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Derrick Coleman's inspiring story gains traction via Duracell video


Tuesday's health and safety news from the world of football:

* Mashable and wrote about Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman and his inspiring advertisement for Duracell. Coleman is the NFL's only deaf player.

Coleman is essentially deaf. He's been that way since being diagnosed with a genetic and incurable hearing impairment as a toddler.

The disability could have stopped Coleman. Instead, he adapted, starring as a running back in high school and at UCLA before catching on as fullback with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. The team was confident enough in Coleman's abilities to cut starting fullback Michael Robinson during training camp.

Robinson was later brought back, but Coleman has retained a role on offense and special teams.

Coleman wears a hearing aide in each ear and relies heavily on lip-reading to communicate. When Around The League spoke to him on the telephone Thursday, we asked how his disability makes the game different for him.

"I don't move until the ball moves," said Coleman, the first deaf player in NFL history to play offense. "The biggest challenge is that I have to be extra focused on what the quarterback says. I have to read his lips and I can't be shy if I didn't hear it to grab him and say, 'Hey, roll the play again.' All those little things I don't even recognize it anymore. I just have to work a little harder."

* Defensive lineman Robert Geathers, despite being injured the entire season with a torn tricep, won the Cincinnati Bengals' Ed Block Courage Award, reported.

"I didn't know I could win it by not playing. If I'd been 'designated to return,' I think I could have been back for the last couple of games," Geathers said Monday, out since he collided with an opposing guard in the second game of the season. "I'll take it because it was voted by my teammates. To be picked by them, it means a lot.

"It means a lot when you look at the history of the guys that have won it on this team. Class-act guys who did it the right way, worked hard, bounced back from injuries. I'm proud to be a part of that. I know because I voted for them."

Geathers, a fourth-round draft pick in 2004 out of Georgia, easily fits into that ultimate pro category by doing it all for the Bengals in his 136 regular-season games, the third most by a defensive lineman in club history. Trailing only nose tackle Tim Krumrie (188) and end Eddie Edwards (170), Geathers is tied for 23rd on the Bengals all-time service list. He only needs five more games to pass Mr. Bengal himself, longtime radio analyst Dave Lapham.

* The Charlotte Observer wrote about area parents getting involved in awareness sessions to prevent spinal cord injuries.

* A columnist with the San Mateo Daily Journal wrote about the impact of getting teenagers to stay home after suffering a concussion.

* The Mississippi Press wrote about how the concussion bill in Mississippi could pass a Senate vote, possibly making the state the last one to pass a youth head injury bill.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor



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