It was just like old times for rookie safety Kurt Coleman.
That was what Colin Abels, Coleman's head coach from Northmont (Ohio) High School, told him in a text message congratulating him on his outstanding performance in Thursday night's preseason finale against the New York Jets.
Coleman returned not one, but two fumbles for touchdowns which is something that has only been done once in an NFL regular season game. And you would have to go all the way back to 1948 when Chicago's Dippy Evans pulled off the feat against the Washington Redskins. Coleman's touchdowns were the only ones scored by the Eagles in a 21-17 loss to conclude the preseason with a 2-2 record.
"I haven't had two touchdowns in a long time, so it was a very good feeling," said Coleman, who was a wide receiver in high school. "I've heard that it's only happened once before in NFL history. I'm just blessed and fortunate enough to be in a position to make those plays."
The seventh-round draft pick registered his first score on the last play of the first quarter. Jets running back Joe McKnight simply dropped the ball and it bounced on the ground and into the waiting hands of Coleman who raced 64 yards for the touchdown.
"The funny thing about it was we had just worked on scooping and scoring two days before," Coleman said.
Late in the second quarter, the Jets were backed up deep in their own territory. Fullback John Conner took the carry and lost the ball as he was falling to the ground. It appeared as if defensive end Eric Moncur tripped him. Coleman picked up the ball and dove over the goal line for an 8-yard touchdown return, which was the ruling on the field. The play was reviewed and Moncur never touched Conner. He simply dropped the ball and Coleman was able to benefit. Coleman's teammates were amazed by his performance.
"That's like amazing. I told him he's a preseason Pro Bowler," Quintin Demps said. "I'm trying to get a tackle for a loss and he gets two fumbles to the house."
Even though he was a seventh-round pick out of Ohio State, Coleman was an All-American, first-team All-Big Ten and team MVP last season. Coleman has made plays throughout the preseason on defense and special teams. Now, the question is whether it's enough to keep him on the final roster.
"I hope so. I really hope so. I feel like this team has been so nice to me and so appreciative," Coleman said. "I'm just going out there and working my hardest. Hopefully, they see enough to keep me on the 53."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:20 a.m., September 3