Chase Coffman trying to find his way in the NFL

Chase Coffman when he was with the Bengals. (Associated Press)

Chase Coffman when he was with the Bengals. (Associated Press)


FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons tight end Chase Coffman’s once-promising professional career is off to an extremely slow start. His path from Missouri to the NFL has been littered with unfulfilled expectations, injuries and broken promises.

On Saturday, he worked out and signed with the Falcons, his third team since being selected in the third-round (98th overall) in the 2009 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Flowery Branch could be the last stop on the NFL train for Coffman, who was once considered a “can’t miss” prospect who won the John Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s best tight end. In 2008, he beat out Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham (Bengals) and Oklahoma State’s Brandon Pettigrew (Lions) for the Mackey award.

Despite his woes, Coffman remains confident that he can play in the NFL.

“I feel like I can,” Coffman said after Sunday’s practice. “I feel like I can be a huge asset to the Falcons. I’m still grateful for this opportunity.”

At Missouri from 2005 to 2008, Coffman was a pass-catching force. He finished with 247 career catches and 30 touchdown receptions, both school marks. He went 45 straight games with a reception.

But, to his detriment, the Missouri coaches rarely used him as a blocker, which is a key part of the position in the NFL.

At least with the Falcons, Coffman has some support. Safety William Moore and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon played with Coffman at Missouri.

The three of them were chatting early during practice, talking about some of their old professors.

“I’m glad to see Chase get another opportunity,” Moore said. “He’s a heck of an athlete. I still believe in him as far as him being the best tight end in the nation. He’s a great athlete. I’m excited about him coming here.”

Weatherspoon doesn’t think Coffman’s glory days are over.

“He caught a ton of balls for us,” Weatherspoon said. “I think he can catch some here, too. We have to get him in the system, get him more comfortable and have some fun out here. I think he’ll definitely be an asset.”

The Falcons signed Coffman after tight end Adam Nissley suffered a knee injury in the exhibition season opener against the Ravens and was waived injured.

Coffman caught 90 passes during his senior season at Missouri, but suffered a broken foot in the Alamo Bowl. He did not participate in the NFL scouting combine and teams were not able to evaluate him as a blocker.

The Bengals took a chance on Coffman, but he spent most of this time on the practice squad. He played in just six games with the Bengals and caught three passes for 30 yards.

“It was a rough little patch there, but I’m finally feeling real good,” Coffman said. “The hole healing process just went kind of slow. I wasn’t able to do the combine or workout. I didn’t do OTAs. The first time I started learning all of that stuff, all of that blocking technique and actually doing it, was in camp.”

He signed with Tampa Bay in March, but was waived by the Bucs on Monday, August 6 to make room for a long snapper.

“I went down there, learned everything and then whenever we signed Dallas Clark all of my reps went away,” Coffman said. “They said they just wanted to give me a chance to catch on somewhere else because Dallas was their guy.”

Coffman’s father Paul played 11 seasons in the NFL for Green Bay, Kansas City and Minnesota (1978-1988) and made three trips to the Pro Bowl.

The younger Coffman feels that he’s finally healthy and has the right mindset to improve as a blocker. His father has been a valuable resource.

“He tells me to just be aggressive,” Coffman said. “Be physical. Be violent. Just go all out and not to let effort be something that they can call you out on.”

The Falcons are force-feeding Coffman the playbook and plan to have him ready to play against the Bengals at 8 p.m. Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

“He’s had some injuries through his first couple of years, but he had a very good workout for us,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We were impressed with what he can do. He’s very athletic. We’re going to give him the opportunity to get into the mix with the rest of the tight ends.”

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38 comments Add your comment

Michael M.

August 12th, 2012
8:07 pm

Finally First !

Dirty Bird 3

August 12th, 2012
8:30 pm

Been a long time since I posted on this website but I am very giddy about this signing. I was upset when the Falcons overlooked him in the draft but was actually hoping the Falcons get him for his receiving skills. If Coffman does no more than replace Gonzo where he lines up as a receiver (Coffman’s claim to fame)he could be an immediate asset. I think Coffman could excel in this system and make Gonzo’s eventual departure less painful.

steven a smith

August 12th, 2012
8:56 pm

I hope and pray that he makes the team. They could really use someone with his athleticism.

Nique

August 12th, 2012
9:02 pm

Dirty Bird 3

I couldn’t agree more, Gonzo’s not a great blocker either. While chase couldn’t hold Gonzo’s jock strap at this point in his career & maybe even ever within his career, with this probably being Gonzo’s last year, if Chase can show something throughout the preseason & nail down the 3rd TE spot & gets the chance to be mentored by Gonzo all year, expect him to be a contributor by the playoffs this year & come in next year as a real option for us as our # 1 TE, that is if Palmer doesn’t develop more as a receiver. If Chase can catch on & make the squad, really working on blocking & technique this year as a reserve & over the off-season, this could be a huge pick up for virtually nothing! It’ll help him understand NFL defenses to have two buddies as emerging stars on the other side of the field too.

