No one is sure what the Cardinals’ offense will look like under new coordinator Mike McCoy, but it apparently will include the use of a fullback occasionally.
The team has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with fullback Derrick Coleman, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Coleman’s signing is notable because the Cardinals didn’t use a traditional fullback under former coach Bruce Arians.
Coleman, regarded as a good special teams player, spent last season with the Falcons. He was with the Seahawks from 2012-15.
Coleman has played in 47 NFL games, including 30 over his past two seasons. He touched the ball from scrimmage only 25 times in his career, including 13 receptions that included two touchdowns.
He didn’t play in 2016, a year after he was charged with vehicular assault and hit-and-run in connection with a car crash the year before while with the Seahawks. Coleman said at the time he had smoked “spice,” a synthetic with effects similar to marijuana. Coleman eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
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The fifth-year fullback started his playing career with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and then joined the Atlanta Falcons in 2017.
Coleman is one of the better fullbacks in the NFL. In Arizona he’ll be penciled in as the starting fullback, joining fellow Bruin quarterback Josh Rosen in the Cardinals’ backfield.
Arizona did not utilize a traditional fullback under former head coach Bruce Arians over the past five seasons, but Schefter reports the 6-foot, 233-pound back is expected to be the starting fullback for first-year coach Steve Wilks.
The new head coach has emphasized that the Cardinals will lean more upon a running game led by starting running back David Johnson.
Coleman will join the 6-foot-2, 234-pound Elijhaa Penny and undrafted rookie fullback Austin Ramesh as the bulkier options in the backfield.
With the Seahawks, Coleman became the first legally deaf offensive player to play in NFL history.
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