Seattle’s Derrick Coleman worth rooting for

I like the fact Pete Carroll is bigging up Derrick Coleman. He deserves it.

While the likes of Alvin Bailey and Benson Mayowa have been getting a lot of publicity following the San Diego game, Coleman was no less impressive.

He blocked well, he caught the ball, scored a touchdown and was electric on special teams.

Essentially, he’s Mike Robinson-lite.

It might be a luxury to keep him on the roster under the banner of a backup full back. The special teams aspect is a difference maker, however, as Carroll testified in his press conference today. If it comes down to keeping Coleman or sixth round rookie Spencer Ware, I’d be tempted to lean towards Coleman.

Neither player is going to feature as a running back unless something seriously goes wrong. Taking snaps away from Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael and Robert Turbin is going to be nearly impossible, even if the bell-cow Lynch gets injured.

So then it comes down to special teams, and Coleman has that edge.

Michael Robinson is a crucial player to the Seahawks — he’s experienced, he catches the ball out of the backfield and demands attention on a roll out. At the end of last year we saw how dangerous he can be and when teams covered him (eg Atlanta) it created an easy running lane for Russell Wilson.

He’s also a dynamic special teams player. Over the last few days I’ve pretty much gone over every 2012 game using the condensed facility on NFL Gamepass. Time and time again Robinson popped up to make a special teams tackle.

Coleman has that potential. His special teams value could be vital too. As well as Mayowa has played, for example, the Seahawks are loaded with pass rushers. And he isn’t likely to be involved in special teams.

Again, I’m not sure if his usefulness is sufficient to take up a roster spot. I think there’s room for one of Coleman or Ware on the roster, possibly, and they might feel the potential of the former LSU runner is worth sticking with.

Robinson is a free agent next year and for me, they should do everything to keep him beyond that. But it’d be nice to have Coleman around as insurance. Would he make the practise squad? Possibly. But teams are watching the Seahawks and they know they’re a good place to look when those cuts are made at the end of the month.

Pre-season for the fans is about finding guys to root for. And I’m rooting for Coleman to keep making plays and find his way on to the final roster.


  1. Miles

    Did the Seahawks add players like Coleman and Spencer Ware to see if they could edge Mike Rob and get his contract off the books? If Coleman or Ware make this team, it might be at the expense of Mike Robinson, who is making a solid amount of money this year. With so many roster decisions to make, I just can’t see the Seahawks keeping Ware nor Coleman. I really like Coleman, and was especially impressed with Coleman’s performance Thursday (maybe we should call him Football Coleman :P).

    But I don’t think Coleman will have better value than Mike Rob, because Mike Rob is a very smart player, a former quarterback, and he was a huge contributor to this team last year, not to mention a leader I just don’t see Coleman playing better than him in a 16-game season. Now, if the Seahawks cut Coleman, they probably don’t get him back, not even as a practice squad player. But that is the burden of having an ultra-stacked roster.

    As far as rookies beating out higher-paid veterans, I see Kyle Nelson perhaps unseating Clint Gresham for long-snapping duties. Nelson has looked good snapping the ball and would cost less than half the salary Gresham would require under his RFA tendered contract. Although, Nelson did bumble a ball inside the five-yard line Thursday, costing the Seahawks a touchback on Jon Ryan’s punt.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the Seahawks see Robinson as a major influence in the locker room and I doubt they have any motivation to move him on.

      • Miles

        What if it came down to this: Keep Derrick Coleman for his backup fullback/special teams abilities or Stephen Williams/Chris Harper for what they bring to the wide receiver position? Obviously there are many tough decisions to be made on this team, but Stephen Williams seems like a guy I would hate to lose at this point; he seems to bring a style of play no one else brings. What if he’s the answer for Seattle as a tall, lanky, fast receiver who can do what Sidney Rice does?

        Not to mention guys like Benson Mayowa who are on the bubble. What if Mayowa can get you six sacks or more this season. Do you think Coleman is worth not knowing the answer to that? I’m not saying he isn’t, but I’m just wondering if he’s worth a roster spot on THIS team, and it’s a tough question.

