New Browns coach Hue Jackson isn't alarmed or upset. His words are not meant to be insults. That being said, he wants his rookie wide receiver and first-round pick in better practice shape.
"He's got to get in shape," Jackson said of Corey Coleman, via Cleveland.com. "He's explosive and he can catch the ball. He's extremely talented and gifted. (But) he's one of the guys that has to get in shape. He saw himself, 'whoa, this is different.' And it is. But we'll get him to where he needs to be."
Jackson, who admitted to ribbing Coleman during practice, said he wouldn't be bringing it up if he didn't think Coleman could handle it.
"He understands where he needs to be and I'm excited about him. He gets it. It'd be different if I didn't think a young man gets it, he does," Jackson said. "And he knows there's work to do. That's what this is all about. That's why they call us coaches. We've got to take these guys and mold them into our culture and to our idea of being football players for the Cleveland Browns and we'll get them there."
Like what Jerry Jones said about Dez Bryant recently, it's important not to take Jackson's words out of context. Jackson believes that there is a level of conditioning specific to the NFL. Coleman, and other rookies, are impacted by myriad factors heading into rookie camp. They have been training non-stop since their last season ended, they're sleeping in a new place and are being pulled in 100 different directions by family and team responsibilities. Practices are faster and are more jam-packed with information than ever.
"This is not a negative," Jackson said. "This is something that I anticipated in some areas, and we'll get these guys there because we have one of the best strength staffs that there are in football."
This is part of the reason teams rushed to hire Jackson. He has a way of being blunt but encouraging all in the same sentence. The Browns are going to be one of the youngest teams in football over the next four years so setting a tone early is crucial. Jackson has been waiting a long time for another chance at a head coaching gig and he's not about to start it with players not up to his standards.