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Monday, March 17, 2014
Coach sends message with Coe’s ouster

By Brandon Chatmon

He could have been the anchor of Iowa State’s defensive interior.

Instead, former Cyclones defensive tackle Rodney Coe is searching for a new home after being dismissed from the team by ISU coach Paul Rhoads last week.

Better now than later, Cyclone Nation.

True enough, Coe brought size to the defensive line at 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds. He was emerging as a key player for Rhoads’ squad after starting the final four games of 2013 and finishing with 37 tackles, including five tackles for loss, after transferring from Iowa Western.

Yet, Coe’s explanation of his dismissal is revealing. The former Cyclone told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register he was dismissed for breaking team rules including showing up late for meetings and not fulfilling various obligations.

“They see that as me having an attitude and putting myself before the team,” Coe told the Des Moines Register.

The junior college transfer went on to say he was surprised by his dismissal because he “didn’t think they would go to that extent.”

Why not?

For all the positives Coe brought to the table for a ISU defense surely in need of playmakers along the defensive line, keeping Coe while he didn’t live up to program expectations wouldn’t have been good for anyone. He would have continued to believe his behavior was a minor issue, his teammates would have seen a senior who didn’t seem committed to the program yet remained in the locker room alongside the guys who proved their commitment on a daily basis and the coaching staff wouldn’t have known if they could trust him to maximize his individual potential while anchoring the defense this fall.

Now, with his dismissal, Rhoads sent a message to his team that will reverberate throughout the locker room. The coaching staff can move forward with the players they currently have at defensive tackle with a focus of finding a way to make it work without him and Coe gets the opportunity to learn from his mistakes.

Let’s hope Coe lands on his feet and re-affirms his commitment to football and his academics but his dismissal from the Cyclones program could be a blessing in disguise … for all parties involved.