- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 16, 2011

As much maligned as the Philadelphia Eagles‘ defense has been this season, that’s not a new feeling for safety Kurt Coleman. Injuries pressed him into action as a rookie last year, and opponents often picked on him and picked him apart.

The Washington Redskins tried to do that Sunday, but Coleman turned the tables. Instead of being bullied and beaten, Coleman picked off three passes from Rex Grossman as part of a torturous day for the quarterback.

“It’s just one of those things as a defensive back — you hope the quarterback throws your direction,” Coleman said. “You never know if he’s going to.”

When Grossman did, Coleman became the first Eagles player since Joe Scarpati in October 1966 to record three interceptions in one game.

“He did a nice job,” Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said. “What was it, three picks? Yeah, he had a pretty good day.”

Most importantly for the Eagles, Coleman played a major role in keeping their season alive. Beating the Redskins was paramount to preventing a 1-5 start that would have eliminated any margin for error the rest of the year and likely squashed any playoff hopes.

So Coleman bounced back from what has not been a great start to the season that even included getting benched two weeks ago in a loss to the Giants. This was some measure of retribution.

“The first three games I wasn’t getting it done. That was apparent,” he admitted. “I just worked my butt off the last couple weeks and now that I got my opportunity I wanted to make the best of it.”

Grossman criticized himself on the interceptions, the last of which led to his being replaced by John Beck. But on the other sideline, Coleman deserved a lot of credit for making plays.

He entered this game with one career interception — and now has four, with the added benefit of getting the Eagles back on track.

“My goal is to have three interceptions every game. I want to continue to build on that. This team needs to continue to get better and better,” Coleman said. “We know we have a long road to go, but if we continue to play like we did today, things will start rolling our way.”

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