CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Ricardo Louis is not interested in getting things right some of the time. Instead, every time he walks onto the football field or into a meeting room, he wants “to do everything right.”
According to Louis, that perfectionist mentality comes from wanting to be ready anytime he is given a chance to play, whether it be in coverage or returns on special teams or as a pass catcher for the offense.
“You work so hard and when you get an opportunity and you lose an opportunity and you don’t make the best of it, anybody will feel like that if you want to get it back,” Louis said. “I’m hard on myself, but at the same time, I still come in with the mindset and come to work like, ‘Yo, you have to get better. You have to work on the things that you need to work on.’ Then, moving onto next week, you capitalize on things you did well and fix the things you did wrong and you can move forward and get better.”
Plagued by dropped passes for several weeks to start the 2016 season, Louis had a breakout game in last week’s 28-26 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Louis hauled in five passes from rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, and turned those receptions into 65 yards, an average of 13.0 yards per catch. One of those catches went for 42 yards on a touchdown drive that drew the Browns to within a point of the Titans, 14-13, before halftime.
“He bounced back,” assistant head coach Pep Hamilton said. “He has worked hard this week to make sure that we don’t have those drops in critical situations, not to say that that was not a point of emphasis for all our receivers throughout the course of this season.
“We have to make the plays when the plays present themselves, but he is working hard at it. He is a young guy that the more he plays, the more confidence that he is going to develop and that he has developed up until this point to be able to go out there and know that he is a playmaker in this league and he can be a playmaker in this league.”
One of four receivers selected by the Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft, Louis has worked hard not only to get on the field on a more consistent basis, but also, show the coaches that he and his classmates are ready to be playmakers.
And Louis has seen that work pay off in practice for both himself and Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, who he believes can join him as an impactful player for the offense.
“Every day, we go out there and get better,” Louis said. “We are definitely taking strides, and we are definitely commanding the offense and learning all the plays and just mastering the position. That is the main thing.
“You come in as a rookie, you want to master the position and get out there and play and do your best, and that is what he has been doing. I think that once we get in the game and once he starts to play more, you will definitely see the greatness.
“We want to make the game fun. It is a tough game, a lot of adversity, but at the same time, you want to have fun doing it. This is the game that we love. This is football. When you have somebody who is out there with the same mindset -- he wants to make plays and do good and once you get in the end zone and score, you want to have fun and get the crowd into it, get the team confident and get the team momentum -- it gives the team something to want to do again and score more and more and win.”