Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates didn’t get an opportunity to play much during his rookie season and that’s not overly surprising being as the team stayed relatively healthy at the position during the regular season. On Wednesday at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked to evaluate Coates’ rookie season.
“Sammie grew as the year went on,” said Colbert. “He had to make some changes into a more of a conventional offense and learn to run more of a route tree than he was exposed to in some of the spread offenses that they run in college, so he progressed as the year went on.
“He was playing behind some pretty good receivers, so he really didn’t get the opportunities until the playoff game against Denver after Antonio Brown was injured and he stepped up and made some nice plays. So we’re hopeful about his future.”
In total, Coates played 34 offensive snaps in 2015 and as Colbert pointed out, most of those came in the Steelers Divisional Round playoff game against the Denver Broncos. While Coates only registered one catch for 11 yards during the regular season, he did have two receptions for 61 yards in the playoff loss to the Broncos.
Should Coates continue to make progress during the offseason, he could wind up pushing fellow Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton for playing time in 2016 and especially being as he could potentially wind up being the better run blocker of the two.
The Steelers drafted Coates last year in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Auburn.