Paul Coffman was an after-thought and rated only single sentence in a three-paragraph story in the Milwaukee Sentinel back on May 18, 1978, when he was announced as a free agent signing by the Green Bay Packers.
That’s according to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame’s posting yesterday about the player who would go on to great things in the NFL. In fact, he would play eight years for the Packers. He played in 119 games (starting 102 of them), caught 322 passes for 4,223 yards (13.1 yard average) and scored 39 touchdowns. His longest touchdown went for 78 yards.
As an undrafted tight end out of Kansas State, Coffman’s years in Green Bay were nothing short of remarkable. He helped revolutionize the tight end position and was one of the players who paved the way for today’s athletic, pass-catching skill players who can also block. Coffman did it all during his 11-year career.
Coffman was cut by coach Forrest Gregg in 1986 after eight years in Green Bay. The cut of Coffman came as a surprise and was one from which Gregg’s teams would never recover.
Coffman averaged 46 catches per year and it was his route running, incredible hands and his ability to catch passes in traffic that made him one the of the great ones.
He was a three-time Pro Bowler and in 1994 was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
After his career was all said and done, he is listed among the best. He ranks 12th among all pass-catchers in Packers history – just behind Robert Brooks and just ahead on James Jones. He’s the top tight end on the list.
Here’s the top 20 list:
Here’s Coffman’s career statistics with the Packers: