Well, maybe not the most, but the 28-year-old cornerback isn’t the average player in line to make his first start in the NFL. Rather, Coe enters his sixth season in the league – third with the Giants in Perry Fewell’s system – as the likely starting second corner, given Prince Amukamara’s ankle injury and Terrell Thomas being placed on injured reserve.
But reps as a starter make your reputation in the NFL, and that’s what he doesn’t have yet. In addition to playing opposite veteran Corey Webster, that’s also why Coe won’t be surprised if Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is gunning for his side come Wednesday night.
“I’m sure that anybody that we face will try to look more at my side because Corey has the reputation he’s built up,” Coe said. “They’re always going to go after somebody new whether it be whoever is out there in the secondary. I think that gets you more ready because you know the ball is coming your way any play. So you’re always going to be ready for that.”
Originally a fifth-round draft choice by the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, Coe was waived/injured after two seasons and was picked up by the Giants in 2009, making his first (and brief) stint with the team on the practice squad. Two months later, he was signed by the Jaguars and waived the following season. The Giants claimed him shortly after in late September of 2010 and signed him to the active roster that November, where he has remained since then.
In total, he has played in 27 games, including a career-high 10 last year before a shoulder injury ended his season. At the time, Coe, primarily known for his special teams, was slowly carving out a role on defense. Coe had played extensively in the two previous games in Weeks 9 and 10 – and had a pair of tackles in each game — leading up to the second Philadelphia game at home where he suffered the injury making a tackle.
“I was a little frustrated,” Coe said about last year’s injury. “I was starting to play a lot more defensive-wise and played a lot in the game or two before that. So I was really excited about slowly working myself in there, and then to get hurt the way I did was really frustrating. Mentally, you’ve just got to stay into it the best you can. I still got the film and still watched everything to stay on top of it.”
That led Coe to the 2012 season, when at the start he was getting reps with the first team.
Somewhere in between a placeholder and competing with Amukamara for the starting job, Coe took advantage of the work he was receiving at the time.
It’s now paying off.
“Anytime I’m out there with the one’s or two’s, you always learn from the guys that go in front of you or behind you and see what kinds of mistakes you get because everybody is going to get the same type of plays,” Coe said. “So you kind of got to put yourself in that position mentally and just get ready to go out there. When I was out there every time with the ones, I took it as that and tried to put myself in the best position to be with the starters.”
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