For cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, returning to Los Angeles this season has been a whirlwind.
The USC product signed with the Rams in April, reuniting with his former teammate and college roommate, Robert Woods. In his first year with the franchise, the cornerback not only became one of the secondary’s most productive members, but he also got the chance to experience his first-career division title and playoff berth.
But having signed a one-year deal, Robey-Coleman is set to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent in March. And while he will have the opportunity to sign with any team in the league, he was admittedly excited about the possibility of staying in Los Angeles.
“We did something [here] that hasn’t been done before, so it was a great start,” he said recently. “But as far as from a future standpoint, you can tell that it’s going to be a great team that you would want to be on in the future.”
Listed at just 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, Robey-Coleman had mainly been used as a nickel corner throughout college and in four seasons with the Bills.
This year however, under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the cornerback has been productive both in the slot and on the outside — recording 50 tackles, two tackles for loss, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble, and one interception.
While it’s never easy to adjust to a new team and defensive scheme, Robey-Coleman says his “coachability” is what has allowed him to flourish.
“I’m just coachable, a coachable guy. The things that [Phillips] does, they are the things that fit with my strengths,” he said. “So, I just continued to take one day at a time and make plays when my number was called. That was my role on this team, to come in, do my thing, and be the best player I could be.”
Robey-Coleman is one of four Rams defensive backs up for free agency at the start of the league new year in March. Last week, general manager Les Snead said there was a plan in place for the staff to discuss all of its players and how they fit into the future of the franchise, beginning after Super Bowl LII.
As such, the waiting game now begins for the cornerback. And though part of the decision is out of his hands, Robey-Coleman expressed how eager he is to continue building upon the Rams’ 2017 campaign.
“NFC West Champs — that was a great start. We have some great guys that came in,” Robey-Coleman said. “I don’t know how next year is going to go as far as everything, but what we did this year, we definitely turned things around and put it in the right direction.”
“I appreciate the coaches and the organization for just believing in me. Coming in and believing that I can go out there and make plays.”