Coleman said the Eagles' 21-16 wild-card playoff loss to Green Bay was a challenge for the young players, especially facing Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
"Aaron Rodgers is great," Coleman said. "It was a great experience for me to play against him, and it's something that I can build on during my career."
Coleman said he thought the injuries that disrupted the Eagles' defense during the season were the reason for their struggles, especially in the red zone.
"It was [a lack of] continuity," Coleman said. "It was tough to get in synch. We had a lot of moving parts, a lot of injuries to people.
"A lot of the newer guys, we just didn't know the ins and outs."
But Coleman said it was notable the Eagles won the NFC East and made the playoffs during a projected rebuilding season with so many young players in key roles on the field.
"I know a lot of people didn't think we would be in this situation," Coleman said. "Just for guys like Jamar Chaney and myself, to be out in a playoff game, that was a great experience for us. That was a great opportunity."
Coleman made his first career start Nov. 15 at Washington as Allen sat out with a neck injury. Coleman made his first career interception that night off former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Coleman moved into the starting lineup when Allen ruptured a patellar tendon Dec. 19 at the New York Giants. The next week, Coleman made eight tackles against Minnesota.
Coleman credited veteran safety Quintin Mikell, who will be a free agent, with helping in his development along with the progress made by several of the Eagles' young defensive players.
"He has been a great role model," Coleman said of Mikell. "He's a guy I can build my career off of."
Reid said during his day-after news conference on Monday that there are two key off-seasons for an NFL player - the one between his first and second seasons and the one after his first season as a starter.
Coleman fits both categories, although he became a starter only late in the season.
"I have to evaluate myself and work as hard as I can in the off-season and improve as much as I can," Coleman said.
Eagles' Rookie Roundup
Here is how the Eagles rookies fared this season:
DE Brandon Graham, first-round pick: A hot training camp was followed by a mild regular season. He had three sacks in 13 games and must come back from a torn ACL.
S Nate Allen, second round: The most productive of the rookies started fast, though he faded late in the season and also suffered a serious knee injury, tearing his patellar tendon.
DE Daniel T'eo-Nesheim, third round: He played in just seven games, including the wild-card round, and was in on five tackles. Not a good first impression for a third-rounder.
CB Trevard Lindley, fourth round: He played mostly special teams. He showed some potential, but against the Bears we also saw that he has lots of work to do.
LB-S Keenan Clayton, fourth round: Drafted as a linebacker, he also played safety, where he started his college career. It's not clear yet if he's a versatile dual threat or too much of a tweener for either spot.
QB Mike Kafka, fourth round: Praised as a fast learner, he probably still has work to do before he can step into the No. 2 quarterback role. He didn't play this season.
TE Clay Harbor, fourth round: He showed nice hands in training camp but still has to work on his blocking. He finished with nine catches.
DE Ricky Sapp, fifth round: He spent the season on injured reserve with a knee problem, after first tearing his ACL as a junior at Clemson.
WR Riley Cooper, fifth round: The surprise of training camp, Cooper provided a big, physical option as a fourth wide receiver. Including the playoffs, he finished with nine catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.
LB Jamar Chaney, seventh round: He showed potential filling in for Stewart Bradley late in the season. Can he keep it up? Do the Eagles keep him in the starting lineup when Bradley heals?
DT Jeff Owens, seventh round: He faces a long road back. After spending most of the season on the practice squad, he tore his patellar tendon in his first game. The knee injury also required microfracture surgery.
S Kurt Coleman, seventh round: The smart safety played in every meaningful game and started when Allen got hurt. Expect him to compete for a starting job in 2011.
- Jonathan Tamari
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223 or email@example.com.