CLEVELAND -- Corey Coleman’s rookie season with the Cleveland Browns got off to a slow start because of a hamstring injury, but after missing several practices in training camp and being limited for the bulk of the preseason, the first-year wide receiver has proven himself to be a playmaker at the NFL level.
After going without a reception through the preseason, Coleman has turned seven catches into 173 yards and two touchdowns, all of which lead the Browns, over the first two weeks of the regular season despite having different starting quarterbacks in each of those games.
Coleman was on the receiving end of two touchdowns in Sunday’s 25-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“I would rather take the win than the way I played, but it didn’t work out that way,” Coleman said. “We are going to go back to the lab and keep on working.”
The Browns came out firing in their home opener, and Coleman got things started when he hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh McCown and gave Cleveland a 7-0 lead over the Ravens with 9:45 to play in the first quarter.
Facing a third-and-10 after gaining back the 10 yards from an offensive pass interference penalty, McCown took the shotgun snap from center Cameron Erving, dropped back in the pocket and lofted the pass deep down the left side of the field.
Behind the coverage of a Ravens defensive back, Coleman hauled in the throw and got two feet down in bounds before being pushed out of the back of the end zone. An official review of the play upheld the call on the field of a touchdown.
Following an 85-yard touchdown run from Isaiah Crowell, the Browns’ defense ratcheted up the pressure and forced an interception of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Four plays later, they turned the miscue into a touchdown, as McCown completed an 11-yard pass to Coleman.
Although Coleman had early success against the Ravens, he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct early in the fourth quarter, and that penalty backed the Browns out of field goal range.
“It can’t happen because it bumps us back out of field goal range,” McCown said. “You get three there, and we are driving with a different mentality at the end. All of these things are part of the growing curve with a young team. It is just disappointing because we were standing right there with a chance to win the ball game against a good team. We just have to reload and go back to work.”