Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Being deaf didn't crush former Vikings RB Coleman's Super Bowl dreams

Posted by: Mark Craig under Super Bowl Updated: January 29, 2014 - 3:41 PM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Man, is it me or is it impossible to take two steps around the Big Apple without tripping over a former Viking getting ready to play or coach in Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII.

We've brought you multiple posts and stories on Darrell Bevell, Jack Del Rio, Percy Harvin and Randy Moss' "brah-mance" and Heath Farwell, whom one of us called Keith Harwell back when he was an undrafted rookie in Mankato. Jim Souhan chipped on the purple connections and brought you this blog post on Tarvaris Jackson.

Now we'll bring you another guy who spent the 2012 training camp with the Vikings. His name is Derrick Coleman, who was a running back when he came to the Vikings as an undrafted rookie out of UCLA in 2012. He was cut in training camp because, as you may have noticed, the Vikings were in pretty good shape at RB.

Coleman is now a fullback with the Seahawks. He played in 12 games, starting three of them. He's caught eight passes for 62 yards and run the ball twice for three yards.

Coleman, as you may remember, also is deaf. He's also become an international story because of it.

“I just became aware of that a couple of days ago," Coleman said. "My agent’s always telling me how many views I have on YouTube. It’s funny, because I was looking on Twitter and I saw a lady from Australia and I said, ‘How did it get way over there?’ Like I said, I’m really just targeting one group of kids and the fact that it went all over is a blessing. I’m doing something right. I’m helping.”

Asked if getting cut from the Vikings was a motivating factor in his life, Coleman said, "Oh, absolutely. You only get so many opportunities in this world and however many you have, you can’t just squander it. You have to manage every chance you have. I wasn’t just sitting at home just hanging out playing video games. I was still, either early in the morning or late at night working out, because you never know when that next opportunity will come. If it never came, I knew I was prepared regardless.”

As for his lip-reading skills, they seem amazing, but Coleman says they aren't perfect.

“I’m not saying I’m perfect at it," he said. "If we’re talking right now I’m good at reading. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. But when it comes to some guy way over there, that may get kind of hard to do. I remember I had an interview one time and they had a clip of Russell (Wilson) and Doug Baldwin saying things and they wanted to see how good I was. I think I got like 85, 90 percent at it. It was pretty good, but you’re not always perfect at it.”

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