ATLANTA, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- We all knew that the days of the workhorse running back were numbered.
But some still looked at Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman in that light. After rumors swirled regarding the rise of second-year running back Tevin Coleman, some owners chose to avoid Freeman in their fantasy drafts. Now those rumors are gaining steam again.
On Friday, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that the team will "go with the guy who's hot" at running back in 2016. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for fantasy owners who drafted Freeman in the first round of their drafts. Those owners are probably hoping for similar, if not better, production than his breakout 2015 season of 1,634 yards from scrimmage and 14 scores.
Coleman, 23, had 392 rushing yards and a touchdown on 87 carries in 2015.
"Go with the guy who's hot; keep them both fresh," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure Friday. "I don't worry about that stuff too much. I love both those backs. There's really no difference to me which one is in the game, so it's a good problem to have. Whoever's rolling with it, you stick with him. When they need a break, the other guy comes in. You try to keep them both fresh to see how it pans out at the end of the game."
In July, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Falcons want to reduce Freeman's workload.
"It's about growth," Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC. "Free had a good year, but I'm expecting even a better year. Well, you're saying, how can it be better? It can be even better with less carries or less catches because I'd obviously like to get Tevin [Coleman] more involved and that also keeps Free fresher."
The Falcons host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.