FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman didn't even get to finish last season after slipping in the shower at the team facility on Christmas Eve, a fall that resulted in a concussion.
The story made national headlines, and some folks found it hard to believe. But Coleman says it was no joke.
"I took an extra-long step and the next thing I know, I was just on the ground," Coleman said. "I never suffered a severe [concussion] like that. Freshman year of college, I had a concussion, but I only missed, like, three days."
Coleman missed the last two games of the 2015 season following the fall.
"It was pretty severe," he said.
The concussion, along with a Week 2 rib injury and preseason hamstring strain, made Coleman's rookie season that much more taxing. Remember, the former third-round draft pick out of Indiana entered last season as the starting running back ahead of Devonta Freeman, who also suffered a preseason hamstring injury. But then Coleman's rib injury and exit from the starting lineup paved the way for Freeman's Pro Bowl performance.
"I feel like everything happens for a reason, and I feel like God just told me, 'Come on, man,'" Coleman said. "You know what I'm saying? It's just going to get me hungrier for this season."
Coleman has impressed this offseason, showing off his trademark speed and a better feel for catching the ball out of the backfield. He fully understands that he needs to control the fumbling issues that weighed him down last season. He had three fumbles over a span of six games, including one at the end of a 46-yard run against the Vikings.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan talked about his expectations for Coleman going into this season.
"He can do a lot," Shanahan said. "I think the sky's the limit for Tevin. I feel very good about our backs. ... I think he's a hell of a runner, and I'm extremely excited about Tevin Coleman."
Last season, Coleman gained 392 yards on 87 carries with one touchdown in 12 games. He also caught two passes for 14 yards. The Falcons hope he will limit the turnovers and combine with Freeman for a potent backfield combination, providing Shanahan with the type of offensive balance he seeks in his system.