        • Rob Staton

          The problem Mayowa has is how does he get on the field? With Clemons coming back, Avril, Irvin (after his suspension), Bennett and now Schofield… plus all the tackles, it’s hard to fit Mayowa into the team. Would he even get enough snaps to get six sacks, unless there’s a series of unfortunate injuries? For Mayowa to make the team you’re probably going to have to cut Schofield and I can’t see them doing that unless he just absolutely blows up the next three pre-season games.

          Williams and Harper both look pretty safe to me, at least while Harvin is on the PUP.

          I think Coleman ends up competing with the other guys whose main focus is special teams. Whether he makes it or not remains to be seen, but I think they’re going to probably carry a 4th running back outside of the obvious three. And that gives Coleman a shot.

          • Hawkspur

            I see Clemons as being fairly short-term and Mayowa being an almost ready made replacement. Given the importance of Clemons’ role on this defense, I’d rather see a low-upside backup like Moffitt cut to make room for him, in order to get him up to speed for the next 12-24 months. At this stage I see way more value in the upside of Mayowa than J.Williams too. Obviously there is a very limited sample size thus far, but I see Mayowa’s upside as being very attractive to this team. It will be interesting to see what the FO thinks.

            As for Coleman, he stuck out like a sore thumb on Thursday,both on special team and offense. I hope he keeps it up and forces the issue. Maybe if he beats out Ware he can take over his rightful number 44 as well.

            • Rob Staton

              I think we need to put on the brakes with Mayowa a little. He had one fairly productive half against San Diego’s backups… and San Diego’s starting O-line will be among the leagues worst next year. Talk of him replacing Clemons long term is probably a little premature.

              • Michael (CLT)

                Nick Reed!!!

          • Miles

            Is there something to be said for the injury problems we’ve seen at the pass rush position? Presumably, the nicks and bumps to Avril and Irvin aren’t serious, but they are concerning. We also aren’t totally sure Clemons won’t be on PUP. Michael Bennett shouldn’t be a concern but his shoulder is a ticking timebomb. Having Mayowa as the speedy insurance option would make me feel a lot better about the longevity of the passing game. I feel as though the pass rush can withstand injury on this team, but having Mayowa there would solidify it.

            I think you could have said the same about Greg Scruggs last year, but he got on the field enough to make an impact. In fact, he made the most of it, racking up two sacks. That’s respectable, isn’t it? But since Mayowa is a pure pass rusher, I think he could get more with the same amount of action or less.

  2. A. Simmons

    I’m glad you gave some props to MikeRob. I heard some people wanting to cut the guy. I don’t see any reason for it. This guy brings a ton to the team and still brings it physically. His chemistry with Marshawn and his leadership in the locker room add to his value even if some don’t think it is important. As a fan I enjoy the The Real Rob Report as well. I feel everything MikeRob brings to the team and fans is well worth his salary. I’m fairly certain Carroll feels the same way.

    • Miles

      ^^ Definitely. When Mack Strong retired I never thought the Seahawks would haven early as effective a fullback again. I don’t know that Mike Rob is as good as Mack Strong, but I think it’s fair to say he compares.

  3. Cameron

    Hey Rob, roster question for you. What do you think is more likely: The Hawks keep 5 RB’s, 6 WR’s, or both? Thanks.

    • Rob Staton

      I could see both if you include FB’s with the RB’s. I think 6 WR’s is a shoe in… Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Williams, Kearse, Harper. With Harvin on the PUP. At RB you’re looking at Lynch, Turbin, Michael and Robinson as locks. I think one of Coleman or Ware makes it too.

      • Miles

        Harper has done very little to impress anybody… preseason or camp. I could see him cut and maybe put on the practice squad.

        • Rob Staton

          I doubt they could get him on the PS, he’d get picked up. And it’s a bit early to be writing people off after one pre-season game, particularly at receiver – one of the toughest positions to learn.

          • Miles

            I appreciate that Receiver is a tough position, but Harper has caught very little attention from anyone in training camp. He hasn’t had the explosiveness coming off the line that you’d like, his route-running seems sub-par, and he didn’t really receive any praise until Pete Carroll gave him a vote of confidence last week.

