Browns rookie receiver Corey Coleman was pretty hard to miss during the team’s scrimmage Friday night.
It’s been that way for most of training camp.
Coleman caught 3 deep throws from quarterback Robert Griffin III while working with the first team offense – 35, 53 and 41 yards – drawing ohhs, ahhs and applause from the crowd.
“I think I did decent,” a modest Coleman said when asked to assess the evening.
Coleman’s most impressive play came when he beat cornerback Tramon Williams for the football on the far sideline of the end zone and getting both feet down for a 35-yard score.
“I think it was third and long and I wanted to keep us on the field and score a touchdown,” Coleman said. “We weren’t having a good drive. I think we had a penalty that drive that pushed us back, so I knew that I had to go up and make a play.”
Williams, who intercepted Josh McCown during another series, praised Coleman after practice.
“He’s a good young receiver,” Williams said. “When you get a guy early in the draft like that, you don’t know how they’re going to come, you don’t know if they’re going to have a learning curve, but he seems to have it all right now. He’s doing an excellent job. He’s going to do well for us.”
Coleman also caught a 41-yard TD at the expense of 2014 first round pick Justin Gilbert, who was targeted regularly by Griffin and McCown. He is getting extended time while Joe Haden rehabs from ankle surgery. The ball was beautifully thrown by Griffin and Coleman made a great play while Gilbert was helpless to stop it.
Although head coach Hue Jackson likes what he sees from the No. 15 overall pick, he did his best to temper the enthusiasm just a bit.
“I don’t want to anoint the young man yet,” Jackson said. “It is way too soon.”
But even Jackson, who mixed and matched the offensive and defensive reps during the scrimmage, can’t deny the Coleman is showing promise not seen from a Browns first round draft pick in years despite not facing external competition yet.
“He’s not doing anything that I’m surprised of,” Jackson said. “I said it before, that’s why we drafted him. He’s a tremendously talented young man. He’s got some growing to do so there are some things that he’s got to clean up and continue to get better at.
“He always finds a way to make a play. That’s what you’re looking for in a guy that has the opportunity to score the football like he does.”
Griffin’s 51-yard strike to Coleman set up a short TD toss to tight end Corey Hamlett, who is having a strong camp and is making a case to be the No. 2 tight end.
“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. “On top of that in order to win, you have got to be able to take care of the football. He’s done a good job with that.
“If we can do that, run the football and then make explosive plays like I think we can, then I think we’ve got a chance to be a decent offensive football team.”
Mixing It Up – Jackson switched up the offensive and defensive units during the scrimmage. The first team offense was unable to get anything going against the second team defense on the first 2 series before tallying TDs against the No. 1 defense on the next 2 series.
McCown accounted for the lone TD of the second-team offense when he found Ricardo Louis for score of about 30 yards during a 2-minute drill. Undrafted rookie tight end J.P. Holtz made a nice catch in the end zone for a touchdown from quarterback Austin Davis, who ran the third unit.
Sputtering Run – Jackson did not seem to thrilled with the ground game following the scrimmage.
“I didn’t like it,” Jackson said. “I’ll be the first to tell you I didn’t like it. I liked the second part of it. There were a couple of times that Crow had some good runs. We have got to get our pads down. I think what it was is that our defense said, ‘Forget you, we’re not letting you run it today.’ That’s going to happen. We play in the AFC North. There are some really good defensive football teams. They’re not going to just let you walk out there and just walk up and down the field.
“We have got to become a gritty group up front. We have got to find a way to make the run game go, and we will.”
Crowell, who had at least 1 carry of 10 yards, agreed with his coach.
“I feel the same way and I feel like we can do way better,” Crowell said. “I feel like I’ve got off to a good start this camp [but] I still feel like I have a long way to go, a lot of work to put in.”
VIPs – Friday evening Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and Bruce Mathews, a 19-year NFL veteran, brother of former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. and father of Browns center Mike Matthews took in practice.
With it being Hall of Fame weekend, several national media outlets have taken the opportunity to pay a visit to Berea over the last few days.
Pupdate – Once again the Browns have partnered with the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for a training camp adoption drive for puppies.
Last year 72 puppies were adopted and the team says that 26 have been adopted so far through 5 open practices. The SPCA’s tent is located on the east side of the practice facility in the fan activation area.
On the Wire – Browns signed DL Kenton Adeyemi and placed OL Michael Bowie on the reserve/retired list; FB Patrick Skov, waived Thursday, went unclaimed and reverts to Browns reserve/injured list.
Injury Report – WR Josh Gordon (quadriceps), WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring), CB Joe Haden (ankle), TE Seth DeValve (knee), C Cam Erving (elbow), DL Kyle Rose (hamstring), CB Trey Caldwell (hamstring), DB Don Jones (leg), TE Randall Telfer (knee) and FB Malcolm Johnson (concussion) did not practice.
Up Next – Browns will be in Columbus Saturday 3:00-5:30 for a practice at Ohio Stadium.