- The Washington Times - Monday, December 25, 2006

No one except Darrell Green played more games for the Redskins than Monte Coleman.

A starter at left linebacker on the 1987 Super Bowl team, Coleman by 1991 was a specialist who played primarily in passing situations. It was his 12th season of what would be a 16-year career that spanned three decades. Yet his name has yet to be included in the “Ring of Fame” at FedEx Field.

Coleman in 1991 was the elder statesman of the defense, one of several veteran leaders entrusted by coach Joe Gibbs to provide motivation and guidance.

“It was a very unique team,” Coleman said. “We still had players around from the other Super Bowls. That’s one thing that Coach Gibbs emphasized. He wanted players with character, and that team was not lacking any character. We were a group of guys who enjoyed playing football together and didn’t want to let any of our teammates down. I think it showed on the field.”

The Redskins actually used three middle linebackers that season. Matt Millen played on first down and obvious running situations. Kurt Gouveia could play both the pass and the run. Coleman, a former college cornerback and safety, was the so-called “third down” linebacker. It was a defense with few stars but several role players. No one seemed to mind.

“It was able to work because we had a coaching staff that had a vision and we had players who were unselfish,” Coleman said. “I feel like I could have played full time for another team. But I was in a very good situation. Defensive coordinator [Richie] Petitbon and [linebackers coach] Larry Peccatiello gave us the ability to do certain things we ordinarily would not have been able to do.”

Coleman today is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. An ordained minister, he also is the team chaplain. It is yet another role he has gladly accepted.



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