It seems that since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015, Sammie Coates has continued to get worse instead of better.
In two seasons, Sammie Coates has averaged a 46% catch rate in the NFL. Considering he only caught one of two passes in 2015, he’s really only had a 42.9% reception rate. Combine with his 435 yards and two touchdowns, Coates has been a pretty big disappointment since being considered one of the best third round pickups of his draft class.
This offseason, with the addition of JuJu Smith-Schuster and the return of Martavis Bryant, the pressure increased dramatically on Coates. While Steelers fans and the coaching staff hoped the added pressure would help him improve his catching, it appears it’s made it worse.
According to Jacob Klinger of PennLive, Coates’ 2016 struggles, even if they were blamed on a broken finger, haven’t left him during minicamp.
“Coates’ struggles of 2016, which were fair to blame on broken fingers, haven’t left him alone in 2017 either. There’s a dogfight to make the Steelers’ roster as a wideout this year, and Coates is very much in it.”
For someone who came into 2016 so hot, showing off his vertical threat ability until missing time for a finger injury, Coates disappeared for the second half of the season. Spending most of his time on special teams and struggling with drops all year, Coates found his value in Pittsburgh plummet midway through the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers usually keep five or six receivers on the active roster, which kept Coates in the mix last year. However, with the addition of Smith-Schuster, Justin Hunter, and Bryant, Coates isn’t a guarantee to make the cut.
Of the wideouts; Antonio Brown, Bryant, Eli Rogers and Smith-Schuster are certain to be on the active roster. With Coates, Hunter and Darrius Heyward-Bey fighting for the remaining one or two spots, chances are, Coates isn’t one of the final five or six.
With Hunter turning heads at minicamp and Heyward-Bey being a strong leadership presence, Coates may already be last on the list of top remaining candidates. Unless, by some miracle, he finds a way to hold on to the football, chances are he’s left on the practice squad or finds himself on the free agent market by August.
It’s never enjoyable to watch someone with as much talent as Coates fall out of the loop. Sometimes, though, players just can’t adjust to the pro level of play.
In this case, Coates just couldn’t leave his drop problems at Auburn. So, unfortunately, this looks like the beginning of the end to Sammie Coates’ time in Pittsburgh.