Fullback Derrick Coleman, who spent the 2017 season with the Atlanta Falcons, is set to join Arizona Cardinals on a one-year deal according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Falcons are expected to make the 27-year-old their starting fullback.
Derrick Coleman entered the NFL in 2012 when Minnesota Vikings signed him as an undrafted free agent making him the first legally deaf offensive player in the history of the league. Coleman lost his hearing when he was three years old.
After being waived by the Vikings in August 2012, Derrick Coleman signed with the Seattle Seahawks four months later and was part of the team that won the Super Bowl XLVIII. In 2015, he was charged with a hit-and-run which got him a four games suspension for 2016. He ended up missing the entire 2016 season and was released by the Seahawks in 2017 offseason. Coleman then signed with the Falcons and played in all 16 games (seven as a starter) of the 2017 regular season.
In order to overcome his hearing problem, Coleman wears hearing aids and reads lips while using other methods to be a valuable contributor on the football field.
“So as soon as we break the huddle, and let’s say we have a protection going on, I’m looking, I’m looking, I’m looking, so by the time I’m in my stance, I already know where everybody is.” – Coleman explained in a 2017 interview with ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. “I already know what I’ve got to do. And I’m looking at the ball. When the ball is snapped, I’m able to go. And I adjust.“
“I’ve jumped a couple of times, all because I’ve been excited or because my mind has been going crazy. It’s never because of my hearing loss. When that ball moves, that’s when I move, plain and simple. If the ball doesn’t move, I don’t move.” – he added.