Coleman leads Eagles with three picks

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Safety Kurt Coleman, right, strips the ball out of Redskins wideout Fred Davis' hands to negate a big play. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

LANDOVER, Md. - Eagles safety Kurt Coleman made a good first impression in his second chance this season in the starting lineup.

Coleman intercepted three passes as the Eagles broke a four-game losing streak Sunday with a 20-13 victory over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

Coleman became the 10th player in team history with three interceptions in a game and the first since Joe Scarpati on Oct. 23, 1966 in a game at the New York Giants.

Coleman started the first three games this season, but was benched during the third, a 29-16 loss to the New York Giants due to shoddy tackling.

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He regained his starting spot against the Redskins and won't have to worry about playing time following the bye week.

"I am really excited about Kurt because he got demoted about missing a tackle, and that is tough," said Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. "But the thing he understands is that it is special to be a starter in the NFL, and he is enjoying it and taking advantage of the opportunity again."

Coleman said it was difficult going through the benching but pointed the finger clearly at himself.

"I am a competitor, and I know what I am capable of doing," Coleman said. "The first three games I wasn't getting it done, and that was apparent."

But instead of sulking, Coleman kept fighting to get his starting spot back.

"It was a humbling experience, and God taught me a lesson, and I just worked my butt off the last couple of weeks. And now that I got my opportunity, I want to make the best of it," Coleman said.

Beside the three interceptions, Coleman was credited with a team-high seven tackles and a team-high three passes defensed. Yet it is the interceptions that will be the center of conversastion with his teammates.

"Three picks. That is outrageous," said Eagles linebacker Moise Fokou. "He gave us a big lift."

Coleman's first interception came on the Redskins' opening drive when he picked off a deep pass intended for dangerous tight end Fred Davis at the Eagles 3-yard line. Davis was the Redskins biggest offensive threat with six receptions for 95 yards.

"The first one, they thought they had a mismatch with the linebacker with Fred Davis," Coleman said. "I was cheating that way and kind of read the quarterback on the throw."

That cheating went on all game. Coleman's second interception came past the midway point of the third quarter on a second and 12 play from the Eagles 20-yard line. Davis was again the intended target, and Coleman intercepted at the 5-yard line and returned it 24 yards.

His third interception was the fourth and final pick against starting quarterback Rex Grossman and led to Grossman's exit from the game in favor of John Beck.

Coleman intercepted a deep ball intended for former Eagle Jabar Gaffney and returned it one yard to the Eagles 31 with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter

That was the second-year safety's fourth career interceptions, and all have come at FedEx Field. His first came last year against Donovan McNabb and the Redskins in the Eagles' 59-28 victory on Nov. 15.

He said the last time he had three picks in a game was as a junior in high school.

Coleman said he felt urgency since the Eagles started off at 1-4. He said a key was how well he was prepared to face the Redskins offense.

"I did put more time in the film room," he said. "This ship needed to be right. We needed this win, and I think everybody put in a little extra time."

 


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@pphillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.