Eagles’ Coleman gets last laugh

CLEVELAND — The gashes are a souvenir from a game he’ll remember.

And, yes, Kurt Coleman remembers it.

“I didn’t have a concussion,” Coleman said. “My head was fine.”

In the first quarter of Sunday’s season opener in Cleveland, the Eagles safety got trucked — there’s no better way to say it — by Browns rookie Trent Richardson. It’ll be on every weekend highlight reel because Coleman’s helmet got knocked off.

Coleman got the last laugh. He had two interceptions, including one on the last real play of the game to seal 17-16 win for the Eagles.

He had two bloody souvenirs, too, both on his face. The collision with Richardson left noticeable gashes on the bridge of Coleman’s nose and on his upper lip. His helmet had been knocked loose before he got in position to meet Richardson, and it slipped down over his eyes so he never actually saw it coming.  

That’s no way to meet the 230-pound Richardson.

“I knew he was coming,” the 195-pound Coleman said. “My helmet cut me up when it came across my face.”
On the play, Coleman said he diagnosed run and came up towards the line of scrimmage to meet Richardson.

“The wide receiver came down and (crack-back blocked) me,” Coleman said. “When he hit me my chinstrap popped off and my helmet kind of fell in my face so I couldn’t see anything clearly.”

Per standard NFL procedure, Coleman left the game after losing his helmet and the Eagles medical staff had to make sure Coleman didn’t have a concussion.

“They asked me what day it is, what down it was,” Coleman said. “I was fine. It got a little bloody. It’s a man’s game and I love it. I thank God for being able to play this game.”

Coleman was named a captain for the game, and the former Ohio State star admitted he was “emotional” earlier this week when he took a moment to reflect on being a team captain for the season opener in a game played in his home state.

A seventh-round pick in 2010, Coleman had the second-best statistical game of his young career. He had a three-interception game last October vs. Washington.

“Being home was great. It was a great atmosphere,” Coleman said. “At the beginning of the game I ran down…to the Dawg Pound. I was getting some middle fingers and just smiling. I love Ohio.

“I’m glad to come (back) and make my mark.”

His first interception came early in the second quarter on a ball that was deflected and juggled in traffic before Coleman grabbed it. The clincher came on first down, just after the mostly dormant Eagles offense scored the go-ahead points with 1:18 to go. Brandon Weeden’s fourth interception of the day was a high, deep one — and Coleman was the only player in the area.

“You know the offense has to pass the ball in that situation,” Coleman said. “They have to get down the field fast. We knew they had one timeout left. The offense is going to the bread and butter there, and I knew what they were doing. I was just reading Weeden the whole time.

“I saw the ball come out high so I stayed back.”

Coleman’s big day started with Richardson’s big hit but ended on a high note, both for Coleman personally and for an Eagles defense that dominated.  

“The front four got after them,” Coleman said. “They were phenomenal all game long. In the back, we just did our jobs.

“We know what we’re capable of. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be great. We want to be the best defense in the league. Second place isn’t good enough.”