The Atlanta Falcons announced they have signed fullbacks Derrick Coleman and Soma Vainuku. They were brought in to replace outgoing Pro Bowl fullback Patrick DiMarco, who signed with the Buffalo Bills this offseason.
Coleman, who played at UCLA, is most popularly known for his time spent with the Seattle Seahawks during their Super Bowl run. He played in 31 games for the Seahawks with 7 starts. He has two receiving touchdowns in his career and 35 rushing yards. He brings added value on special teams, where he excelled with the Seahawks.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn coached in Seattle while Coleman played there, so Quinn is certainly familiar with him. Coleman was also the first ever deaf person to play offense in the NFL. His story is one of courage and resiliency, although he did find himself out of the league last season due to legal trouble.
Vainuku was signed by the Houston Texans following the 2016 NFL Draft as an undrafted free agent. His fit on the Falcons also has a connection to the coaching staff. Vainuku played for new Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian at the University of Southern California. He recorded three rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown during his collegiate career. He also brings value on special teams, as he blocked three punts in his collegiate career.
The Falcons have given themselves two intriguing options in replacing DiMarco at fullback with these signings. Coleman is a more versatile and skilled option who could catch passes out of the backfield. Vainuku, at 250 pounds, is a downhill power blocker who could open holes for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
Josh Schultz is a staff writer for Pro Football Spot’s Atlanta Falcons Coverage. Follow Josh on twitter @draftblackboard and on his Facebook page: Josh Schultz, Pro Football Spot.