Happy New Year Rod Coleman!
by Kevin Monroe

With seven NFL seasons under his belt the NFL finally rewarded Rod Coleman with a trip to the Pro Bowl.  Rod has had the career that we all knew he would, after leaving East Carolina as the all-time sack leader with 39.  Fast seven years, add on 40 pounds and change positions from linebacker/defensive end to defensive tackle, and you can vision Rod’s transcendence in the NFL.  Rod was drafted in the 5th round in 1999 by the Oakland Raiders after a senior season where he was second in the nation in sacks.  Let’s take a look at some of his accolades at East Carolina:

  • Four-year letterman at East Carolina and established a school-record 39 career sacks.
  • Started 33 consecutive contests from his sophomore to senior seasons and played in every game as a true freshman.
  • First-team All-Conference USA selection and candidate for the 1998 Butkus Award in 1998.
  • Recorded 13 sacks to lead Conference USA defenders during as a senior. Also registered a school record four sacks vs. Wake Forest and added three sacks apiece vs. South Carolina and North Carolina State.
After spending 5 seasons in Oakland, Rod proved he was one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL and was rewarded with a multi-year contract worth more than 30 million dollars.  Rod has been to the Super Bowl, losing to Devonne Claybrooks and the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2003, but he has yet to go to a Pro Bowl.  This is in spite of the fact that no interior defensive lineman has more sacks than Rod over the last 4 years (34).  After his career high 11.5 sack performance in 2004, the world started to take notice, and Rod has become a household name ever since.  He received the 8th most votes by any defensive player in this year’s Pro Bowl getting more than 300,000 votes.  Here are some of his accolades in the NFL:

  • Strong, versatile lineman who collared four multi-sack games in 2004.
  • Recorded a productive 40.0 sacks in just 34 starts and 73 career games played.
  • Finished second among NFL interior linemen in sacks with 11.5 in 2004 after leading the NFL in sacks for interior lineman in 2002.
  • Totaled the most sacks in the NFL by interior lineman over the past four seasons with 34.
  • Solid against the run, tallying 103 tackles over the past two seasons, including 51 tackles in 2004 and a career-high 52 tackles in 2003.
Congratulations Rod, this year’s Pro Bowl bid was well deserved.  Even though the Falcons won’t go to the playoffs this year.

Kevin Monroe