Erik Coleman helped bridge an important gap in Falcons history. For that, we are forever grateful. Take a trip with me down memory lane, Falcoholics, as we fondly recall Coleman’s three years in Atlanta. The year is 2008. The Falcons just endured a horrid 4-12 campaign. (A 29 year old Joey Harrington started 10 games that season.) The Motorola RAZR is America’s most popular cell phone, 8 megapixels was something to shoot for, and vampires ruled the world.
Meanwhile, the Falcons were eager to move on from Chris Crocker and the Jets weren’t interested in re-signing Coleman. It was a match made in heaven! The Falcons signed him to a four year, $9.5 million deal. At the time, it seemed like a bargain. And to his credit, Coleman looked to be a solid signing in 2008. He defended 6 passes, forced two fumbles and racked up 3 interceptions that season. He was solid against the run and mentored William Moore, who the Falcons drafted in 2009. But ultimately the emergence of Moore made Coleman an expendable resource. (In Coleman’s defense, how does one compete with a guy who is admittedly always ready?)
The Falcons cut Coleman in February 2011, eating $3 million. Coleman last played for the Lions in 2012 and officially retired in 2013. Coleman has been honest about the hardship he encountered trying to transition out of professional football. He’s also been pretty outspoken about the dangers of CTE and participates in a number of philanthropies. These days he works in media, calling college football games and co-hosting a radio show on Sirius XM.
In short, Coleman had a brief but memorable run with the Falcons. He began his time in Atlanta as a starter before transitioning into a backup/mentor role. Coleman’s post-NFL career is something for current players to aspire to, and for that he deserves a lot of credit.
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