Heading into his second season in the NFL, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ricardo Louis would love to improve on his rookie year. A fourth-round pick in 2016, the rookie was expected to make a little noise during his freshman campaign. After finishing with just 18 catches (35 targets) for 205 yards, he was quite disappointed. Good news is all signs seem to be pointing up in 2017.
Prior to Tuesday’s minicamp, Louis addressed just how much he has improved this offseason, including both his speed and route running.
“I have definitely taken a step forward,” said Louis. “Commanding the offense a lot more, playing a lot faster, getting a lot more reps and just perfecting my craft. …This spring I’m coming off the ball a lot faster. I’m able to use my speed to scare the DBs, you know give them fear. My route running is a lot more advanced than it was last year as far as changing directions, coming out of breaks and creating separation.”
For the video of his time with the media, click here.
With second-year wide out Corey Coleman out until training camp due to an undisclosed injury, guys like Louis have a chance to step up and make quite a name for themselves during minicamp and any other practices. Having a year under his belt and full grasp of Hue Jackson’s offense will definitely help, but he also needs to prove that he can be counted on in any and all situations.
“Ricardo is a bit, tall, athletic, fast guy,” said Jackson following veteran minicamp. “He has really improved. He has improved his route running, his initial quickness off the line. I think he understands the National Football League game better.”
Saying that opposing quarterbacks should be fearful of his speed and ability to go get the ball may be a bit over the top, but you can’t knock the kid’s confidence. After a 1-15 season, the Browns need more players like him. Hopefully during his second season this fall, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound receiver will take advantage of his time on the field and put himself on the map. The Browns sure do need a player like Louis to step up if they want to start competing.
He may not have had the rookie season that he wanted, but Louis’ time on the field was valuable, both in terms of being able to learn first-hand what to do and all the experiences that he had as well.