            He seems to have the physical attributes Carroll likes; above-average size, strong hands, ability to box out receivers, but he just hasn’t shown anything. He could get picked up, but Jaye Howard didn’t get picked up last year and was PS’d. He was also a fourth round pick.

            • Rob Staton

              Jaye Howard actually was on the active roster all year in fairness, but was rarely activated for game day. I suspect Harper will similarly get a red shirt year but like Howard they can’t risk cutting him this early because he wouldn’t make the PS.

              • Miles

                Oh you’re right. You do your homework Rob, I don’t. 😛

                But I would consider cutting him if it comes down to cutting him or some other player who can contribute on special teams or an extra pass-rusher. I get that he’s a project, but this is a question that’s going to hang over the Seahawks this preseason and in future off seasons: What’s more important? Keeping a player on the roster for what he can do in two/three years, or keeping a guy on the roster for what he can do right now?

                I would say Mayowa could do something for you right now, as far as making quarterbacks move their feet and creating turnovers. Coleman can contribute on special teams and occasionally spell M-Rob. Are we going to keep a guy like Harper who is literally going to contribute NOTHING this year? I would hope that he could get 15-20 catches this year, but who knows if that’s going to happen.

                • Rob Staton

                  The thing is with receivers, they often need time. Harper is a guy who looks to me like he needs a year as many do. I’d hate to be watching him light it up for someone else in 12 months because we gave up on him after one training camp and pre-season. They drafted him and will almost certainly back that judgement this year.

                  • Miles

                    Good point, bruh. I would hate to see that too. I know it might be too early for me to be thinking things like this, but when I see Chris Harper I can’t help but think of Kris Durham. We drafted him fairly early and he was a wasted pick. At times, I feel if Pete Carroll and John Schneider have any weaknesses scouting, it’s scouting wide receivers. Granted, there is a learning curve to playing wide receiver in the NFL, because it’s not solely based on athletic ability as some other positions favor. Now, Golden Tate panned out, but he was a high pick and needed to pan out or he would be a huge bust. Unlike other positions, the Seahawks have been unable to find diamonds in the rough at receiver, as much as they’ve tried.

                    It remains to be seen whether Kris Durham will blossom for the Lions, but if he does, it will reflect on what Chris Harper could become, and so maybe we shouldn’t be quick to give up on him. But if Durham continues to be a flop this year, and is out of the NFL by 2014, does that discourage us from trying to develop Harper? I don’t know, and I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision. But I’m always weary when the Seahawks draft a no-name receiver later in the draft and not a linebacker or a cornerback, who they seem much more apt to develop.

          • SeaMeat

            Agreed. The transition to WR in the nfl typically takes a couple years to see if they have the route running ability, blocking, hands, etc. the elite WR’s come in and usually transition ok, but they are few. Harper will be given two years like Durham. If he doesn’t fit by then, he will be cut.

  4. Snoop Dogg

    I’m hoping we don’t cut Mike Rob. He’s a pro bowl player, and he brings leadership to the locker room that few other players have. Mostly though, I’d hate to say bye to the Real Rob Report. However, I don’t see why people are worried about paying him the 2 mil or so. I don’t think it would impact the cap much this season, and I’m happy to see Paul Allen spend his money for my enjoyment. As long as I’m not writing the check, I’m fine keeping him!

    • Rob Staton

      I think there’s next to no chance they cut Mike Rob. Vital player. In fact I think he’ll be part of this team for a long time, playing and then on the staff.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        I concur. The difference in heft, violence and ability seems to be a pretty wide gulf between Robinson and Ware/Coleman. Robinson is a special teams captain for a reason. And the synergy between Robinson and Lynch is not something that can be recreated during the season. It would take a year or more to get back to that point. Our running attack is too vital of a component for overall team success to sacrifice that if all other facets are equal. Which I don’t think they are. I really don’t see the race as being even close here.

        As for cap savings, I can probably list 5 or 6 other position battles with more significant cap savings where the competition is much closer. I’d go so far as to say I’d be shocked if Robinson doesn’t make the squad.

        • Miles

          Attyla, where would you say the competition is close when it comes to cap savings? Would you say that Breno Giacomini is one of those guys? I’m just trying to figure out where these kinds of decisions are going to be made on the roster.

