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Dimitroff: Falcons 'expecting big things' from Coleman

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Tevin Coleman's rookie season didn't go according to plan, but the Atlanta Falcons believe Year 2 will look quite different.

Speaking Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, general manager Thomas Dimitroff told reporters the team was counting on the young running back to deliver alongside Devonta Freeman.

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"Devonta did a really nice job for us. Tevin came in, we wanted the mix of a running back -- different styles -- we always believe that that's important in this league," Dimitroff said. "It's a sense of a change of pace, they both come to the table with something very different in their skill set and, you know, Tevin's got a lot of speed and he's got a lot of natural ability. My feeling is he'll continue to mature into this season and we're expecting big things out of him teaming with Davonta. I think that's a really nice tandem." 

Big outings in Week 1 against the Eagles and Week 12 against the Vikings showed off Coleman's quickness and running ability, but it was Freeman who took over in full after the rookie suffered a rib injury in the opener followed by a subsequent concussion. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has long leaned on lone workhorse runners out of the backfield. However, Coleman, if he can stay healthy, has a shot to see an uptick in carries off last year's mundane 392 yards off 87 attempts -- especially considering his juicy 4.5 yards per rush.

We saw Shanahan run a committee backfield in Cleveland two seasons ago and the Falcons have the versatility to do the same next season. Still, there's no hurry to displace Freeman, who busted out for 1,639 yards from scrimmage and 14 total scores in 2015. Most chatter at the combine is worth taking with a grain of salt, but Atlanta hasn't given up on Coleman to push for work.

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