Will the real Brandon Coleman please stand up, please stand up, please stand up? What, he is up already? Well, that’s a bummer. The Saints’ lanky wide receiver is an interesting case: he is a restricted free agent, and if you want some interesting metrics about his 2017 season and whether the Saints should keep him on the roster for next season, our own John Hendrix wrote a very informative piece about it right here.
What I want to talk about today however, is whether Coleman’s production in New Orleans goes beyond his receiving numbers. Sometimes, coaches keep guys on their team because of fit in the locker room, or because of potential. Whether right, wrong or foolish, Sean Payton seems to think that someday, somehow, Brandon Coleman is going to turn into Marques Colston. We’ve been waiting: Coleman has been with the Saints since 2014, when he signed as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers.
It didn’t start great, as Coleman spent all of his rookie season on the bench, essentially the equivalent of a professional redshirt year. In 2015, he was the rage of training camp, the “guy to watch” and finished the year with four starts, 30 catches, 454 receiving yards and two measly touchdowns. 2016 was not better, as the wide receiver hauled in only 26 passes, 281 yards and three touchdowns. Not exactly Marques Colston-esque, and yet Sean Payton has kept him on the team.
Then came last season, when Coleman scored the same amount of touchdown as in 2016 (3), but saw is average yards-per-reception go up to 15.8, with 23 catches on 37 targets for 364 yards and a career-long 54-yarder. What was most significant however is that the Saints wideout found a niche for himself in the Saints resurgent running game in 2017. For a wide receiver getting only 37 targets on the year, Coleman saw a whopping 651 offensive snaps during the regular season, 62.8% of the total offensive snaps. He was a big part of the Saints’ blocking scheme on running plays and often the last piece of the puzzle to spring long runs by teammates Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.
Pragmatically-speaking, based solely on his receiving production throughout his Saints career, Brandon Coleman does not really deserve to be on the Saints 53-man roster on the opening day of the 2018 NFL regular season. However, he became a key piece of the Saints’ offensive scheme in 2017 and it’s not altogether unlikely that he could indeed be on the Saints’ roster next season. As we’ve seen a few times in the Sean Payton era, when the Saints head coach believes in a player, he tends to keep him around. Sometimes longer than he should, but in the case of Brandon Coleman, I am actually of the belief that at 25 years old, he is a player who may just be getting the hang of it and finding a true role in the Saints’ offense. In other words, I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of him returning to the team in 2018. How about you?
Should the Saints re-sign Brandon Coleman?
This poll is closed
The offseason sucks, I need more burgers!