Matt Ryan: Most NFL teams don’t have one running back like our two

Getty Images

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan says his team has two running backs who would be the best on most teams.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are, in the opinion of Ryan, among the elite running backs in the NFL, and among the few who can do everything asked of them, whether running, receiving or blocking.

“Devonta and Tevin are two of the best in the league. They complement each other so well. The unique thing about us with them is they’re both three-down backs,” Ryan said. “It’s rare that you have one guy on your roster like that. We have two.”

Ryan said the Falcons’ offense runs all the same plays regardless of whether Freeman or Coleman is on the field.

“There’s really no change in what we do no matter which guy is in there,” Ryan said.

That’s a good position to be in, but it raises a question about whether Freeman is really worth the new contract he and the Falcons are expected to discuss this offseason. The Falcons are currently getting a bargain with Freeman under contract for $690,000 in 2017 and Coleman under contract for $680,000 in 2017 and $792,000 in 2018. If Freeman and Coleman are effectively interchangeable, the Falcons may be better off letting Freeman play out his contract and test free agency a year from now, and giving Coleman a bigger workload in 2018 if Freeman is gone. In today’s NFL few running backs get big money, and a team that has two good running backs is unlikely to pay both of them.

54 responses to “Matt Ryan: Most NFL teams don’t have one running back like our two

  1. Let whiner Freeman see how good he would be on another team since he’s all about the money. Coleman is just as good in that offense. He just get’s the ball less. Freeman will shrink once he gets paid. You can bank on that. Anyone who would be whining about his salary (with a full year still to go) the week before the S Bowl is not the kind of guy you want on your team if you are going to be consistently good. Ask Belichick. His guys don’t whine. At least they don’t whine and continue to stay on the team. And they actually have accomplished something.

  2. If they’re interchangeable, that means they don’t do anything different from each other. Much easier to prepare for and defend against.

    Both teams can score points in bunches.

    The offenses are nearly equal. The difference will be the defense.

    Atlanta can’t stop other teams from scoring. They can’t stop the run. They can’t stop the pass. NE could easily put up 40+ in a blowout similar to Seattle v Denver.

  3. “Atlanta can’t stop other teams from scoring. They can’t stop the run. They can’t stop the pass. NE could easily put up 40+ in a blowout similar to Seattle v Denver.”

    Geez man did you just see the Falcons blank the great Aaron Rodgers until the game was over?

    So funny that you reference Seattle vs. Denver, when DAN QUINN’S defense shut down the most prolific offense of all time.

  4. “Atlanta can’t stop other teams from scoring.”

    Did you notice how they held Green Bay scoreless in the first half?

  5. To be honest, having watched basically every game of Freeman’s, he is the more valuable of the two backs, and would be a bigger loss if he left for FA. His decisive cutting is so perfect for this zbs, and his route running is superior to Coleman despite Tevin’s superior speed. Coleman is nice leverage in negotiating but I would expect the Falcons to at least offer something in the range of $4-5m/year. Any more and he’d probably just have to play out his rookie deal and walk.

  6. doctorrustbelt says:
    Feb 1, 2017 9:45 AM
    I hope Mohamed Sanu is the MVP of the Super Bowl.
    ————————————-
    How often has a player on the losing team been given the MVP?

  7. “Devonta and Tevin are two of the best in the league.” = We have a really good offensive line.

  8. Well after reading this article I’m sure the Patriots will board their plane and head back home in total fear. LMAO

  9. Atlanta has a great offense. They need to be at their best to win this game though.

    If the Pats can force a couple mistakes early and the Pats get up, the question will be how will Atlanta’s young players respond? A lot of teams crack at that point and the game’s over.

    What I’ve seen over the years is Belichick prepares his players and coaches for the worst cases as well as the best ones. I’m not sure Quinn and Shanahan are doing that as well as the Pats coaches are.

    Look at Shanahan. He just took the most important set of documents he’s ever had in his life, the Super Bowl game plan, to media night where there were something like 1400 people milling around and where he would have absolutely zero chance to work on it. And of course some nitwit on the media picked up the wrong pack and created mayhem for Shanhan. Does anyone think he’s not distracted by the 49ers job?

  10. peyton42 says:
    Feb 1, 2017 10:15 AM
    “Atlanta can’t stop other teams from scoring. They can’t stop the run. They can’t stop the pass. NE could easily put up 40+ in a blowout similar to Seattle v Denver.”

    Geez man did you just see the Falcons blank the great Aaron Rodgers until the game was over?

    So funny that you reference Seattle vs. Denver, when DAN QUINN’S defense shut down the most prolific offense of all time.
    ===================

    I get your point, it’s the “same” defense, but don’t kid yourself. Atlanta doesn’t have the players that Seattle has. That Seattle defense 3 years ago was historic. Atlantas defense this year was bottom 10. I can’t stand the Seahawks, but I have to say it’s a little bit insulting to that Seattle team for you to compare the two

  11. Lol at the Pats fans that are feeling so offended because Matt Ryan complimented his running backs.

    If you guys are that sensitive, maybe you guys are less sure about this game than you are letting on.

