Nickell Robey-Coleman will forever be linked to the NFL’s Rule 15: Section 3, Article 10.
The Los Angeles Rams cornerback’s fourth-quarter hit on New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis in the 2019 NFC Championship Game did not result in penalties for either pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact. The “non-call” helped the Rams eventually beat the Saints to win a berth in Super Bowl LIII.
The controversy afterward also helped result in the new rule, installed this season, that allows for pass interference penalties to be reviewed via instant replay.
But as ESPN NFL Insider Josina Anderson discovered, there is more to Robey-Coleman than the controversy surrounding the play.
Robey-Coleman, 27, returned to the University of Southern California in the offseason to complete his degree in policy, planning and development. That fulfilled a promise he made to his mother Maxine Coleman, who died at age 44 in 2010.
Sunday in NFL Week 2, the Saints and Rams meet in Los Angeles. Anderson’s profile of Robey-Coleman, produced by Steve Buckheit, airs on Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m.– 1 p.m. ET). She previews the story for Front Row.
How did the story come about?
I covered the Rams throughout the postseason including the Super Bowl, so I developed some rapport with him and other newsmakers on the team.
Because he became such a big story with the pass interference and his Tom Brady comments leading into the Super Bowl, it caused us to look a little bit more into his story. I realized he is far more than this pass interference storyline. There is a lot more to him.
What impressed you most about this story?
I love doing these kind of stories because there is always more than what meets the eye. When people watch games on Sunday, they forget these are not just figures that pop up on their television screens. Athletes are like anyone else balancing their lives while trying to perform at a very high level.
While talking to Robey-Coleman, I realized he is a player who has dealt with a lot of sorrow in his life. A lot of loss. And has been underrated, discounted, doubted many times, but has persevered. Viewers will get a better sense of his story after our feature on Sunday.