Nov 15, 2014; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Indiana Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman (6) runs for a touchdown with 29 seconds remaining in second quarter at High Points Solutions Stadium. Rutgers Scarlet Knights defeat the Indiana Hoosiers 45-23. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Coleman can hit the home run
Atlanta also grabbed former Indiana Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Coleman in the third could prove to be a steal, as he was one of the best backs in the draft.
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Running behind a poor offensive line without much of a passing game to protect him at Indiana, Coleman still managed to rush for 2,036 yards in the Big Ten (on 7.5 yards per carry), while tallying 15 touchdowns on an unbelievable 41 yards per touchdown run.
Coleman is a big play waiting to happen with serious home run speed; he’s also perfect for the zone blocking scheme, as he’s patient and waits for holes to open up. The explosion of Coleman and Smith, coupled with the change of pace of Freeman will make things tough on opposing defensive coordinators.
The final piece of the puzzle for the run game this season will be Kyle Shanahan, the new offensive coordinator. Shanahan incorporates a zone blocking scheme which should help the offensive line improve its run blocking.
Atlanta’s offensive lineman are very capable of running this scheme: all are fleet footed and athletic enough, it’ll just be a matter of developing some extra chemistry before running it during training camp and in the preseason.
Most of all, every one of Atlanta’s running backs have vision and are patient enough to wait for holes to open up, one of the most important traits of a back in this blocking scheme.
A new wave of running backs will handle the rock for the Falcons next season. Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman, and Antone Smith running behind a zone blocking scheme will revamp the rushing attack which seemed rather harmless a year ago.
A good run game will also make Matt Ryan‘s play action passes lethal, which will in turn open up the passing game for Julio Jones and Roddy White. A good rushing attack is extremely important for playoff and teams aiming for championships.
The Atlanta Falcons took the right offseason steps in formulating a strong run game, and we’ll see the team benefit from it this season.