Tevin Coleman's moment arrives in 49ers' playoff destruction of Vikings

Tevin Coleman's moment arrives in 49ers' playoff destruction of Vikings

SANTA CLARA — Tevin Coleman has come a long way from fighting for his life while weighing three-and-a-half pounds.

Coleman was born several months early, and his parents feared for his life, but he persevered. It was a very challenging journey, but it has become rewarding, especially as Coleman, now 26, again has found success on his second NFL team.

“I was born three months early,” Coleman said. “I was premature. I had a 20 percent chance of living. So  I was just a fighter. I fought through it, and I’m here now, so I’m real blessed by God to be here, to be playing football, to be doing what I do.

“It was definitely hard for them growing up, but they’re real proud of me, they’re really happy that I’m in this position. They’re really happy that I’m here, they’re really happy that … yeah.”  

Coleman was a key part of the 49ers' dominating offense in their 27-10 divisional-round playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. The 49ers ran the ball 47 times against a Vikings defense that previously had been stout on the ground. Coleman carried the ball a season-high 22 times for 105 yards, matching a season-high yardage mark that he hit in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.

Coach Kyle Shanahan’s plan was to demoralize the Vikings defense by running it down their throats, and Coleman was ready for the challenge.

“Kyle said we were going to run the ball more than 30 times, so I definitely had that in my head,” Coleman said. “I had that mindset, and that’s what we did. I woke up with the mindset we got to go. Win or we go home. We practiced hard, and we went out there and we did our jobs.”

The success the 49ers had on the ground was not without challenges. Coleman and the other running backs just kept chipping away against the Vikings' defense, eventually racking up 186 rushing yards.

“They are a very good run defense, and they stay in their gaps and they play laterally a lot,” Coleman said. “We just had to stick with the run and keep hitting it, getting 4 yards, 5 yards, 7 [yards]. It was just one of those games where we had to keep running the ball to break those big runs.”

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Coleman noted that Shanahan’s plan worked, seeing exasperation build up on the other side of the line of scrimmage as the game progressed.

“They were really frustrated and things like that,” Coleman said. “That’s why Kyle wanted to stick to the run, because we was definitely doing good with that. You could just see it in their body language and them trying to get their calls in.”

Coleman has had limited carries in the second half of the season because of Raheem Mostert's emergence. That doesn’t bother the former Atlanta Falcons running back. He knows they each will get their chance, and ultimately, all that counts is the win.

“It really don’t matter,” Coleman said. “Anybody who gets in there is going to do their job, you know what I’m saying? The mentality of the team is, ‘Next man up.' "

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.

The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, he doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.

“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays," Armstead said. "Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”

Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.

"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on  "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.

“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”

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The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.

Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays.

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

Joe Staley long has been a model of consistency for the 49ers, spending the past 12 seasons protecting a myriad of 49ers quarterbacks as San Francisco's starting left tackle.

Staley's younger teammates held so much respect for him, as you could see from the many who spoke publicly in the wake of Staley's retirement back in April.

It appears even in retirement Staley continues to inspire his former teammates, as 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne shared an Instagram direct message from Staley on Sunday morning.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"Never lose sight of the goal. The ring," Staley wrote to Bourne. "That's all that matters in what we do. I never got it. You. Mr KB!! Go get it!! F-----g GET IT!! Make me proud bro. I love watching your hustle. All love."

Staley was responding to a video Bourne had posted of some of the hardware he's earned over his football career, including one of the game balls from the 49ers' blowout Week 8 win over the Carolina Panthers.

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Bourne and the 49ers came so close to helping Staley capture that elusive championship ring, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun San Francisco at Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers won the offseason in the eyes of some pundits around the league, and appear primed for another deep postseason run. It'll be up to Bourne, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the rest of the 49ers' talented roster to finish the job if they can get back to the Super Bowl.