The second-year wideout fumbled twice, caught three passes for just 18 yards and had one zero-yard run. The fumbles -- one lost -- were particularly disheartening because it displayed a lack of ball security and mental awareness.
Interestingly, Coates told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that he's never fumbled a football, ever, at any level; not even Pop Warner.
"Great players find a way to bounce back and fix their mistakes," Coates said. "I was careless with the ball today. There's no excuse."
We'll trust daily praise during camp over one disappointing night in the preseason, but Coates needs to push past the poor outing in the next two preseason games. He's battling fellow second-year receiver Eli Rogers (who displayed flashes of shiftiness in space last night) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (spectacular TD grab) for snaps.
While it was a disappointing day for Coates, with Ben Roethlisberger, et al., sitting out, we won't fret. But those fumbles have to go, or Coates will spend another season mostly standing on the sideline.