Some would call this a far cry from Peyton Manning.
Out of 106 non-practice squad players between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, five come from Rutgers. Two come from South Dakota. Just one comes from Tennessee. Funny enough, it’s the player that many fans weren’t big supporters of during his time at Tennessee. Justin Coleman, a Patriot, will be on the sidelines in two weeks as they battle for the 51st Super Bowl.
Coleman has been on the inactive sheet most weeks, as NFL rules allow 46 of the 53 rostered players to dress out. While something could change between now and February 5th, it’s likely he won’t dress out for the Super Bowl, either. Don’t doubt Tennessee’s ability to pump this up, though. They already put this Tweet out last night:
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) January 23, 2017
This is a great thing for Justin Coleman, though he only played in 10 of New England’s 16 regular season games. Last year’s Super Bowl, of course, featured legend Peyton Manning. This is a bit of a step in the other direction, but it may be the post-Peyton reality. Also, it’s worth noting that Matt Simms is on the practice squad for Atlanta, but this means he won’t even be on the sidelines. (Notice how Tennessee didn’t send that Tweet out.)
Perhaps it would have been more advantageous for Pittsburgh to defeat New England, as former Vols Ramon Foster and Daniel McCullers actively play for the Steelers. (Green Bay holds zero Tennessee players, other than a certain Alcoa alumnus.) Either way, this is a good moment for Coleman, who is a good person that took a lot of flak at Tennessee. Whether he gets to dress out or see the field is anyone’s guess, but it’s hard for me to turn this into a negative.