April 1, 2013

Another Ex-Cowboy Coleman Joins

For the second time in as many weeks, Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has pulled a player from his Dallas days over to New Orleans, this time DE Kenyon Coleman, who also played for Ryan in Cleveland.

Coleman, 33, visited with the Saints on Friday and reportedly signed a one-year contract on Monday.

A starter for the Cowboys in 2011 and 2012, the run-stuffer brings significant experience as a 3-4 defensive end to the Saints.  With only career 13.5 sacks in 10 seasons, Coleman is solely a stout run defender and should be expected to compete for a starting defensive end job in Rob Ryan's new 3-4 defense.  

After losing Coleman to a season-ending triceps injury in November 2012, the Cowboy rush defense dipped  markedly, from 105.2 to 150.9 yards/game.

At 6'5, 286, Coleman entered the league as a 5th round pick of the Raiders in 2002 out of UCLA. He joined Dallas in 2003 after not contributing to the Raiders as a rookie, and earned snaps as a backup through the next four seasons.

A veteran of the 3-4 defensive end position, Coleman joined the Jets in 2007 as a full time starter for two seasons at defensive end in their 3-4 alignment, then started for two seasons with the Browns at defensive end in their system as well.

While in Cleveland, Coleman played for then-Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, then followed Ryan from Cleveland back to Dallas in 2011.  Coleman started from 2011 through last season until a season-ending left triceps injury struck in November 2012.  

As the Saints make the transition to the 3-4, having a veteran around with significant starting experience on the front line will be valuable.  Coleman has now followed Ryan from one team to another for the second time in two years, and will play for Ryan on his third NFL team.  

OLB Victor Butler, signed by the Saints earlier this week, also followed Ryan from Dallas.

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