View Full Version : The Deaf NFL Player You Probably Didn’t Know Exists

09-30-2013, 06:19 PM
An interesting tidbit that I learned from the comments as well is that the huddle originated from deaf schools so the opponents couldn't read the signals.

Get To Know The Deaf NFL Player You Probably Didn’t Know Exists
The Seahawks starting fullback Derrick Coleman isn’t letting his hearing slow him down.
posted on September 18, 2013 at 2:59pm EDT

The former UCLA tailback has been legally deaf since the age of 3 and can only hear sounds and tones without the hearing aids, but that has never slowed him down on the football field, where he relies primarily on lip reading and hand signals. According to the recruiting website Rivals.com Coleman was the fifth-ranked high school fullback in the class of 2008 and during his four years at UCLA he rushed for over 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns. Despite his success, he went undrafted in the spring of 2012.

After the 2012 draft, Coleman was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings, yet failed to make the final roster. The Seahawks scooped him up for their practice squad, and due to his great work during camp and the preseason, Coleman was named the team’s starting fullback.

As head coach Pete Carroll put it, “[Coleman] just came through in a beautiful way. He sent a big message about special teams. He’s had a great camp on special teams. He’s all over the place; he’s a core guy there. We know he can carry the ball, too, if we need him to. He catches the ball really well. And he’s learning the system as a fullback. He outlasted the competition in this one to go into the opener as the starter. That’s a big accomplishment for Derrick, and we’re really excited about him.”

Coleman, who wears a skullcap under his helmet to make sure his hearing aids don’t pop out, is exactly the type of player coaches love. He’s unassuming, never gives excuses, works hard on special teams, and shows up to team meetings “30 to 45 minutes early” in order to gain an edge. According to his teammates, Coleman’s hearing disability has never been an issue at all, thanks to an exceptional ability to read lips. In fact, Coleman considers his disability anything but a handicap. “When it gets loud I feel like I have the advantage,” he told The Seattle Times. “I can tune that out.”

Coleman has been overcoming odds his entire life, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise when he leapfrogged former Pro Bowler Michael Robinson on the depth chart in preseason and earned the starting position. Nevertheless, he’s not quite satisfied yet. “I’m happy that I get an opportunity to go out there and play and help this team do something,” he said to Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com. “But at the same time, I’ve just got to keep working hard because it doesn’t stop here.”


Atlanta Dan
09-30-2013, 07:03 PM
Nice story:thumbsup:

I think we just read about what will be a 10 minute segment for the Seattle-Denver Super Bowl pregame show

10-01-2013, 06:04 AM
Better title: The Deaf NFL Player You Probably Never Heard Of

10-02-2013, 10:33 PM
Better title: The Deaf NFL Player You Probably Never Heard Of