Registrato: 28/09/18 10:36
|PITTSFORD , N.Y. (AP) — New Buffalo Bills wide receiver Corey Coleman can’t escape reminders of Cleveland no matter how hard he’s tried to put his two seasons with the Browns in the past.
First, there was the second episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series on Tuesday, which detailed how a frustrated Coleman demanded the Browns trade him. And then on Friday, the 2016 first-round draft pick is expected to make his Bills debut in a preseason game at Cleveland.
“Hey, it’s going to be weird. But I’m not out there anymore,” Coleman said. “I’m just treating it like any other game.”
As for TV cameras capturing his final days with the Browns, Coleman said he didn’t watch the episode but friends sent him clips. One features Coleman in his vehicle exiting the Browns’ parking lot for the last time and saying: “Adios, Cleveland.”
“It is what it is. Nothing really to explain,” Coleman told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
He added he bears “no hard feelings” toward the Browns.
Coleman appeared to have different feelings a few weeks ago when cameras filmed him entering Browns coach Hue Jackson’s office and questioning why he was demoted to practicing with the second stringers.
Jackson told Coleman to ask offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Coleman responded by saying: “If you don’t want me to play, why don’t you all just trade me?”
Coleman confirmed to the AP that he asked the Browns to trade him. In a sign of how far Coleman’s stock has fallen since being drafted with the No. 15 pick out of Baylor, Buffalo had to give up only a 2020 seventh-round selection to acquire him on Aug. 5.
The 24-year-old will be best remembered in Cleveland for two injury-shortened seasons and far too many dropped passes. The worst occurred late in the fourth quarter of last season’s finale at Pittsburgh that sealed the Browns’ 0-16 finish.
Coleman caught 56 of the 131 passes thrown in his direction for 718 yards and five touchdowns in 19 games.
In Buffalo, he joins an offense in transition , featuring a new coordinator, Brian Daboll, and a three-way quarterback competition, including rookie first-round pick Josh Allen.
It’s also an offense that lacks proven receivers behind starter Kelvin Benjamin.
Coleman’s first challenge is learning a new playbook and building chemistry with the three quarterbacks.
He’s not made much of a splash during his first week of practice, splitting time mostly with the second- and third-stringers.
On Wednesday, Coleman drew cheers when making an arms-outstretched leaping catch deep up the left sideline, only to have one foot land out of bounds. Before one snap during practice Tuesday, an offensive assistant went up to Coleman and directed him where to line up.
On the plus side, Coleman spends time working after practice and is usually among the last players off the field.
Coach Sean McDermott’s intention for Friday is to see how much Coleman can handle, as opposed to easing him in.
“We’re getting to the point now where it needs to be the former in terms of: ‘Here’s the playbook. You’ve got to know it,'” McDermott said. “The biggest thing is that we want him to come out, play fast , and play physical.”
Daboll said he has no preconceptions toward Coleman based on what happened in Cleveland.
“I just go by what I see,” Daboll said. “He works hard. He’s on time. He asks good questions.”
Coleman’s approach hasn’t changed since arriving at Bills camp saying he’s looking forward to a fresh start and wants to be measured by how he responds to what happened in Cleveland.
“Don’t take a day out here for granted,” Coleman said this week. “My main goal is getting better and helping the Buffalo Bills win.”
NOTES: The Bills had no update on Benjamin, who practiced on a limited basis for a second consecutive day. … DE Trent Murphy has been sidelined by a groin injury for a second time in three weeks and is expected to miss his second consecutive preseason game. … The Bills broke camp in suburban Rochester, New York, on Wednesday and will resume practice at their headquarters on Sunday.
Dak Prescott's difficulties in the passing game go back further than a loss in the opener at Carolina for the Dallas Cowboys.
Now that the slump has extended into a new season, coach Jason Garrett and his staff must weigh the factors and when or whether to make changes to try to fix them.
Six sacks of Prescott and little running room early for star back Ezekiel Elliott magnified two significant questions on the offensive line.
Most of the focus, though, will remain on a revamped and largely unproven group of receivers trying to replace tight end Jason Witten and receiver Dez Bryant.
Then there's the play-calling, with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan under siege from the unemployed Bryant on Twitter, along with the fans.
"I have a tremendous amount of faith in Scott," Garrett said Monday , a day after a 16-8 loss to the Panthers. "We just have to do a better job collectively as a staff and as an offensive unit. That starts with basic execution, play after play not beating ourselves and then finding ways to generate some big plays."
Going into a suddenly important home opener against the New York Giants on Sunday night, Garrett also sounds as if the Cowboys will stick with the same five on the offensive line.
Joe Looney is replacing four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, out indefinitely with a condition that affects his nerves. Rookie left guard Connor Williams was beaten twice for sacks by Kawann Short.
"Joe Looney ... looked like he did a pretty good job in the game," Garrett said. "Connor Williams, obviously it's a challenging task for him Week 1 to go against that defensive front. There were some good things for him. There's some areas in pass protection that wasn't good enough."
Prescott had fewer than 200 yards passing for the seventh time in nine games. That stretch started when he was sacked a career-high eight times in a loss at Atlanta that triggered the Cowboys' slide out of playoff contention last year. It was also the beginning of Elliott's six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.
Elliott's presence didn't help much against the Panthers, and the question going forward is how the Cowboys can hope to live off the running game when they haven't shown they can be a threat throwing the ball.
Focused on stopping Elliott first, the Panthers held the 2016 NFL rushing leader to 18 yards before halftime. Nearly half of Elliott's 69 yards, and his touchdown, came in the fourth quarter after the Cowboys had fallen behind 16-0.
If the Cowboys want something resembling the remarkable rookie seasons of Prescott and Elliott two years ago, when they had an NFC-best 13 wins, they will need bigger numbers from the focal point of their offense earlier in the game.
"We've got to start faster ," Elliott said after the game. "That's not Dallas Cowboys football. That's not how we've ever played. If we want to succeed, if we want to go out there and win ballgames, we can't come out there and lay an egg in the first half."
Filling the void left by Witten and Bryant will probably look a lot as it did in the opener, except for draft-day trade acquisition Tavon Austin getting shut out. The speedy receiver and returner figures to have more of a role.
Holdover Cole Beasley had the most targets (eight), catches (seven) and yards receiving (73). The rest were split among newcomers Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and rookie Michael Gallup.
No. 1 tight end Geoff Swaim had three catches, and backup Blake Jarwin was open for what would have been the biggest play of the game for Dallas if Prescott hadn't underthrown him.
"We think each of those guys has some strengths and they have some different things that they can bring to our offense," Garrett said. "We do think as we go forward that mixing those guys in and giving them all an opportunity to contribute will be a good thing for our team."
The Cowboys have a long way to go to prove it.