Browns receiver Corey Coleman knows it's "time to take a big step" in year 3

Jarvis Landry helping Coleman put 2 tough years behind him

Daryl Ruiter
July 26, 2018 - 2:37 pm
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Categories: 

Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Corey Coleman doesn’t need to be told this is a big year for him.

He knows it.

“Time to take a big step. I feel like it's important,” Coleman said hours before he and the rest of the Browns took the field for their first practice of training camp.

That’s why he’s turned to veteran Jarvis Landry to show him the way to get his career on track.

The first thing Landry worked on this offseason was Coleman’s diet.

“[I told] him you can’t go around eating French fries and chicken fingers and steak all the time,” Landry said. “I know it sounds good, but in this league, we want to have a healthy diet. It allows us to play better, feel better, have our body feeling better, get the things in you that you need to come out here and perform.”

Landry, acquired in March from Miami before signing a 5-year, $75 million extension, has embraced the opportunity to teach Coleman.

“Honestly, man, that’s part of who I am. I want everybody to be great,” Landry said. “So just putting my around anybody that’s willing to come close enough to me to actually try to learn something and grow. And I learn things from these guys as well. I’m not just the only one teaching, I’m learning as well. And that’s the beauty about the whole thing.”

Coleman listened.

“Now I'm eating way more healthier, fish and stuff, and it's worked out for me so far. My body has changed,” Coleman said. 

Head coach Hue Jackson has made it no secret that Coleman needs to step up in his third season while also understanding the challenges the former Baylor star has faced in his short NFL career.

“Corey has had some tough breaks,” Jackson. “Obviously, when you are a first-round pick, a lot if expected from you, and I think he wants to do that as well as anybody, but we can’t talk about the past.

“He is out here today. Let’s give this man an opportunity to see what he brings to the table this year and if he can be the type of player we think he can be.”

Coleman’s first 2 seasons were halted by a broken bone in his right hand that cost him a total of 13 games.

“Been hurt a lot, can't control that,” Coleman said. “That's really the main thing, haven't played a full season. It's tough when guys play half a season and come back, I start off great seasons, just too much starting over from the beginning, but I feel amazing right now.”

There have been maturity issues behind the scenes that boiled over when he was sent home from Houston for violating the team’s curfew in October while inactive because of a broken hand.

But the lowest point for Coleman came on Dec. 31, 2017 in Pittsburgh.

“It motivated me to get better,” Coleman said.

With time winding down, the Browns driving and trailing by 4, Coleman watched as DeShone Kizer’s pass went right through his hands, hit him in the facemask and fall harmlessly to the frozen ground to clinch an 0-16 season.

“We have talked about it, but it is behind him,” Jackson said. “There are some really good players that have played in this league that have dropped some very critical balls at very critical times. You do not want that to happen, but hopefully, he will grow from that and learn from that.

“He knows that it is time for him to play better and to make plays for the organization.”

The Browns selected Coleman 15th overall in 2016 and he was the first of 4 receivers picked that year. Ricardo Louis taken in the fourth round – No. 114 overall is lost for the season after undergoing neck surgery and Rashard Higgins was a fifth-round pick – No. 172 overall.  

With Josh Gordon away from the team once again, this time to deal with personal matters and receive additional treatment for addiction, Jackson expects Coleman, who has caught 56 passes for 718 yards and 5 touchdowns in 19 games, to step up.

Coleman won’t argue either.

“I still have to show it,” Coleman said. “I feel like each year everyone has to show if they can be a big-time receiver in the NFL.”

Coleman spent the first day of camp working with the first-team offense as the X receiver in place of Gordon and he’ll remain there for the foreseeable future.

“I've been starting since I got to this organization, so my mindset don't change,” Coleman said. “I've just got to come here every day, work hard and show the coaches.”