Coleman shines in first scrimmage with Browns

Published 12:17 am Saturday, August 6, 2016

BEREA (AP) — It didn’t matter which Cleveland cornerback lined up across from Corey Coleman.

Not one had a chance to cover him.

The rookie receiver lit up the Browns’ first scrimmage of the season Friday night, finishing with over 120 yards and a touchdown on three highlight-reel catches.

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Coach Hue Jackson was impressed by the ability of the receiver to make big catches, but that’s what he expected when the Browns selected Coleman No. 15 overall this year.

“He’s not doing anything I’m surprised of,” Jackson said. “He’s a tremendously talented young man.”

The Baylor product finished with four catches from quarterback Robert Griffin III, also a former Baylor star, and three were receptions of over 30 yards.

The biggest play of the evening came when Coleman caught a 41-yard pass in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, diving for the ball behind third-year cornerback Justin Gilbert.

Before the touchdown, the rookie darted down the left side of the field past veteran cornerback Tramon Williams and hauled in a 53-yard reception that got the Browns deep in the red zone.

Williams, who intercepted quarterback Josh McCown during the scrimmage, has been impressed with Coleman on multiple fronts throughout camp thus far.

“I’ve seen some rookies come in and they don’t catch on that fast,” Williams said. “He seems to have it all right now. He’s doing an excellent job. He’s going to do well for us.”

On just the second play of the scrimmage, Griffin tossed a 35-yard pass to Coleman, who raced past fourth-year corner K’Waun Williams for the reception.

Despite his praise for the rookie, Jackson wants to make sure that Coleman knows he hasn’t arrived just yet.

“I don’t want to anoint this young man,” Jackson said. “He knows there are some things I’m expecting him to get cleaned up here real fast in order to be the type of player I think he can be.”

Coleman too recognized that there are things he needs to clean up before he starts his rookie season.

He was misaligned on a few plays and and had other mistakes on Friday night that he wants to avoid as the exhibition games begin.

“I think I did decent, some plays that I messed up on,” Coleman said. “(I’m) just trying to learn, taking all the information that I can.”

Though Coleman’s catches stole the spotlight, Griffin’s throws were recognized as well.

Williams watched first-hand as Griffin placed the pigskin perfectly, where only Coleman had a chance to catch it.

“Some of the balls that he threw today, the location that he put them at, it was amazing,” Williams said. “I actually went up to him on the field after he threw the ball into the corner of the end zone and I told him, I said, ‘Man, if you throwing the ball like that,’ I said, ‘you’re going to throw a lot of touchdowns this year.”’

Jackson enjoyed the long throws from Griffin to Coleman, but he was far more impressed with the quarterback’s ability to prevent turnovers.

The lack of an interception or a fumble by Griffin is a sign of the quarterback’s growth and development, according to the coach.

“I’m loving the big plays, and that’s what quarterbacks do in the National Football League, but what you have to do to be a winning quarterback is win,” Jackson said. “In order to win, you have got to be able to take care of the football. He’s done a good job with that.”

Griffin took a large majority of the first-team snaps with the offense during the scrimmage, furthering the expectation that Jackson will name him the team’s starting quarterback before its first exhibition game on Aug. 12.


CB Joe Haden (ankle), WR Josh Gordon (quad), OL Cameron Erving (elbow), WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring), DL John Hughes (personal), FB Malcolm Johnson (concussion), and TE Randall Telfer (knee) were all held out of Friday’s scrimmage. … The scrimmage lasted about 45 minutes and the players practiced for about 45 minutes beforehand. . The Browns will hold another scrimmage at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm, but hitting is not expected. … Cleveland signed DL Kenton Adeyemi and placed OL Michael Bowie on the reserve/retired list prior to the scrimmage.