          It seems the Seahawks are trying to find someone at long-snapper who can do the same things Clint Gresham does, because Gresham is going to make about $1.3 million this year. They have signed three different long-snappers this off-season, but Kyle Nelson is the only one who’s stuck on the roster for any length of time. And he’s still there. If Nelson proved to long-snap as well as Gresham, he would make only $405,000, I believe, and save the Seahawks $1 million on the cap. It’s probably not the most important cap-competition, but it is an example of how the Seahawks are preparing the roster.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            Off the top of my head:

            Clinton McDonald 1.3M
            Tony McDaniel 890k


            Jordan Hill 676k
            Jesse Williams 592k

            Giacomini 4.25M


            Bowie 551k

            McQuistan 2M


            Alvin Bailey 410k (minimum salary?)

            Heath Farwell 1.5M


            Bradford 543k

            Now I don’t see Bowie being close to Giacomini. But these others are pretty close. Bailey I related to McQuistan because he’s the backup LT to Okung, which Bailey is competing with him. There are plenty of guards on this roster to fill the backup OG role.

            These battles seem to be closer in terms of production than Robinson v. Coleman/Ware.

  5. John_s

    I’m rooting for Coleman especially after reading this article talking about his genetic hearing impairment. Looks like he’s a nice athlete as well. 4.5 forty at 230 lbs.

    • SeaMeat


  6. dtrain

    Coleman was fantastic on ST vs SD…played well at FB–but, did not show the vision or THUMP MRob historically has shown at FB. It’s a tough call…can Coleman or Ware become a thumper? MRob literally learned it on the job and became a much better FB in SEA than he was in SF. In spite of what everyone else is saying, I watched ’12 All-22 specifically to quantify MRob’s special teams contributions and I came away less than impressed. Does he have intangibles that are hard for us 12s to quantify? Probably. Will Coleman be a better ST player going forward? i think so. But can he THUMP as a FB like MRob? Can he knock Ray Lewis on his ass like MRob? My hope is MRob takes a pay cut and Coleman gets stashed on PS for a year. Truly, as much as we 12s love the Hawks roster, another NFL team will be hard pressed to add an unproven FB like Coleman to their 53 after working with their own FB for 4 months…just look how cheap Vonta Leach was…now Ware may be a different story as I think he is the perfect 3rd down back…both short yardage and passing game…Coleman may be a better all-around football player than Ware, but supply/demand may force our hand.

  7. Kip Earlywine

    Coleman > Ware in San Diego. But FWIW, Ware had a godly stop on a 2nd half kick return. He destroyed the runner and sent him flying backwards. Ware also looked pretty solid as a RB.

    I think if we are talking FB of the future though, that’s probably Coleman. Much more than his ST, I was impressed by his receiving ability and his overall well-rounded skillset. That crazy catch that Tjack needed at the sideline after running for his life? That was Coleman.

  8. Brandon

    I’m glad there seems to be an understanding of Mike Robinson’s value. The Hawks ran the football more than any other team in football last year, and will probably be one of the league leaders again this season. Having a fullback that is a plus in the blocking game is crucial. Coleman is not yet the quality run blocker Robinson. By this logic, it seems ridiculous to think Coleman’s spot on this roster comes at the expense of MRob.
    I also can’t see Ware getting cut in favor of Coleman. My reasoning for this fairly simple. I think we would be able to stash Coleman on the practice squad, while Ware would probably be picked up. Is Coleman out of PS options? It’s hard for me to see, in a league where many times do not or barely use their fullback, that someone would snatch Coleman up. While I understand Coleman may have better ST value than Ware at this point (kind of a small sample size, just one game), are our special teams so bereft of bodies we need to cut a 6th round pick with upside over the marginal gain on Special Teams?

  9. Michael (CLT)

    I always fall for the underdog. Nick Reed is the easy guy to fall in love with.

    So, I will love all three underdogs and root for them wherever they land.

    Nice job, Pete.

  10. SeaMeat

    My wife and I have rooted for Coleman after we read an article about his hearing loss while at UCLA. Our youngest, now 15 months old, was born with a hearing loss and wears hearing aids. I so hope he stays a hawk. We were excited when he was added to the team earlier this year.

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