Though the series of developments concerning Shawne Merriman Tuesday may have been a bit surprising, the player Buffalo signed to replace the veteran linebacker was anything but. Buffalo signed OLB Antonio Coleman Wednesday to fill the void left by Merriman's move to injured reserve.
"I'm blessed with another opportunity," said Coleman. "All I can do is go out and play football, and I'm just going to make the most of it."
Coleman (6'1" 253), a former undrafted free agent signee of the Bills in 2010, appeared in eight games for Buffalo as a rookie last season. He came on strong late in the preseason this past summer with a sack and eight tackles, but it wasn't enough to edge out the likes of Danny Batten and Robert Eddins for one of the final linebacker spots on the roster at the start of this season.
The Auburn product latched on with the New York Giants where he had been serving on the team's practice squad until Buffalo came calling with a spot on their active roster.
"The Giants had me on the practice squad and I learned a lot up there," Coleman said. "It was kind of slow for me with the learning process, a totally different position. I'm back now and at the same position I played here (the first time). I'm just blessed to be back here with a lot of guys and coaches that I know are going to back me up."
The Bills are hoping Coleman is able to help jump start a pass rush that has been sorely lacking thus far this season. Coleman led the SEC in sacks as a senior in 2009 with nine and ranks third all-time in Auburn school history in sacks with 24.5.