Nique

August 12th, 2012
9:06 pm

If he sticks, he could add a whole new package for our offense, the threat of a 2 TE system here in Atl & we’ve seen how dangerous that can be! Him & Gonzo, with Roddy & Julio on the outside, that could be really dangerous! I hope he’s really healthy this time around & comes in here ready to work & is willing to put his body on the line to learn how to block!

hiramsaint

August 12th, 2012
9:43 pm

te only thing he will find with the failclowns is the sofa and chips in jan. to watch the Saints march to the superbowl

LOL at the Aints

August 12th, 2012
10:28 pm

LOL at the Aints

August 12th, 2012
10:30 pm

The only way you guys are going to the Superbowel is buying a ticket,, LOL

thejama

August 12th, 2012
11:15 pm

I like the move. This is most likely Tony’s last season so we will need a pass catching TE next year. Between Gonzo and Pat Hill hopefully he can learn how to run and pass block. If so, we get him for a small cap figure and won’t need to use a draft pick for a TE next year after Tony retires. Good luck Chase!!

Bubba Gump Shrimp

August 12th, 2012
11:47 pm

I hope this works out. The kid was spectacular in college. Here’s hoping his injury days are behind him. I for one, am rooting for him.

Matt Ryan > Drew Bree$

Paddy

August 13th, 2012
1:38 am

This is a good signing!

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

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SeenThis B4

August 13th, 2012
7:58 am

@Paddy: Yeah, great signing,….he got cut in favor of a long snapper! But, yeah, good signing for you guys.

[...] Chase Coffman trying to find his way in the NFL FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons tight end Chase Coffman's once-promising professional career is off to an extremely slow start. His path from Missouri to the NFL has been littered with unfulfilled expectations, injuries and broken promises. On Saturday, he … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Chase Coffman trying to make his way in NFL [...]

Esquire

August 13th, 2012
11:08 am

Good luck kid!

PlanB

August 13th, 2012
11:26 am

I like this no cost move. Many players have gotton off to a bum start due to injuries lasting into 2 years and haven’t been given a chance after that. Like others posted, even if he isn’t a great blocker, he might be a good replacement for TG. No TE has the record of TG so we will probably never have one that good again but when you get a guy with Chase’s credentials at no cost, give it a try

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 13th, 2012
11:57 am

Dirty Bird 3 — Thanks for stopping by.

PlanB

August 13th, 2012
12:07 pm

Oops! …..Gotten

Chesty LaRue

August 13th, 2012
12:14 pm

I’m worried

showmekid

August 13th, 2012
12:48 pm

I watched Chase Coffman play in college. In my opinion, he had the best hands I had ever seen. I hope that the Falcons can make use of his abilities.

Ted M

August 13th, 2012
1:46 pm

Chase was featured on “Hard Knocks – Bengals” a few years ago. He seemed like a nice guy but hardly a can’t miss prospect.

Falconeer

August 13th, 2012
2:00 pm

At least 18 posts and not one anti Coffman. Amazing.

Boris Johnson

August 13th, 2012
2:04 pm

Glad to hear he finally got his “hole” healed.

BIGBEN42

August 13th, 2012
2:23 pm

Coffman has excellent hands.He can’t block a lick.Can’t take a chance on him getting your QB KILLED.That’s why he won’t catch on with a team.

Ted M

August 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

Blocking was his problem on “Hard Knocks” too.

Chub Rock

August 13th, 2012
3:59 pm

Unfortunately for Chase the things his father asked him to be(agressive, physical and violent) he just has not shown in any capacity in the NFL. If you can’t at least become a marginal blocker in the NFL you will never be anything but a backup at best. Chase Coffman has a father who played the position in the NFL and had his dad’s former teammate/friend as his TE coach in Cincy and still could not cut it. Rarely do guys miraculously turn it around after getting cut by 2 or 3 teams. If he wants to be anything more than a camp body now is the time to let them drop and man up. I like the Lousaka Poulite signing though.

Chub Rock

August 13th, 2012
3:59 pm

Enter your comments here

Chub Rock

August 13th, 2012
3:59 pm

Posts eaten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JoFo

August 13th, 2012
4:01 pm

You know, Thomas Crapper did not invent the flush toilet and likewise, the sAINTS did not acquire a silver platter adorned in NFC South Championships and SB wins but; I admit, I can see a strong resemblance in the crapper and the cheating AINTS! Lol!

Chub Rock

August 13th, 2012
4:01 pm

AJC just can’t get it together. Between the Saints trolls and post getting eaten you guys can have this BS. Out.

Kurtis

August 13th, 2012
4:24 pm

Hole healing process……lol

10 of 12

August 13th, 2012
5:55 pm

Headed over to Hooters for a cold one Fat Gravel

[...] Chase Coffman trying to make his way in NFL [...]

[...] Chase Coffman trying to make his way in NFL [...]

[...] Chase Coffman trying to make his way in NFL [...]

Mike Franklin

August 14th, 2012
2:05 pm

You don’t have to look far to find just tons of good – albeit a little dated – press about this guy. He’s still young and has potential to learn and grow. i hope the Falc’s give him the chance to be a member of the final depth chart.