Brandon Coleman never lived up to his preseason hype as a potential 2015 breakout candidate in the New Orleans Saints offense.
After a 2014 tenure on the New Orleans Saints‘ practice squad following his addition to the team as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, wide receiver Brandon Coleman was finally called upon for a true role with the team in 2015.
From the start of minicamp through the end of training camp at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, the hype surrounding Brandon Coleman was about as real as it gets.
Following the departure of All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham in addition to the decline of Marques Colston, the Saints were in search of a new big man, a target for Drew Brees to look for in the red zone.
Displaying good speed, route separation, play-making ability, as well as looking like he had overcome the dropped passes we saw from a year ago, Brandon Coleman was one of the big stars at training camp, shining his way onto the 53-man roster. Both the local and national media were gushing over him as a breakout candidate for the 2015 season.
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The hype stopped there. Coleman was in no way, shape or form a bad wideout. He just never really found his rhythm. That preseason momentum never carried over into the regular season.
He was, however, on the other end of Drew Brees’ first passing touchdown of the year, which came in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. But he also registered a critical third-down drop that day.
Coleman would see a steady decrease in snaps each game as the season progressed, until an injury that kept Willie Snead sidelined Week 13 against the Carolina Panthers. That day, Coleman was in for 47 plays, his most since the season opener in Arizona. He’d make them count after totaling four catches for 71 yards and a touchdown — his best game as a pro.
Brandon Coleman finished his inconsistent debut season as Drew Brees’ No. 7 man on the passing totem pole, tallying just 30 catches for 454 yards and two touchdowns. However, he finished first among wide receivers with 15.1 yards per reception.
Again, it may have a been bit disappointing due to all the hype, but Coleman did not have a bad season. He just wasn’t ready neither physically nor mentally to have a breakout year. Of course, Brandin Cooks‘ emergence, Willie Snead’s eruption, and Benjamin Watson‘s epic career revival did not help Coleman’s personal production.
The ceiling is still high for Coleman. 2016 will be a fresh start if the Saints plan to keep him around, which is very likely. He won’t be a free agent until 2017 and he’ll only count $525,000 against the cap next season.
The 6-foot-6 monster has some things to improve on mechanically over the offseason. But most importantly, Brandon Coleman needs to work on his confidence — he often got down on himself. 2015 was not the year fans were hoping for, but if advancements are made, 2016 could be.