Transcript: Bills GM Brandon Beane talks about WR Corey Coleman, Aug 6
General Manager Brandon Beane
Monday, August 6, 2018
Q: What was it about [Corey] Coleman’s skillset that was the reason you went about acquiring him?
A: You know, Corey, his speed- I remember scouting him in college. We actually did a private with him, so I got to know him a little bit [and] his makeup and all of that. It hadn’t worked out in Cleveland, probably the way he thought [when] he was drafted or the way they thought when they drafted him in the first round, so it’s a fresh start for him to come in here and compete. He’s not going to automatically get anything; he’s going to come in here and compete and that’s what we told him on the phone last night. We’ll get him in here today. He still has to pass the physical, though guys before the trade us finalized.
Q: There was a report it was a seventh [round pick] in 2020 [as] the compensation. Can you confirm that, Brandon?
Q: Obviously, he had injury trouble in both of his seasons. Do you look at that and say, ‘this kid has got potential had he not gotten hurt’ [because] maybe there’s something there that Cleveland never got to see?
A: Yeah, that’s what you hope. He has had a hand injury several times and has not gotten to play a 16-game season yet in two years. Again, I don’t know all what went right or wrong there. They’ve got a new regime with John Dorsey, and they’ve made some changes to their roster since John got there in January. This opportunity became available, and [he] decided to take a shot here in Buffalo.
Q: The receiver has been a question mark for much of the offseason. Is this a reflection or does this kind of confirm that you felt you had a chance to upgrade your receivers? Was receiver a priority that [you needed to] address this offseason?
A: Listen, we’re trying to get better at every position. That’s the reality. Maybe sometimes you’re looking at harder positions where the competition is unsettled. We have a lot of guys fighting [for sports] and we’ve still got a long way to go; we haven’t even played a preseason game yet. The real test will start [then]. I just thought now was the right opportunity to get him in here to start learning this offense versus waiting any longer.
Q: You mentioned his speed. Is that an element you felt you needed to add more of to this offense?
A: Yes. Definitely always looking to add speed [on] both sides of the ball, but you can’t coach speed and we’re always looking to add it. That was one of the attractive things about him coming out and he’s still got that.
Q: Are you expecting him to be in [today]?
A: He’s traveling this morning, so I don’t know an exact time. He’ll be here today and we’ll get him with our [doctors] and trainers and we’ll get him to pass a physical. Once he clears all that, then we can finalize it, get him in here, and get him in the playbook.
Q: Is there any chance he plays Thursday?
A: That’s up to Sean [McDermott] and his staff if they feel like he’s ready and knows [the playbook]. We don’t want to put anybody out there that is not ready. I don’t know; it’s too early [to make a call]. Hopefully, we can get him on the field tomorrow to practice and see where he’s at from there. We really won’t have much time Wednesday. It’s kind of a slow day.
Q: Was this recent dialogue with Cleveland or did you discuss it with them for a while? Months, maybe?
A: Yeah, [it] picked back up. [We had] a lot of conversations and we did talk about some things in the spring, but nothing [until recently]. This picked up in the last few days.
Q: With it picking back up, was that in response to maybe what you guys had seen through the first week and a half of training camp?
A: No, we were constantly checking with teams with various positions, players, both ways. We get calls all the time on guys, checking on the roster, [teams asking] are you guys heavy here? Sometimes you’re looking and you find a need; sometimes, it’s the player. This time, it was a pick for a player.
Q: Brandon, do you sort of view this as a low risk gamble for you guys? It seems like a seventh in 2020 doesn’t sound like a real big price tag.
A: Exactly, yeah. I agree.
Q: When he arrives, how do you approach a guy that brings a lot of baggage from Cleveland? It’s not his fault that the Browns picked him the first round, but he’s been known as the guy who solidified in the 0-16 season with that drop against the Steelers. How do you deal with that, how do you address that and how much do you think a fresh start might be a big thing for him outside of Cleveland?
A: We all go through things in life that don’t go our way all the time. I’m sure there’s things that went well there that, if you turn on his clips, he makes a lot of good plays. I’m sure he’s not happy about the play that you’re referring to. I’m sure he wished he played all 16 games both season. I think fresh start is probably the best way I would put it. You guys would have to ask him when he gets in here.
Q: Brandon, Coleman is one of those guys, an increasing number of receivers, that have a tough time trying to adjust to the NFL. Why is it that receivers in your opinion are having a tougher time getting into it and really making an impact early in their careers?
A: I think a lot of times in college, offenses, they just don’t focus on the precision of the routes and the knowledge of the playbook. A lot of things are signaled in. I’m directly signaling to you or [someone else] is signaling to [another person]. I’m not having to know the whole concept, I just have to know where I line up and you’re going to tell me exactly before the play what to do. In the pros, it’s not run that way, so it does take time depending on what offense you played in college.
Q: Does that mean you have to be more patient and can you afford to be more patient with guys like that, specifically higher draft picks?
A: Yeah, you’ve got to know [that] when you draft. Ideally, guys in the first round don’t take so long. There’s various reasons, as we said like injuries, the system, there’s just not a good fit for where you’re at; there’s a lot of reasons and again, I don’t know all what went right or wrong for Corey in Cleveland, but again, we view it as a fresh start here to earn and compete. There’s nothing guaranteed here; he’s got to come in and earn it, whether it’s a starting job or a job on the 53 [man roster].
Q: I know the trade with the Chiefs and Dorsey was before you got here, but this is the third time this organization and John Dorsey made a deal in the last 15 months. What is it about that relationship that allows that to come together?
A: Yeah, I don’t know if there’s anything more to it. I’ve got a lot of respect for John and [I’ve] probably talked to him more than I’ve talked to some other GMs, but I don’t know about the trade with the Chiefs when they traded up for [Patrick] Mahomes, because I was in Carolina. John is a good man and he’s doing what he thinks is best for the Browns, and obviously, I’m doing what I think is best for us here in Buffalo.
Q: Brandon, what was the vetting process like when you were trying to figure out how Corey would fit in here? Cleveland was pretty eager to get rid of a guy that they picked in the first round, so how do you go about doing that in a short period of time?
A: Well, Cleveland was, but John wasn’t there to pick him in the first round. I think it’s a little different when you have a new regime and you’re a little less attached. If this guy’s not doing everything you want every day, then I didn’t pick him. Again, we’re just looking at bringing him in, getting to know him a little bit more. I haven’t been around him since we scouting him in college, so we’ll tell him how we do things around here, what the expectations are. Sean and I will sit down with him once he, assume he, passes a physical and we’ll lay out our standard and what we expect. Again, he’s just coming in here to compete and earn. I think this is, like you said, a low risk and we’ll see what happens.
Q: Brandon, the Bills struggles with the pass offense predate you and Sean. How do you expect this group, whoever the starting quarterback ends up being and the pieces around him, how do you expect them to kind of overcome that and be better?
A: Again, we’re looking at the season as a fresh start. We brought in Brian Daboll, a new system, new energy, new everything. We’ve got some new quarterbacks, too; Nathan Peterman is the only guy returning. Those guys, none of three quarterbacks were here, Brian Daboll wasn’t here, Sean and I weren’t here, so we’re not looking back, we’re looking forward. We like where we’re headed, but we haven’t arrived. We know we have a lot of work to do.
Q: There’s been a lot of dialogue the last couple of days between Kelvin [Benjamin] and the Panthers. You obviously have some firsthand experience there, so what was your reaction to what he said about his fit in Carolina?
A: I echo what Sean said. We spoke to Kelvin and we wish he hadn’t handled it that way. He understands and I don’t’ think you’ll see that from him going forward.