When the Cleveland Browns traded a sixth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Sammie Coates and a seventh-round pick, it was a surprise to many; including Coates himself.
The third-year wideout had been with the Steelers ever since he was drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2015 draft. But now, he will be on the other side of the rivalry. Although he wasn’t ready for the move, he seems prepared to help his new team in any way possible, whether it’s as a receiver, in special teams, or anything else.
“It is different. Short time, had to make a move, but I am happy to here. I am looking forward to helping the team win,” he said. “Whatever they ask me to do. You want to prepare for anything. I am capable to play special teams. I am capable to play offense. Whatever they ask me to do, I am going to go out there and showcase my talent.”
With Pittsburgh in 2016, Coates is aware of how bad the Browns were last year, but the 24-year-old is mature enough to not only look past that, but to look at the positive things that have gone on in Cleveland (and Berea) and to see where the team is headed going forward.
“I don’t look at what they did last year. I can’t control that. It is all about what you can do now.”
Throughout the preseason, one of the Browns’ biggest weaknesses was at wide receiver. It was a glaring need that the team needed to improve. By acquiring Coates, they hope he can be an addition that will help the receiver group immediately.
Last season, the 6-foot-2, 213-pound receiver had 21 receptions for 435 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games (five starts). Of his 45 targets, he had five dropped passes, which was the worst ratio in the NFL. But, part of that could have been due to him playing with multiple broken fingers, an injury that lingered and forced Coates to miss some time.
“It is part of the game. You are going to have ups and downs. It is how you react towards it and how you recover from it. I did a good job of recovering from it,” he said. “It is just a mind thing. You have to concentrate a little bit more and you have to catch it a certain way. That was the biggest difference was trying to figure out where to catch the ball without hitting your finger again.”
ESPN’s Josina Anderson also reported Coates is overcoming a minor knee scope.
Considered a deep threat that also has plenty of speed as well, Coates has the chance to make an immediate impact with the Browns this season.
Now with his new team, Coates and the Browns will take on the Steelers in their season opener on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at FirstEnergy Stadium.