San Francisco 49: Shanahan explains the roles of Coleman and Matthews


Kyle Shanahan did not expect a veteran to be a simple player on the loose, especially a player who would fit in perfectly with his attack like former Atlanta Falcon Tevin Coleman.

"It was just the way the market was working," said the 49ers coach Tuesday at the owners meeting.

On March 13, Coleman signed a modest $ 8.5 million, two-year contract with San Francisco, after accumulating 1,076 yards of profit in 2018, while recording more than nine touchdowns in the past three seasons. He expects to play a leading role, as in Atlanta when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016.

"We were extremely lucky to be with Tevin," Shanahan said. "We did not go into that idea thinking that we had to have a fourth point back to plan this attack, we were going to add other places on the list that we had to address and Tevin, that made sense for our team. as it unfolded. "

The 49ers concocted the 13th NFL offensive last season while Jerick McKinnon was not the expected starter, who tore his ACL on Sept. 1 after signing a $ 30 million four-year deal. Former non-rookie Matt Breida was the best rider on the team and was among the league leaders in yards per port for most of the season.

Breida suffered ankle injuries and missed the last two games – his first missed action since high school.

The 49ers with Coleman in the mix could stage a running attack similar to the one Shanahan had with the Falcons when Coleman was working in tandem with Devonta Freeman heading to the Super Bowl after the 2016 campaign.

However, with Coleman, McKinnon, Breida and Raheem Mostert – a group weighing an average of 200 pounds – the 49ers still do not have a traditional back that excels in short distance situations. This is remarkable because the team finished last last in terms of efficiency in the red zone and scored the third-lowest touchdown (7).

Shanahan does not expect this to be a problem.

"What's a short distance power in return?" Is it just the biggest guy possible? Is this the Nigerian nightmare (Christian Okoye)? Is this the only way? It does not always have to be like that, "he said. "I think Frank Gore is an incredible player from a few meters and is he really a big guy? No, it's a normal back. So, I think our guys can be similar to that.

"We have smaller guys, but Jet McKinnon is bigger than people think. Tevin Coleman is bigger than people think. I do not consider them as little backs. I think they are normal size. They are not huge, but that's how the NFL files are built. "

Shanahan thinks Matthews has improved, but the numbers are down

The new receiver, Jordan Matthews, has seen a sharp drop in production in recent seasons. He has averaged 23 catches and 291 yards in the past two seasons after recording three consecutive 800-yard and 19-touch campaigns in his first three years.

The newcomer, who signed a contract worth $ 3 million on March 14, is the most accomplished receiver of the match sheet. Yet, despite a derisory production recently, Shanahan always saw a receiver who improved and was worth taking a chance.

"He played a lot. We wanted a veteran from our group to add competition, "Shanahan said. "We played with a lot of young guys. We lost Pierre (Boy). So it was a veteran we no longer have.

"He had some pressure in some places because of his choice of high draft, to be considered a No. 1, No. 2. He has a little rebound in this league. I think he has improved every year in this league that just studied, and I think his skills add something to our group. He is a bigger receiver who has good hands, a very intelligent receiver and he can run too. "

Matthews was a very promising prospect from Vanderbilt in the 2014 draft. He went on to the second round at the Philadelphia Eagles and appeared to be a building block after three productive seasons. He was traded to Buffalo in 2017 with a third round pick for cornerback Ronald Darby and has had injury problems since.

Shanahan believes that Matthews could be a key contributor in a receiver corps that already includes Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Kendrick Bourne.

"The numbers have to do with someone who calls a play for you, being open in zone, the quarterback hits you," Shanahan said. "In terms of course, catch the ball, get on the pitch, what you do after the catch, how you play. Over the years, I loved watching it and I think it has improved. "

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