PITTSFORD – Corey Coleman didn’t want to look in the rear-view mirror after his first practice as a Buffalo Bill Tuesday.
After going 1-31 the first two seasons of his pro career with the Cleveland Browns, who can blame him?
“I’m excited to be here; it’s a new opportunity, fresh start,” said the Bills’ newest wide receiver. “It feels good to be wanted. I don’t want to let them down. I’m going to work and do everything I need to do and help some of the younger guys out, too. We have a young receiver room.”
Coleman, the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, was acquired for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft. He has 4.37 speed in the 40-yard dash, a much needed attribute on a Bills’ receiving corps that lacks a proven deep threat.
But with the Browns embarking on a new regime this season, Coleman said he knew his days in Cleveland were numbered. He had been the subject of trade rumors.
Asked if he knew a trade was coming, Coleman said: “Yes, but I don’t want to get into all that. I want to focus on getting here, learning my playbook, and I’m excited to be part of this organization.”
Coleman caught 33 passes for 413 yards in 10 games as a rookie. He caught 23 for 305 yards in nine games last season.
“A lot of things don’t work out the way you want it to work out,” Coleman said. “I got much respect for my teammates. Those guys in the locker room in Cleveland are top-notch guys. I respect them. There’s a great fan base in Cleveland, too. I’m going to leave it at that.”
Nevertheless, if Coleman needed any added motivation to perform this season, he surely got it via the trade. It’s not often a first-round pick gets traded for a future seventh-rounder after just two seasons.
Coleman posted an Instagram message after the deal stating, “Something to prove.”
“Every day I wake up I feel like I’ve got something to prove,” he said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me. I’m blessed to be here. I’m ready to rock with the Buffalo Bills.”
For now, Cleveland fans will remember him for dropping a fourth-down pass late in the regular-season finale at Pittsburgh that sealed the Browns’ winless season.
“It’s easy to point the finger and stuff but receivers drop balls; it’s going to happen,” Coleman said. “Every week in the NFL you see a receiver drop a ball. What matters is how you respond.”
Coleman took some snaps with both the second- and third-team offense Tuesday. Coach Sean McDermott said he had not determined whether the receiver will play Thursday against Carolina.
Asked about his speed, Coleman said: “I feel like I’m really fast. I feel like I can come in and contribute and help right away.”
“I’m so excited to be here,” Coleman said. “I can’t even really explain. I love the coaching staff. I love our GM. We had a talk yesterday, they’ve got plans for me.”