Devin McCourty and Justin Coleman spent a considerable amount of time playing and getting to know each other last season. Coleman, an undrafted rookie free agent, found himself becoming the Patriots primary slot cornerback in just the third week of last season, and he played admirably.
Coleman spent time on the Vikings, Patriots and Seahawks practice squads and was cut by all of them, but then wound up back in New England. This time around, he's hoping to improve, and McCourty knows the talent with Coleman is there.
The Providence Journal:
“He’s very talented,” McCourty said. “Last year he was in a sense kind of thrown into the fire. He got here late in the preseason, then he went to Seattle... it’s just really good for him to be here [this spring], to go through it all at a slower tempo, not straight into game planning and stopping someone, but being able to learn the basics. He’s going to be one of our better players I think. Last year, he played a ton of football for us and he’ll do the same this year.”
Of course, with a litany of players at the cornerback spot, Coleman knows his place on the roster isn't a guarantee. It's a challenge that he sounds ready for, and he knows he'll have to continue to improve if he wants to stick around. Coleman also says he knows what to do in order to ensure he stays.
“Just need to get better. You know? It gives me every little bit of motivation that’s out there to help me get better,” Coleman said. “[Last year]’s definitely a motivator. Everything I do, I just try to work hard for the team and possibly put myself in a good position to help us and get better at whatever I’m doing.”
“I just feel blessed to have the opportunity to come here to get better with these guys every day and possibly help the team later,” said Coleman, who feels like he knows what to do to take the next step. “It’s just keep working hard and stay focused. I have to keep grinding every day to do what I can to get myself in the right position.”
Coleman finished last season with 21 combined tackles with five passes defended.
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