NBC’s broadcasting crew pointed out that Matt Ryan turned around while calling an audible with fullback Derrick Coleman in the backfield.
Cris Collinsworth explained that Coleman is legally deaf, and that he needs to see Matt Ryan’s lips in order to read them to catch the audible.
“On a scale of 0-10, normal people range from about a seven, eight, or nine,” Coleman told CNN in 2015. “Without my hearing aids, I’m about a one or two.”
Coleman played his college football at UCLA, and was picked up by the Seahawks after going undrafted in 2012. He became the third deaf player in NFL history, and the first to play offense.
With his platform, Coleman created the No Excuse Foundation which helps kids that have disabilities.
The game has been an escape for him ever since he started playing in middle school.
“Football, basically, it gave me a sense of understanding of where I stand in this world,” Coleman told CNN. “And it made me understand the world a lot better. In between those white lines, that’s all that matters.”
He also talked about the verbal communication the game requires, and how he handles those. “The biggest challenge was making sure the quarterback knows that I’m there,” Coleman said. “I’m yelling at him letting him know I’m in. That means you take an extra quick peek at me, that’s all.”
That’s what we saw on Saturday evening with Coleman, who has been a part of the Falcons’ strong running game.