  12. “Did you notice how they held Green Bay scoreless in the first half?” A practically unforced fumble on the 5 yard line and a missed 41 yard dome field goal?

    They stopped the Packer once. They will not get this lucky in the same situation on Sunday.

    17-10 at the half if the Packers had been mentally prepared

  13. People hung up on the Falcons defensive ranking….just aren’t seeing the full picture.

    This team starts 4 rookies on defense, and they really didn’t have the defense down for most of the season.

    They look like they know what they are doing now.

    But ya’ll keep on holdding on to that.

  14. If Florio wrote this article, it wouldn’t be about how Atlanta should consider not paying Freeman. It would be about how Freeman should hold the Falcons hostage and demand a trade or to be paid a set percentage of the salary cap 🙂

  15. jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:01 AM
    I wonder what patriot fans will say when they lose and they’re 1 – 3 in superbowls post sypgate.

    —————-

    I would kill for my team to have appeared in 4 Superbowls since Spygate, and 7 in the past 15 years. They’re the greatest team of the past 15 years, and there’s not a close second.

  16. najacoo22 says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:16 AM
    jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:01 AM
    I wonder what patriot fans will say when they lose and they’re 1 – 3 in superbowls post sypgate.

    —————-

    I would kill for my team to have appeared in 4 Superbowls since Spygate, and 7 in the past 15 years. They’re the greatest team of the past 15 years, and there’s not a close second.
    _____________
    I’m sorry your a Browns are having a rough time. It would be impressive for the patriots if they have not been cheating but the reality is they have been busted……twice. I’m sure they have did a lot more than we know about as well. You may be ok with a team cheating but it’s kind of sad knowing they have been cheating and have only been to so many super bowls.

  17. “They stopped the Packer once. They will not get this lucky in the same situation on Sunday.

    17-10 at the half if the Packers had been mentally prepared”

    Just stop dude.

    Yes, the Falcons forced a fumble with the Packers driving. Guess what, that is part of being a good defense, forcing turnovers.

    But, after the fumble, here were the next 4 Packers possessions.

    3 Plays – 0 yards – punt
    5 plays – 3 yards – INT
    1 play – 0 yards – haltime
    3 plays – 0 yards – punt

    Now the score is 31-0 and it is garbage time.

    You can have your own opinion, but you don’t get your own facts.

    So stop with this “Falcons stopped the Pack once” garbage.

  18. I like playing two RBs. Both these guys are awesome. I think it helps that they both get a lot of rest during the game and it definitely leads to a competitive situation. Good RBs should get paid because their careers are usually shorter.

  19. Most of these responders are missing the point. Neither one of these guys are Gale Sayers or Earl Cambpell running the football. They are good. Freeman is slow but has great vision and feet and Coleman is just plain fast.

    What makes these guys unique, and what Matt Ryan referenced when he said they are both three down backs, is they are both great at running pass routes and catching the ball. No LB can cover Coleman, he will abuse them all day.

  20. jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:01 AM
    I wonder what patriot fans will say when they lose and they’re 1 – 3 in superbowls post sypgate.

    That we’re happy we’re not Dolphin fans. Any other questions?

  21. I wouldn’t be basing my estimation of a team’s defense on a game where the other team was so depleted on the offensive line that they had to stick a defensive tackle in there just to finish the game.

  22. I wonder what patriot fans will say when they lose and they’re 1 – 3 in superbowls post sypgate.
    ———-
    They would say that it wouldn’t make sense that “spying” would only help post season. What would explain their regular season record which is at least as good as it was before.

    They also didn’t play Atlanta in the regular season so how would they have spied on them?

  23. jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:01 AM

    I wonder what patriot fans will say when they lose and they’re 1 – 3 in superbowls post sypgate.
    ———————-

    They’ll probably point out that it is better than having to desperately cling to a Super Bowl victory that happened 45 years ago.

    Regardless of what happens this time, the odds are that the Patriots will be back in it next year.

  24. “I wouldn’t be basing my estimation of a team’s defense on a game where the other team was so depleted on the offensive line that they had to stick a defensive tackle in there just to finish the game.”

    At the start of the game, they were the same team that beat the Cowboys, + Jordy Nelson, who missed the Cowboys game.

    It’s true though that when a team is getting obliterated that badly all of a sudden guys are too hurt to continue sometimes. Mysterious.

  25. The Cowboys have one running back that’s BETTER than your two and if they have even a shred of defense they’d be preparing to play on Sunday.

