As SI.com's Grant Cohn put it, "Tevin Coleman should have played well last season for the 49ers, but didn't. ..." Cohn conceded it was Coleman's first season on the team, but having played for HC Kyle Shanahan from 2015 to 2016 in Atlanta, Coleman knew the offense -- one of the most running-back-friendly offenses in the NFL. Plus, he had one of the league's best blockers in George Kittle paving the way for him. The 49ers averaged 5.0 yards per carry whenever Kittle was on the field last season. And yet, somehow Coleman averaged only 4.0 yards per carry in 2019, despite all the advantages the 49ers provided him.
Maybe Coleman never was 100% healthy (he injured his ankle during the season opener). Maybe he wasn't comfortable on a new team. Maybe he will improve this season.
2020 Bottom Line
As of today, however, Coleman is the No. 2 behind Raheem Mostert, who closed the door during Week 13 against the Ravens. After that game, Coleman never had more than five carries from Weeks 14-17. Then, when Mostert suffered a calf injury against the Vikings in the playoffs, Coleman looked like the player the Niners were hoping for when they signed him in free agency. Remember: Jerick McKinnon, who hopes to return from a knee injury this season, and Jeff Wilson both remain on the roster although Matt Breida was traded to the Dolphins.