CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns placed plenty of faith in wide receiver Corey Coleman, so much so that they spent a first-round pick on him in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the early results have been mixed for the speedy pass catcher.
In each of the last two years, Coleman has broken a bone in his right hand, been involved in a lengthy police investigation in an altercation at his apartment complex and was sent home from Houston earlier in the season after missing curfew despite being on injured reserve.
As such, Browns coach Hue Jackson wants his young receiver to “grow up” and become a leader.
“Absolutely, we have a lot of young guys that have to continue to grow up and become players in the National Football League and understand that this is professional football, that you have to be professional at all times,” Jackson said.
PHOTOS: Coach Hue Jackson wants young Cleveland Browns to "be professional at all times"
Coleman was not the only Browns receiver sent home from Houston, as veteran Kenny Britt was with the second-year professional that Saturday night, and was dismissed from the trip. Both players were fined for their actions.
“That is what it means and that you handle your affairs on the field and off the field the same way with class and the way the organization wants you to do it,” Jackson said. “Part of my job is to teach that because there are so many young guys and our coaches’ jobs and our organization’s job.
“I think we are doing that. Knock on wood, we haven’t had a ton of problems that way because I don’t like dealing with them. Our players know that. We are not going to deal with them. If we do, we will deal with them swiftly and get it behind us.”
In addition to the off-the-field issues, Jackson wants Coleman to develop into a consistent, productive wide receiver when healthy.
After the first two games of the season, Coleman was tied for second on the team with six receptions, which he turned into 62 yards and one touchdown. Averaging 10.3 yards per catch, Coleman is one of just two Browns receivers with a touchdown reception this season.
In 2016, Coleman suffered a broken bone in his right hand in the week leading up to the third game of the season and missed six weeks of play. However, the 2016 injury did not require surgery.
In two years with the Browns, Coleman has been on the receiving end of 39 passes for 475 yards and four touchdowns over 12 games, all of which he started.
“I like Corey,” Jackson said. “Those things that happened, they are behind him now. He has paid his dues as far as that is concerned, but leaders have to do the right things at all times. I think he gets that. That is the message that has been relayed to him.
“You can’t do it sometimes. You have to do it all the time. I think he gets that. I think he was embarrassed that it happened. I think he has asked for forgiveness from his teammates, and I think we are moving on from it.”