  26. jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:37 AM

    I’m sorry your a Browns are having a rough time. It would be impressive for the patriots if they have not been cheating but the reality is they have been busted……twice. I’m sure they have did a lot more than we know about as well. You may be ok with a team cheating but it’s kind of sad knowing they have been cheating and have only been to so many super bowls.
    ———————-

    Oh, Don. How exactly were they cheating with Spygate? Be specific.

  27. I am terrified of Coleman and his big play pass catching abilities out of the backfield. Hope the Pats don’t lose track of him on Sunday which is easy to do because of Atlanta’s many weapons. Going to be a great game

  28. jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:01 AM
    I wonder what patriot fans will say when they lose and they’re 1 – 3 in superbowls post sypgate.

    ============

    Uh,” that’s a lot of Super Bowls, aren’t we lucky”
    ? or maybe “hey, we could be the Browns (and not all that long ago, the Pats were )? or “at least the Pats now have the NFL record for Super Bowls played”? It’s really hard to nail it down to just one thing they would say. But to make it super negative would negate what an awesome run it’s been.

  29. jchipwood says:
    Feb 1, 2017 11:37 AM

    I’m sorry your a Browns are having a rough time. It would be impressive for the patriots if they have not been cheating but the reality is they have been busted……twice. I’m sure they have did a lot more than we know about as well. You may be ok with a team cheating but it’s kind of sad knowing they have been cheating and have only been to so many super bowls.

    ==============

    Yea being the franchise that’s been to the most Super Bowls is really sad…for you.

  30. peyton42 says:
    Feb 1, 2017 9:42 AM
    Matt Ryan sent a not so subtle message to Freeman there…..don’t overplay your hand.
    ——
    Or else what? Some other team will offer him a better contract? Oh the horror.

  31. I truly believe this will be a great Super Bowl. I also know that as a Falcons fan all my life, the Patriots are one of the best franchises that has ever been. I don’t like them especially their coach, but I respect them for what they have done for a long time.

    But what I also believe is that all the past Super Bowls don’t matter now. Fine they have more experience. But this is 2017 and you are facing something you haven’t seen in a long time.

    We earned the right to be here. We beat everyone including Rodgers and Wilson. We didn’t back in to the Super Bowl. And we are for real.

  32. peyton42 says:
    Feb 1, 2017 10:15 AM
    “Atlanta can’t stop other teams from scoring. They can’t stop the run. They can’t stop the pass. NE could easily put up 40+ in a blowout similar to Seattle v Denver.”

    Geez man did you just see the Falcons blank the great Aaron Rodgers until the game was over?

    So funny that you reference Seattle vs. Denver, when DAN QUINN’S defense shut down the most prolific offense of all time.
    _________________
    Do you mean the Packers that were so decimated on the o-line had to start a defensive lineman at guard? Nelson playing with broken ribs? Please, you can’t be serious!

    Dan Quinn versus New England? Maybe you’ve heard of SB 50? I believe Brady torched that defense and they actually were an excellent unit! Now Atlanta has just about the worst D in the NFL (26th or 27th). If NE can put up 30+ against the best defenses, just what do you think will happen against a bad D?

  33. If Belichick wants to stop Atlanta’s running game, it’s going to be stopped, cold. Doesn’t matter who Ryan hands the ball to.

  34. “How often has a player on the losing team been given the MVP?”

    Only once: 1971 Chuck Howley, Dallas Cowboys.

    Also a little fun fact, Dallas is the only team to have 2 MVP’s in a Super Bowl: 1978 Harvey Martin and Randy White.

  35. Unfortunately for Freeman he has ruined his credibility and reputation. It was nothing but a selfish and greedy move to drop those comments, he can try all he wants to back them up and say his agent this or his agent that, it’s too late for that and I guarantee Quinn and TD/AB will never see him as the same humble, hungry kid from a poor community in Miami who blue collared his way to where he is.

  36. Every single SB the Pats have played in under BB, whether the Pats were dogs or heavy favorites, has been decided on the final possession.

    Yet many Pats fans are so confident this is going to be the easy one.

    Funny.

  37. The Patriots have the Sledgehammer in Blount, the third down back in White, and the Electric Shock in Lewis. I’m good with that…

  38. me thinks the constant disrespect of the pats will
    eventually backfire sunday night

    blount had 18 tds and 1100 yards rushing

    lewis is electric and ne has never lost in 16 games when
    he has at least suited up

    hmmm

  39. Love how Belichick is presented to be a defensive mastermind that no one can beat. The reality is, “any given Sunday”. The reality is, the ball is oblong shaped and can bounce in many different directions.

    This game can go in many different directions. I would not be surprised if Atlanta blew out the Pats…the same way I would not be surprised if NE blew out the Falcons. I cannot predict a close game, I can’t predict high scoring or low scoring.

    What I can predict is when the Falcons win, it will be an excuse of what the Pats didn’t do. When the Pats win, it will be that they were so dominant and good. Regardless of the outcome, the Falcons will not be creditted either way. It will be mostly about the Patriots one way or the other.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.