Coleman did what he did for TD

Published 3:04 pm Friday, September 18, 2009

AUBURN — Antonio Coleman has an orange plastic bracelet around his right wrist, just like the bracelets worn for all types of causes and charities.

Just like the bracelets with a religious tone, ones with “WWJD?” on one side. The acronym stands for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Coleman, who was named to three All-Southeastern Conference teams (The Associated Press, Coaches and Phil Steele’s), has the letters “WDWWD” on his bracelet.

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After last week’s 49-24 victory over SEC foe Mississippi State in Jordan-Hare Stadium, Coleman told reporters about his bracelet.

“All the players and coaches are wearing them this year,” said Coleman, a 6-foot-3, 261-pound senior defensive end. “It stands for ‘We Do What We Do.’ It means we do the best we can with what we have.”

That’s ironic for Coleman. In his previous 39 games as an Auburn player, he has never intercepted a pass.

The same goes for junior Michael Goggans, his counterpart on the right side of the defensive line. Twenty-six game, no INT.

Defensive ends, however, are usually counted on for quarterback sacks, where Coleman is in Auburn’s record books. With 14.5 sacks, Coleman is one behind Stanley McClover (2004-5) for 10th place in the Auburn career records.

Against Mississippi State, Coleman gat his name in the Auburn stats for something else — an interception. Not only his first INT, but one he returned 20 yards for a touchdown.

“My assignment on the play was to drop back and look for the crossing pattern,” Coleman said. “But I could read the quarterback’s eyes.”

Mississippi State sophomore quarterback Chris Relf had thrown in Coleman’s direction twice already in the first quarter. Both incompletions had been directed toward senior wide receiver Brandon McRae.

The third time was the charm for Coleman, who jumped as high as he could to tip the pass, haul it in, outrun MSU running back Anthony Dixon and stretch as far as he could to cut inside the right pylon for the score.

“I really didn’t think I was going to make it,” said Coleman, who admitted he couldn’t remember the last time he intercepted a pass. “I saw Anthony Dixon out of the corner of my eye.”

Auburn defensive line coach Tracy Rocker had told his players he expected to get one defensive TD this season. Coleman said he hoped the defense wouldn’t rest on his “pick 6” for the rest of the season.

Coleman — as the bracelet says — did what he had to do for the touchdown.

“I had to get it,” he said.