Pittsburgh Steelers WR Sammie Coates, a former Auburn standout, didn’t make much of an impact in his rookie season until the playoffs.
In Pittsburgh’s loss to the Denver Broncos, Coates had two catches for 61 yards. He caught only one pass for 11 yards in the entire regular season.
But, with Martavis Bryant suspended for the 2016 season, the Steelers will need Coates to play a bigger role in the offense.
Early reports from camp suggest Coates is confident and up to the challenge so far:
“My confidence came through just being on the ‘(scout) team’ for a year. It didn’t come from the playoff game,” Coates said. “My confidence came just from working hard every day and wanting to just keep pushing even when I was tired.
“It built over time.”
Though it took Coates a while to learn what the NFL was all about, he said he hopes to carry his momentum from the Denver game into the 2016 season:
“The whole season kept building up, and I knew I had to keep getting better,” Coates said. “If I got an opportunity to make plays, I had to show that I could make plays. I knew I had to grow from there, and that Denver game just pushed me to the next level of where I want to go.”
Coates is competing for Pittsburgh’s No. 3 wide receiver spot. Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton are the team’s likely starters.
Source: Saturday Down South