HOUSTON - There might be one Falcons player keeping Patriots Coach Bill Belichick up at night. Running back Tevin Coleman has all kinds of talent, but last year, he couldn’t seem to hold on to the ball.
Last year, he had three fumbles and lost all three, this time just one fumble and the team didn’t lose it. What has he done to improve? Possibly cradle a football 24/7?
"I tried it, but you know my arms getting tired,” said Coleman.
Whatever he did, it worked. He hung onto the ball much more this year, which Falcons Coach Dan Quinn loves.
“We’re much clearer today to that vision than we ever have been in terms of taking care of the ball,” said Quinn.
Now it's about getting Coleman the ball in a million and one different ways.
“Yeah, it’s a lot,” said Coleman.
Look for the Falcons’ ‘Swiss Army Knife’ to be a big factor Sunday against the Patriots. He’s lined up in the backfield, sure, but he’s also out wide and even in the slot. And Coleman has produced over 500 rushing yards, more than 400 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns.
"I feel that's like why we do that. Just to take advantage of defenses, and what they're thinking and what they might be thinking," said Taylor Gabriel, Falcons wide receiver. "He's not just running the 5-yard stop route, he might be running a sluggo or a slant and go and comeback, something like that."
"Kevin's be rock solid for us this entire year. He around the ball, extremely physical, done a great job protecting the football for us all year," said Matt Ryan, Falcons quarterback.
"Be out wide and being the backfield, it's very fun to be able to do both of those things," said Coleman. "So many weapons and so many guys with talent, it's just fun to be out there with those."
And Falcons also have Devonta Freeman who can do all those things as well.
They will be stacked up against the Patriots running backs who can run hard, they can catch passes. This may just be a Super Bowl were running backs do a little bit of everything.
Super Bowl LI will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Full coverage can be found on FOX 5 Atlanta.