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Tevin Coleman expects to run more routes in 2017, which should terrify defenses

The gifted, speedy back might get more cracks out wide this year.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Earlier this offseason, we wrote about Tevin Coleman’s fortunes in this offense and concluded that he probably wasn’t likely to pick up many more touches, particularly on the ground. If he was going to find his way to even more chances, it would likely have to come through the air.

Coleman said yesterday that he expects his role to change a bit this year, and confirmed for us that he expects his impact to grow through the air.

This is good and important news. Devonta Freeman continues to be the better back on the ground, as a relentless, high-volume battering ram of a player who also happens to be a fine pass-catching and blocking back in his own right. Coleman is an extremely dangerous runner, but he’s arguably even more dangerous split out wide, where defenses face the impossible choice of diverting legitimate resources toward Coleman to slow him down or letting the rest of the offense run wild.

If Coleman winds up getting more balls thrown his way this year, it’ll be a boon for this offense. Even if he doesn’t, and he’s simply one more weapon defenses have to account for, he’ll make his presence felt. If the Falcons are going to repeat their historic 2016 season on offense, or come anywhere close to it, having one of their most dangerous weapons available for more snaps is a darn good start.