Coleman next Eagle who must rise up

Posted Dec. 25, 2010 @ 5:35 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Just as Jamar Chaney was asked to fill a big pinch-hitting role when MLB Stewart Bradley went down with an elbow injury, now Kurt Coleman must step up with Nate Allen out for the season. Surely, when the Eagles spent seventh-round picks on Chaney and Coleman in April, they realistically hoped that the two rookies would make the roster but had no designs on having them in key starting roles with a playoff seeding on the line. Credit the Eagles, though, for working Coleman in slowly to the lineup prior to Allen's injury, giving him key reps in big situations as early as the first quarter of the season. Coleman might not have Allen's range or coverage ability, but he has good instincts and striking ability and actually rivals Quintin Mikell as the team's best hitter in the secondary. Chaney and Coleman are two members of a quality rookie class of defenders who far have outperformed their first-year expectations. If the Eagles are to get to the Super Bowl, they'll have to rely heavily on this young group to carry them through.