clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gamble on Corey Coleman paying off for Giants

Former Browns first-round pick is excelling as a kickoff returner

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Corey Coleman
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

About a month ago the New York Giants, looking for an additional wide receiver and some energy in their kick return game, decided to “kick the tires” on Corey Coleman despite a tumultuous stretch that had seen Coleman traded by the Cleveland Browns and then cut once by the Buffalo Bills and twice by the New England Patriots since the beginning training camp.

That decision is paying dividends for the Giants.

A third-year player, the speedy Coleman is being used as a kickoff returner for the first time in his career. Coleman is averaging 28.6 yards on eight returns, including a 51-yarder. If Coleman had enough returns to qualify, he would be sixth in the NFL in average yards per return.

It seems like maybe the Cleveland Browns, Bills or Patriots perhaps should have given Coleman an opportunity to return kickoffs somewhere along the way.

“I feel the same way,” Coleman said while perched on a stool in front of his locker on Wednesday. “You can’t control some things.”

“When I was on that other team in Ohio I had to just do what I was told … it comes down to control what you can control.”

That “other team in Ohio” is, of course, the Browns. Cleveland made Coleman the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and traded him to the Bills in the summer after just two seasons.

When the Giants signed Coleman Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer told us that “The Browns didn’t like his work ethic or his attitude, and he also got in some trouble here that didn’t sit well.”

Answering questions quietly and politely at his locker, Coleman said he is enjoying his time with the Giants because he is “with a great group of guys and coaches who believe in me and just let me be me.”

What has Coleman learned from the rough road he has experienced in the NFL thus far?

“I feel like don’t let anything break you. I believe in hard work, keep on pushing. God has a bigger plan. The biggest thing with me is I got to see the business aspect of it and the other side,” Coleman said.

“Don’t take anything for granted. When you go to practice every day practice hard. Be the best version of you.”

Coleman has enjoyed his time with the Giants.

“I’m loving it here. Everyone here is so kind, so genuine and they’re helping me become a better football player,” said Coleman.

He might well have been taking a swipe at the Browns when he said draft eligible players need to “pray that they get drafted into the right situation.”

“Some guys get drafted into a situation where it’s hard for them to be successful,” he said. “The stuff around them isn’t set up for them to be successful.”

In a league where the touchback is being encouraged with teams being given the ball at the 25-yard line, Coleman has thus far taken several kickoffs back from inside the end zone.

“I’m believing in myself and my skill set,” he said.

He is making believers out of the Giants, as well.