Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll could not ask for a better embodiment of his “No Whining, No Complaining, No Excuses” mantra than Derrick Coleman. Diagnosed with an incurable genetic hearing impairment as a child, Coleman is the first legally deaf offensive player in NFL history. The 23-year-old fullback has shared his story in an inspirational new commercial for Duracell that should even have fans of the San Francisco 49ers rooting for him.
Growing up in California, Coleman was able to excel on the football field by wearing hearing aids and learning to lip read. He would star as a running back for Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif., before going on to play at UCLA. Despite going undrafted out of UCLA, Coleman didn't give up on his NFL dream. He landed on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad last season before joining the Seahawks' practice squad in December 2012. A year later, he's preparing for the NFC Championship Game.
"I think everyone has their unique story and that just happens to be mine," Coleman told NFL.com during the Seahawks' dominant 2013 regular season.
While Coleman may be correct about everyone having a story, there is no doubt that his also happens to be one of the more inspirational ones.
"I just hope to inspire people, especially children, to trust the power within and achieve their dreams," Coleman told Sporting News when asked why he opted to do the commercial with Duracell.