Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman was disappointed to get overlooked for the Pro Bowl a second consecutive year.
But Coleman didn’t vent his frustrations by letting loose a stream of cuss words. The seven-year veteran quit swearing a year or so ago following a conversation with his uncle, who’s a reverend.
“I’m not perfect. So I have had an occasional slip,” Coleman said Wednesday. “But it’s a mental focus for me to not be able to do that day in and day out.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera and Coleman’s teammates would have forgiven him for a four-letter slip after the Pro Bowl selections were announced Tuesday night.
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With his interception of Washington’s Kirk Cousins on Monday, Coleman has 11 interceptions since joining the Panthers before the 2015 season.
That’s more than any NFC safety over that span, including the three picked for the Pro Bowl this season – Minnesota’s Harrison Smith, Green Bay’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and the New York Giants’ Landon Collins.
But Coleman, who has never made a Pro Bowl, held his tongue Wednesday.
“I really can’t care about that stuff anymore because it’s just a prize that will come and go. What I care about honestly is how productive I am for my team and what I’m able to do and help us win ballgames,” he said. “Whether I get nominated or not, it’s out of my hands.”
Coleman said he didn’t want to say too much because he didn’t want to take away from the four Panthers who did make it – linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, tight end Greg Olsen and fullback Mike Tolbert.
“They deserve it,” Coleman said. “I’m going to continue to work and hopefully one day I get in. If I don’t, it is what it is. The stats are what they are and we’ll just leave it at that.”
Coleman was not selected as an alternate, either, according to a league source. Rivera said he would argue Coleman is worthy of going to Orlando for the Jan. 29 game, which is returning to a NFC-vs.-AFC format.
“He’s done some really good things the last two years he’s been here for us, has been a big part of why we’ve had some success,” Rivera said. “He’s still playing very well and he’s still productive. You’d love to see a guy like that get some consideration.”
As for quitting swearing, Coleman said he always was impressed with how his former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Brian Dawkins conducted himself.
“I know for a fact (NFL Films) would never really mic up B-Dawk because he was always giving praise to God,” Coleman said. “I always thought that was something special because of the player that he was, but obviously the person that he is off the field.”
Coleman said he hasn’t needed a curse jar or any other reminders since he gave up foul language.
“I don’t even think like that anymore,” he said.