Cleveland Browns: Corey Coleman working to be more than one-dimensional
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman is not content with just being the same player he was at Baylor, which is good news for the Browns offense.
The Cleveland Browns selected Corey Coleman in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the idea that he will be the first consistent deep threat since … Paul Warfield? Dante Lavelli?
Well, let’s just say it has been a long time.
Like any rookie wide receiver coming into the NFL, Coleman brings with him certain routes that he is most comfortable – and therefore most successful – running. For the speedy Coleman, who pulled in 20 touchdown passes last season for Baylor, the most obvious route is anything deep.
But Coleman also found his comfort zone while running curl routes, according to Eric Saltzman at The Sports Quotient:
"The former Baylor standout did a great job of not only beating opponents deep, but also finding success in the short-yardage game. According to research conducted by Matt Harmon, Coleman ran a curl route 27% of his snaps in college, which was second most among the top receivers in this class and second in Coleman’s repertoire to nine/go routes, which he ran 40% of the time."
"A key reason Coleman is so successful on his curl routes is his speed forces corners to play over the top trying not to get beaten deep. He also possesses exceptional quickness, allowing him to cut on a dime."
“What I did at Baylor doesn’t matter anymore. I’m on to a new chapter in my life.” – Corey Coleman
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It is certainly exciting to close your eyes and dream of Coleman running free through the secondaries of opposing defenses (especially the below-average one that resides in Pittsburgh), but outrunning NFL defenses is not quite as easy as outrunning those in college. Especially ones that ply their trade in the Big 12.
Luckily for the Browns, Coleman is not one to rest on his laurels, unlike some other recent first-round picks who balk at change while claiming everything is fine despite evidence to the contrary.
Staring with his first practice with the veterans, when Coleman was eager to taken on Tramon Williams with Joe Haden unavailable, the rookie wideout has been doing everything he can to make sure his game does not grow stagnant at the pro level.
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“I feel really great, starting to get everything down, starting to adapt to different situations,” Coleman told the team’s website. “With rookie minicamp, you’re thrown into the fire. You don’t know what to expect. Regular minicamp, you know what to expect, you know what plays we’re running, you have the upper hand.
“I just want to get better each and every day. I think I’m taking a step each and every day and just getting better. That’s what I want to focus on. One day a time. Each day, can I be better than I was before.”
He may only be a rookie, but the Browns are going to be looking for Coleman to be the No. 1 target in the passing game this fall.
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While we won’t know for sure how that plan will play out until sometime this fall, the early results are looking good that Coleman will be up to the task.