Richard Mann RE Sammie Coates** RELATED
Richard Mann:I thought it was a great selection. From what I saw on tape, I think we got a guy that needs some work but is a great athlete. He has good speed and can take the top off of the coverage. He's a guy who can track the ball down field very well. He has some problems straight ahead catching a football but that's why we have drills. With a chance to coach him up, we feel like we can make that better. The thing that you can't coach up is his athleticism. He's a guy that is a short 6-1, 212, I think is his weight. His vertical jump was like 41 inches, and he probably jumped 10 or 11 feet on the broad jump. That shows his athleticism and explosion that he has. He will block and he will dig out safeties. We have a concept we call insert, which means that is part of the running game, he will be good at that. We've seen him do it on tape. What you see is what you get. He has good size. I think football and especially when you play receiver, that strong side receiver, has to have some girth on him. We feel like he can play Z. Of course, he can always move over to X, that's where Antonio Brown is. We have more competition at Z and I think competition is good. I'm happy that we have him. I think once we get him in here, find out exactly where he is at football wise. I think he is a pretty smart kid, I think he has graduated, but I think the sky is the limit for him. He'll run with the ball. Also we think the Z receiver has to be a guy who will catch and run with it. A lot of things we do, we call it catch and blue gills, which are little fish. Little short throw long runs, tough runners get that first down. That is the type of receiver he is. He will put his pads down and run with good pad level. A lot of guys won't do that. We've seen him do it, so we know he has it in him.
Re: Playing him at the Z position.
Z usually is the slot. You move him over and he becomes the slot. He can play inside, he's got the body to do it. We've seen him tracking the ball down the field. That's what we've seen him do consistently on the tape that we look at. He's had some drops, but they all drop it. We've just got to work with him a little bit and make sure that we give him confidence and that we drill him up. When you look at him, he does not have bad body language if you understand what I'm saying, which means that you're not afraid so we feel like we can minimize the drops as much as we can. We will put him in spots that he can excel. We won't put him in spots that he won't do well.
View photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 3rd Round Draft Pick, wide receiver Sammie Coates.
Is he strong upper body wise?**
I think in watching the tape that I watch, the kid from Ohio State, named Smith, the two of them are the ones that track deep balls on tape, they both had that quality about them and I think that the balls that I have seen him track have been contested, it was not like free access or nobody around, contested catches and most of the times, more times than not, he came down with it. That's the type of player that I have seen on tape and what you see is what you get.
Is he similar to Martavis Bryant?
In a lot of ways. I saw Martavis do a little bit more underneath. They didn't really use him that way down at Auburn. I think that he's probably played a little bit more than Martavis had because he's been at Auburn for his whole career whereas Martavis came in from that prep school and only played one year. That's kind of why we held him back to give him a chance to learn how to do it. This guy has got a little more playing experience under his belt as far as having playing experience in college than Martavis had in my opinion.
What player do you compare Coates to past and present?
I've been around the block a few times. I think he's in the mould of… he's got speed. The guys I'm thinking about weren't as fast as he is. He ran a 4.43 or something like that. I had a guy in Cleveland, named Reggie Langhorne. He was like that, straight line, deep ball guy, but he could run with the ball after he caught it. That's the thing we look at. You put the ball in his hands and he's going to make some yards. He's going to put his pads down and get that tough yardage. Again that's more competition at that Z position. There isn't anything like competition that brings out the beast in everybody.
Are the drops he made in college a matter of technique or focus?**
To be honest with you, I probably looked at four games. What I will tell you is I saw they didn't play him every down. A lot of the personnel groupings, he wasn't in there. What happens is he disappears. He's back in there. He disappears, he's back in there. A lot of times in my opinion, players have a tendency to lose concentration simply because they weren't involved and then you bring them back in the heat of battle. That's not an excuse for him. That's what I saw. I've been around a lot of players. If you're not using them, they lose focus. I think that might have been some of it. I don't know that. I'm trying to find an excuse for him because he does have good hands. He just drops balls, so it might be that concentration drops off. Or a lot of people have trouble catching the ball underneath. To play inside takes savvy. Some guys are just not inside receivers, but the thing is I've never seen any bad body language. So he's not afraid and that's a good thing.
Re: Seeming like a guy who likes to catch the ball:
I believe so. The thing that really impresses me is that when he did get especially the deep balls, there was no question. He's very competitive. Those 50/50 balls, which means either or who catches it, he came down with it. I'm talking about deep contested catches. That was very impressive to me. Again, we can play him at the Z. Everybody can't play Z. You don't have the body type to do it in my opinion. He's definitely a guy that can do it simply because of his body type.