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2012 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders to Meet with Hearing Impaired Running Back Out of UCLA

The Oakland Raiders do not appear as though they are ready to start the 2012 season with the running back corps that is currently on the team. Despite having traded for Mike Goodson from the Carolina Panthers, general manager Reggie McKenzie is expected to take a look at UCLA running back Derrick Coleman.

What makes this so interesting is not the fact that the Raiders already have three running backs on the roster. Rather, it is interesting because of the fact that Coleman is hearing impaired. Without his hearing aids, he can only make out sounds and not words. With them, he can make out words, but still needs to read lips in order to fully understand what is being said. If this sounds eerily familiar to you, it's probably because you are having subconscious flashbacks to that all time great football movie, The Replacements. In the movie, there is a replacement tight end with a ton of talent, but who was overlooked by pro scouts because he was deaf.

While it is always fun to talk about The Replacements, the analogy here is actually rather fitting. In the movie, people were shocked to see such a good player who was not already in the NFL. Similarly here, McKenzie is attempting to find players who present good value in the draft due to being overlooked for reasons that do not necessarily correlate with the way they play the game. In Coleman, McKenzie is likely looking to see if he is potentially a player that should have been graded as a early round pick, but who fell to a late round grade due to his hearing problems.

If you can say nothing else about Reggie McKenzie, it's that he leaves no stone unturned in his search for players who will improve the Oakland Raiders