Countdown to Camp is a series aimed at preparing fans for the Pittsburgh Steelers upcoming training camp by focusing on players who were on the 2016 roster. Each profile will include basic statistics and a hand selected highlight from last year.
|Date of birth||March 31, 1993 (age 24)|
|Place of birth||Leroy, Alabama|
|High school||Leroy (AL)|
|NFL Draft||2015 / Round 3 / Pick 87|
|Career||Pittsburgh Steelers (2015-present)|
The Steelers have a crowded wide receiver corps headed into training camp, but Sammie Coates is looking for a season of redemption after he dealt with injuries - especially to his fingers - in 2016.
After being drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Coates moved up the depth chart his sophomore season, mainly due to the year-long suspension of fellow receiver Martavis Bryant. With Bryant out of the lineup, Coates looked to be the next deep threat weapon for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
In his first three games of the 2016 season, Coates demonstrated why opponents should take him seriously on the outside. In just nine catches, Coates recorded 203 receiving yards. His longest receptions in that period went for 42, 53 and 41 yards respectively. The 53-yard reception against the Cincinnati Bengals in week two set up a short touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to tight end Jesse James.
Coates would completely take the top off of the New York Jets defense in week five with his longest catch-and-run on a 72-yard bomb; he finished the game with 139 receiving yards and averaged 23.2 yards per reception in his best game of the season. Unfortunately, it was against the Jets that Coates' fingers were injured, setting up a string of games that kept him on the sidelines.
This season, Coates looks to emerge as a top receiving option and will battle for a starting position at camp especially with the return of Bryant to the team.