clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steelers impressed with rookie receiver Sammie Coates thus far

New, comments

Known for finishing off big plays at Auburn, Steelers rookie Sammie Coates has shown that same ability thus far at Steelers' OTAs.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

At Auburn, Sammie Coates was known for finishing off pass plays by creating big plays.

It appears that Coates showcased that ability during the Steelers' first week of OTAs.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Coates has looked sharp in his first few days of offseason activity, especially in his ability to close out plays.

Several of Coates' new teammates, including right tackle Marcus Gilbert, were impressed by what they saw from the team's third round pick.

"He looks like he knows how to finish a play with strength, especially in the middle of the field," Gilbert told ESPN. "That’s something I noticed."

It was also something that caught the eye of third year receiver Markus Wheaton, who finished the season four on the Steelers in catches and receiving yards in 2014. Wheaton is another intricate piece of a Steelers receiving unit that includes Coates, second year man Martavis Bryant, and All-Pro Antonio Brown.

"He looks good," Wheaton told ESPN. "Obviously as a rookie, he has a lot to learn. But physically, he’s where he needs to be."

Coates didn't get the ball thrown to him often, but he made the most of his opportunities while at Auburn. The 6'1'', 212-pound Coates averaged 21.4 yards per catch with the Tigers on 82 career receptions. In 2013, Coates averaged over 54 yards per touchdown reception while recording 14 receptions that exceeded 30 yards. This past season, Coates bullied Alabama for five catches and 206 yards while averaging 21.8 yards per catch last fall.

While it's very early, the initial overview of Coates is a positive one. While Coates' physical tools and his ability to finish off big plays have been documented, there also hasn't been anything said questioning his catching ability. Coates appeared not only catch passes last week, he turned them into big gains, a skill that could make the Steelers offense even more potent in the upcoming season.