Veteran Coleman ‘needed a break’ when he sat out ’08

Everyone needs time away from their job. And, yes, that includes NFL players.

Take the case of Rod Coleman. The former Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle decided to sit out the 2008 season despite receiving interest from other NFL teams, he told the Times-Picayune of New Orleans:

    Coleman said he was physically and mentally worn down after a series of injuries (quad, knee, triceps, pectoral) derailed his 2007 season, and the Falcons went through the turmoil of losing quarterback Michael Vick and coach Bobby Petrino.
    He said teams called him last year, but he said he didn’t feel like he was “ready to be that guy everyone was expecting big things out of right away.
    “I just felt I needed time to get away from it. I just needed a break. Then I could come in fresh during the (next) offseason, work my way back into it and earn the respect and be one of the new faces in the locker room,” said Coleman, who ran his own day care and development company in Atlanta during the time off, joking that he “stepped into my suit-and-tie uniform.”

Coleman, 32, returned to the NFL on Friday, when he agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Saints. As the Times-Picayune notes, it’s a low-risk, high-reward deal for the team, which would be quite happy if a rested and healed Coleman returned to his 2005 Pro Bowl form.

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