Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Corey Coleman decided to flatter Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James after the two teams met on Sept. 15.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Corey Coleman may not have played a snap in 2022, but he has already drawn the ire of Chiefs fans. After the Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, Coleman approached Chargers safety Derwin James and delivered some overt praise.
James has been a popular safety since entering the league in 2018. The Chargers drafted him 17th overall that year, making him the second safety drafted that year. He entered the 2018 season as the team’s starting strong safety and made an immediate impact. He earned first-team All-Pro honors and was selected to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year, an excellent start. He debuted on the NFL Top 100 list at 31st overall, showing his peers respected the young upstart safety.
James’ trajectory took a downward turn in 2019 and 2020 though. Injuries, including a stress fracture in his right foot in 2019 and a torn meniscus in 2020, limited him to five games in two seasons. He returned to form in 2021, recording 118 combined tackles, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. The Chargers rewarded James with a sizeable, four-year, $76.4 million contract extension. The Chargers went all-in on defense this past offseason, with James serving as the unit’s leader.
James was certainly one of the Chargers’ best players against Kansas City on Sept. 15. James recorded nine combined tackles, which led all Los Angeles defenders. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was kept in check for the most part, as Los Angeles allowed only 226 passing yards in Week 2. James’ performance and status around the league prompted Colemen to deliver some postgame praise.
“They so scared of you over here,” Coleman said to James postgame. While James is certainly one of the league’s top safeties, he has not dominated against the Chiefs.
James has played the Chiefs six times, averaging four tackles and not recording an interception, sack, or turnover in those games. The Chargers are 2-4 against the Chiefs with James on the field.
James’ lone highlight against the Chiefs in 2022 came via a questionable tackle on tight end Travis Kelce. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid sounded off on the tackle in his press conference on Sept. 19.
"“It’s in the eye of the official there, what they consider,” Reid said. “I know that they’ve called it against us before. So I wasn’t exactly sure what way that would go, but I thought maybe they would go in the direction for us.”"
The tackle did not draw a flag, but James may receive a fine from the NFL. The league will occasionally fine players for in-game conduct, penalty or not.
Coleman is currently on Kansas City’s practice squad and has not appeared in a regular-season game since the 2018 season. He is another first-round bust brought in by Chiefs general manager Brett Veach in an attempt to find that lost potential.