49ers’ backfield will feature Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman
At some point over the offseason, someone outside the organization decided the San Francisco 49ers’ backfield belonged to free-agent acquisition Tevin Coleman. Apparently, fellow running back Matt Breida didn’t get the memo.
Coleman started the game in Kansas City, but Breida entered just a few plays later, and the pair shared snaps for the remainder of the first half. Coleman’s final rushing stat line was nine rushing attempts for 19 yards — a 2.1 yards-per-carry average — and Breida tallied 44 yards on seven carries at a 6.3 yards-per-carry clip.
Through the air, Coleman caught his lone target for two yards, while Breida hauled in both of his targets for 31 yards, including the play of the game — a diving highlight-reel 20-yard touchdown reception from Garoppolo.
Both players are homerun hitters who can catch the ball out of the backfield and hit holes at full speed in the running game. But neither player has produced at the NFL level as a full-time workhorse back.
Breida had a breakout season in 2018, but saw the field for only 34 percent of the 49ers’ offensive snaps. Still, the second-year runner was able to compile 1,075 yards from scrimmage and five total scores:
Coleman has also produced on a limited pitch count during his career. Coleman didn’t start a single game for the Atlanta Falcons under Shanahan in 2016, but still scored 11 touchdowns in 13 games. 2018 was the lone season Coleman played half his team’s snaps, as the fourth-year RB equaled Breida’s yardage output and found the end zone nine times:
The 49ers’ roster also includes RB Raheem Mostert, who averaged 7.7 yards-per-carry last season, and an expensive running back in Jerick McKinnon, who is slated to return to practice in the coming days. Given the team’s slew of backs, which could also include Wilson, the 49ers’ backfield will be a committee in 2019, and Breida plans to play a major role.