Give 'Em Hell Harry: LSU's Coleman Right at Home with New Orleans Saints
Father Tony was preaching this morning about how Jesus always keeps his word even though it doesn't always seem like he does.
It turned out to be true for LSU linebacker Harry Coleman.
Coleman did a lot of praying that he would be happy with the team that drafted him. Then, following an impressive effort at the NFL Combine and LSU Pro Day, he went undrafted.
Needless to say, his faith was tested.
Yet, just as Fr. Tony preached, Jesus did indeed keep his word as the New Orleans Saints offered Coleman a free-agent contract right after after the conclusion of the draft.
Who knew Jesus followed the NFL Draft so closely? Go figure.
But, he does. Amen and Amen.
All in all, Coleman would prefer to stay close to home and, in the end, that's all that mattered to him.
I got my phone call, so it doesn't matter how I got here...
"It's been fun. I'm a Louisiana kid. I grew up a Saints fan so to play for the Saints, man, it means the world to me," Coleman told the Shreveport Times. The former West St. Mary High School star says the good news helped soothe the disappointment of not being selected.
"Yeah, I was a little disappointed because everyone wants to get their name called," Coleman told Gannett.
He is a hybrid who played both safety and linebacker at LSU. As a senior, he was LSU's MVP as a starting outside linebacker posting the kind of stats that Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves: 77 tackles, 9 tackles for losses, 4 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.
The Saints will give him a hard look at weak side linebacker and safety.
He's a speedy ballhawk with a reputaion as a fierce hitter.
Maybe he will be another free-agent surprise. A defensive version of Pierre Thomas.
"He'll hit you," LSU coach Les Miles told Gannett News last week in Shreveport. "You have to have athleticism to play in the NFL. I just believe in him. He'll be a lot of fun for some team (or the Saints)."
Typically a free agent's best chance to make an immediate impact in the NFL is on special teams and Coleman relishes the thought.
"Oh man, special teams. I could make a living playing special teams because I love to fly around, love to hit you. If they just want me to play special teams, I'll do that," Coleman told Gannett's Glenn Guilbeau.
In an era of Roethlisbergers and Ocho Cincos, Coleman's agent Tony Parse says the Saints will admire Coleman's high character and solid work ethic.
"He can play safety for them. He can play outside linebacker, nickel back, special teams. He's just an athlete. He's also a good character guy. There's just a lot he brings to the team," Parse told the Shreveport Times.
Coleman is a four-down player who can stay on the field because of his ability to cover receivers, running backs and tight ends. He knows he is an underdog who will have to prove his versatility to make the roster.
Have no doubt, Coleman will play with a chip on his shoulder in his audition for the defending Super Bowl champions. While he's happy to be home, that not getting drafted thing has left a bitter aftertaste in his mouth.
"I'm trying to make this roster and be a Saint. I just want to make a name for myself and make this roster. But yeah, there's a big ol' chip on my shoulder because I didn't get drafted—big ol' chip," Coleman told Gannett.
Just the kind of talk Gregg Williams loves to hear.
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