to be the primary ballcarrier in new offensive coordinator’s Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme.
The early portion of the season figures to be tough going with the Falcons still trying to find some chemistry along their offensive front, but if Coleman can manage to be successful running behind this unit he’ll have an opportunity to seize hold of the starter’s job and potentially never let it go.