One of the mysteries leading into Sunday's opener is how much the Atlanta Falcons plan to incorporate Tevin Coleman into the running game, with Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman coming off a 1,056-yard, 14-touchdown, 338-touch season.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, of course, wouldn't reveal the exact game plan for Tampa Bay as far as distribution of touches. Shanahan did, however, leave open the possibility of more than just a cameo appearance for Coleman as Freeman's backup.
"Go with the guy who's hot; keep them both fresh," Shanahan said. "I don't worry about that stuff too much. I love both those backs. There's really no difference to me which one is in the game, so it's a good problem to have. Whoever's rolling with it, you stick with him. When they need a break, the other guy comes in. You try to keep them both fresh to see how it pans out at the end of the game."
Coleman started early last year and is this regime's hand-picked running back, though he's definitely behind Freeman in the pecking order at this point. The question is not whether or not Freeman starts, it's just how many chances he'll get if he doesn't get off to a good start or struggles for a stretch.