BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Corey Coleman is confident that he won’t have to worry about a New Years eve assault of a Mayfield Heights man and he’ll be able to just focus on his sophomore season with the Browns.
Coleman’s brother, Jonathan Coleman, and a friend, Jared Floyd, have been charged with felonious assault stemming from the incident. Court records indicate that not only was Coleman present during the assault, but he may have participated in it even though he’s not been formally charged with a crime.
And he doesn’t expect to be.
“No, not at all,” Coleman said Thursday. “I’m focused. I’m excited to be here and my lawyers and stuff, they’re handling that.”
The victim suffered a ruptured eardrum and concussion as a result of the beating which occurred in the lobby of Coleman’s West Lakeside Ave. condominium before he was moved while unconscious to a parking garage according to police.
Coleman was not identified by the victim as one of the attackers.
While Coleman is confident he’ll avoid legal trouble, he did concede the events of Dec. 31, 2016 provided him with an important life lesson.
“It’s a teachable moment for everyone,” Coleman said. “Don’t put yourself in bad situations and don’t let others put yourself in bad situations.”
Head coach Hue Jackson didn’t want to discuss what happened specifically but he had a message for Coleman and his teammates.
“I think all of our players know that we have kind of a zero tolerance when it comes to a lot of things,” Jackson said. “We will not support things that are wrong or that go wrong off of the field with our football team, not just him but any player. That is just the way it is going to be. I stand by that wholeheartedly.”
On the field, Coleman hopes to bounce back from a lackluster rookie season that saw him miss 6 weeks with a broken hand.
“Couldn’t catch a break but everything happens for a reason,” Coleman said of his rookie campaign.
He also had to miss time this offseason due to a hamstring injury after landing awkwardly while making a catch during OTAs.
“I caught a deep ball and fell back,” Coleman said. “I don’t blame anybody. It was just a freak accident and went down, the guy brought me down to the ground and I got hurt.”
Those 2 injuries combined with a history of hamstring trouble are already raising questions about his durability.
“That’s what happens when you’re fast,” Coleman quipped about the hamstring issues.
Coleman, who said that he’s doing extra exercises and stretching in an effort to limit future problems, practiced Thursday and appeared to have no ill effects while running routes and catching footballs.
Coleman averaged 12.5 yards per catch as a rookie but totaled just 33 receptions for 413 yards and 3 touchdowns – 2 of those came in Week 2 against Baltimore prior to his hand injury – in 2016.
One thing that should help Coleman this year is the playbook – or his knowledge of it – which is something he struggled with as a rookie.
“I know what is going on with the offense. I am not out there guessing, or getting out there and hoping I don’t mess up,” Coleman said. “When you start thinking about all of that stuff, you don’t play as fast as you can. With a year under my belt with the offense, I know what we are trying to do and stuff like that.”
Jackson has noticed.
“He is telling other guys how to get lined up. A year ago, he could not do that,” Jackson said. “I think it was spinning for him a year ago.”
Jackson and the Browns are counting on Coleman to live up to being picked 15th overall and develop into a No. 1 offensive threat, a challenge the former Baylor Bear is ready to meet head on.
“They drafted me in the first round, first receiver for a reason,” Coleman said. “I am confident in my ability. I know what I have to do.”