Corey Coleman has long been fond of Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. The Browns rookie describes him as a role model, a mentor, and it's for good reason.
"He has done so much for the game. I respect him," Coleman said Monday, with a trip to Baltimore set for Thursday night. "We have to try our hardest and put in the work this week getting prepared for them and do a good job."
After all, the 13-year veteran remains a viable playmaker and has laid something of a path for some of his younger counterparts to follow.
But Smith said such admiration goes both ways.
"At the end of the day, I like the dog in him. I just love the way he plays and some of the things I have heard by the way he handles himself at practice. It is one of those things you can't pinpoint," he said on a conference call with reporters.
"It's more that you can see it as a wide receiver, what he has and what he doesn't have. He has a lot of great attributes as a wide receiver, even as a young player."
That was perhaps most evident when these two passcatchers met in Week 2, which saw the Ravens rally past Cleveland in the second half. It was a frustrating defeat, to be sure, but it also offered plenty of silver linings.
One bright spot was Coleman, who caught five passes for 104 yards, two touchdowns and seemed to flash the kind of promise that made him the 15th overall pick in this year's draft. And while this will be his second game back since missing six weeks because of a broken hand, Coleman has the attention of Baltimore's secondary.
"He sure looked good on tape to me then, and he looks good on tape to me this past week," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, referencing Coleman's three catches for 41 yards against the Cowboys.
"Obviously, he is going to be a threat that we are going to have to deal with as far as a downfield threat certainly. He just looks like he is really developing very nicely and is a heck of a pick for them."
Smith also had praise for fellow rookie receiver Jordan Payton, who saw his snaps increase in recent weeks without Coleman in the lineup.
"I have known Jordan since he was 9 years old," Smith said, adding he played with Payton's older brother, Michael, at Santa Monica College before transferring to Utah.
"I have known him for a very long time. I have seen him grow up back in high school. I watched him, unfortunately, put up some big numbers against Utah when he was at UCLA. I have always known him for a very long time. To me, it is kind of cool that, if he is active and playing, that we get to play against each other and be on the field at the very same time. That's really cool for me."
That sentiment goes both ways.
"He is an unbelievable guy," Coleman said.