Wide receiver Brandon Coleman isn’t assured of a spot on the Saints roster, as Mike Triplett of ESPN.com writes. Coleman, who spent his rookie season on New Orleans’ practice squad, appeared in all 16 games in 2015, posting 30 receptions for 454 yards and two touchdowns. But following the Saints’ most recent preseason game, head coach Sean Payton wasn’t very complementary of Coleman’s performance.
“I thought it was just OK,” said Payton. “And honestly, it’s been kind of pedestrian from him throughout camp. There’s certain things you see and you see and you see and you see, and then all of a sudden they reveal themselves in a game. And you know what, I’m not surprised. And I think he can be better, and I know I’ve seen better.
“So he’s gonna have to pick it up. I think he will. I think he’ll compete. But I don’t like how he’s catching the ball on the first play that comes out of his hands. Too many times the ball’s separating from him.”
The Saints selected Ohio State’s Michael Thomas in the second round of this year’s draft, and he figures to take over for Marques Colston as the club’s big slot. And with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead locked in on the outside, Coleman is the fourth option on the depth chart, at best. New Orleans has spent all offseason trying to find a veteran to add to that group, as they’ve agreed to terms with both Vincent Brown and Hakeem Nicks, but neither lasted on the roster.
Payton also didn’t have kind words for return man Marcus Murphy, who has fumbled in each of the Saints’ first two preseason contests. “It just can’t happen. We’ll find another returner,” said Payton, who added that undrafted rookie free agent Tommylee Lewis will be given the chance to usurp Murphy’s role. Murphy, 24, was New Orleans’ primary returner in 2015, averaging just under 10 yards per punt return and 25 yards on kickoffs.
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