Player to Watch - The Coates Factor

One of the most mouth-watering matchups in the NFL Steelers vs Patriots is this Sunday, everyone is buzzing. The player to watch this week out for is wide receiver Sammie Coates.

Coates was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2015 Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and was supposed to hit the ground the running in the league with his reputation. Known as the Big Man at Auburn surely he was the perfect character for the NFL but unfortunately it didn't go to plan. Throughout the whole of the regular season in his first year, he caught only one pass. The only time he saw some action was when Antonio Brown was knocked out of the game by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, filling in at WR3 behind Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant.

This season though his fortunes have changed. Coates took on some important advice from Brown about nutrition and conditioning his body for the pro game. In combination with this, Bryant's suspension and constant injury concerns over Wheaton.The guy formerly-known-as Big Man has gone from bust to success, having caught 19 passes 421 yards to his name already.

The key for the Patriots in stopping Coates is to once again pile the pressure on him because he is prone to dropping more than the odd ball. We all know Brown is going to be double covered so it will give the sophomore more space to work with which is dangerous with his talents. Coates is now the Steelers legitimate deep threat but with Landry Jones probably at quarterback expect him to struggle in comparison to Big Ben being under centre. If the front four pressure the 2nd string QB and make him throw it up towards his man off balance, expect the likes of Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan to take their opportunity to make a play. So the key for stopping Coates isn't just dealing with him but actually pressurizing an inexperienced QB into mistakes when trying to establish a link up with a player like Coates.

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