Brandon Coleman shows promise in regular season debut for Saints
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman had a big game Sunday. It was in no way, shape or form an all-star performance, but he did come away with the team’s only touchdown of the day and the first of his young and promising career — a big confidence booster for the second-year wideout.
Granted, they faced arguably the best secondary in all the NFL, the Saints struggled mightily in the red zone against the Arizona Cardinals. But Brandon Coleman, who spent his rookie season on the Saints’ practice squad, came up big when he needed to.
It’s good news for the Saints, as they desperately search for somebody, or rather a group of pass catchers who can help make up for the loss of All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. At 6-foot-6, doesn’t Brandon Coleman seem like the perfect candidate?
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In 2014, Coleman had a hard time holding onto the football during training camp and the preseason, which is why he spent his rookie campaign on the practice squad. But after trading away Graham, it was apparent the Saints would turn to Coleman in hopes of him helping the team’s production in the red zone. He had a drop yesterday — a critical drop on 3rd down. However, he was New Orleans’ only productive receiver in the red zone against one of the top defenses in the league.
Now, with Marques Colston evidently declining, Brandon Coleman’s talents are urgently needed. The dropped passes can be fixed, and they’ll need to be. The wide receiver position is scarce, and it may be up to the second-year man to keep that unit alive.
This is no bash on Brandin Cooks, who was held in check most of the day by Patrick Peterson, perhaps the best coverage corner in all the land. Cooks will still excel and help quarterback Drew Brees carry this offense as the go-to target. However, when it comes to production in the red zone, the big bodies like Coleman are crucial.
If he fixes the drops, he may wind up the runner up to Cooks in the catches category. His talents will be required all season long. Dropped pass aside, it was a praiseworthy day for Coleman in his regular season debut. He and the Saints face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their home opener on Sunday.