25% off at the official 49ers online store with code CLEAT25 →
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan explains why the ‘starter’ label isn’t important for the 49ers running backs

Jan 9, 2020 at 2:32 PM--

San Francisco 49ers running backs Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert each had 137 carries this season. Mostert's number of carries increased during the second half of the season, while Coleman's was reduced. Mostert had 228 more rushing yards than Coleman, yet it is the latter who is considered the starter.

Yes, Coleman is credited with 11 starts this season, including the final nine games of the year, while Mostert is credited with none. That's because Coleman, more often than not, is on the field for the first offensive snap of each game.

None of that matters to head coach Kyle Shanahan, who sees both running backs as valuable components of the NFL's No. 2 ranked rushing attack.

"Tevin beings a lot to our game," Shanahan told reporters on Thursday. "I know he hasn't had the same yards per carry as Raheem has done. I don't really care much who the starter is. All those guys play.

"Raheem's got the bulk of it (in the latter part of the season), so usually, in my opinion, the guy who gets the bulk of the carries is usually the guy we call the starter because we're treating him as the starter. If he's not out there the first play, I know no one else calls him the starter because that's what matters, I guess, to be called the starter.

"Tevin started out that way this year. I think he handles it very well. I think Raheem's very comfortable in his situation when he comes in, and doesn't have a problem with it."

Mostert leads the 49ers with 772 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns this season while averaging an impressive 5.6 yards per carry. He also has 14 receptions for 180 yards with two receiving scores.

Coleman has gained 544 yards on the ground with six rushing touchdowns, and has caught 21 passes for 180 yards and one trip to the end zone. His rushing total actually ranked third on the team behind Matt Breida, who has gained 623 rushing yards this season.

"There's a different element to all of them," Shanahan continued. "I do like having Tevin out there because the way he hits holes, he brings a little different physicality to the game. But I like what all our backs do."

The bottom line is the 49ers have a lot of talented running backs, and that could carry the team far in the playoffs. Starter? Backups? It doesn't matter to Shanahan.

Related News

More San Francisco 49ers News

Kyle Shanahan explains why the 49ers can't always rely on Trey Lance's ability to improvise

By David Bonilla
Oct 6

San Francisco 49ers fans are excited about the possibilities of Kyle Shanahan utilizing his young athletic quarterback, Trey Lance. The head coach believes his rookie star-in-the-making has the potential not only to hurt an opposing defense with his arm but also to frustrate an opponent with his legs. However, that's not something on which Shanahan and the 49ers want to rely. "Any time you can have a guy create an off-schedule play and buy more time, that's great," Shanahan explained. "When you can run around, and people are playing soft zones, I mean, those only can hold up so long. But that starts turning into a little bit of backyard ball. "When you get into some of those situations, sometimes it's late in games, you're down a lot, and you can

Why ESPN's Graziano believes we'll see Jimmy Garoppolo as the 49ers starter again

By David Bonilla
Oct 4

Even Jimmy Garoppolo expects to be sidelined for a bit. Today, an MRI will reveal the severity of his latest injury and how long the San Francisco 49ers quarterback will be out. "It feels like just the calf right now, but I'm hopeful it will just be a couple of weeks or something like that," Garoppolo told reporters after Sunday's 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Of course, a segment of the fanbase is welcoming a transition from Garoppolo to Trey Lance, feeling the rookie quarterback can spark the offense. However, don't assume that we have seen the last of Garoppolo on the field for the 49ers, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that Lance is

"It wasn't a fit": John Lynch explains why the 49ers didn't pursue Stephon Gilmore or Richard Sherman

By David Bonilla
Oct 8

Any time a big-name player becomes available, fans from across the league become very vocal, campaigning for their favorite team to "go get him!" That was the case this week when veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore became available. Initial reports stated that the New England Patriots intended to release him. Then the Carolina Panthers swooped in to grab the cornerback via a trade in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick. That, of course, infuriated other fanbases who questioned why their teams didn't give up something similar or better for a marquee player. What did head coach Kyle Shanahan have to say about the San Francisco 49ers' interest in

Why Rich Eisen says the 49ers would be 'crazy' to put Kyle Shanahan on the hot seat

By David Bonilla
Oct 14

If you spend a lot of time on social media, you probably noticed a very vocal segment of The Faithful calling for the San Francisco 49ers to fire head coach Kyle Shanahan. If not that, they believe Shanahan should at least be on the hot seat, and the outcome of this season to determine his fate. Shanahan was given a pass after last season's six-win campaign. His team was coming off a Super Bowl appearance, after all, and had just endured one of the most injury-plagued seasons in recent NFL history. Shanahan is also 31-38 as a head coach, including 2019's 13-3 season. If you throw that out the window, the coach has never guided a team to more than six wins. He could do so this season. However, after winning their first two games, the 49ers have stumbled through


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone