Rookie OL Shon Coleman ends season on high note

Shon Coleman waited for months for a moment like Sunday's.

The third-round right tackle simply didn't play all that much during his first NFL season. An injury kept him out of rookie minicamp, OTAs and veteran minicamp, hindering his ability to compete for a starting role. And in a season filled with injuries and adversity along the offensive line, starting right tackle Austin Pasztor remained healthy and available from start to finish.

So Coleman waited, getting better behind the scenes as he became more and more comfortable with an offense that shared little resemblance to the one he tackled at Auburn. After a string of games in which he was inactive, Coleman was active for most of the second half of the season but didn't see the field for more than a snap or two.

The big opportunity came in Sunday's second half, when Coleman spelled Cameron Erving at right tackle. He ultimately logged 38 snaps, which were split up by a brief injury scare, and showed he could hold his own against the Browns' top rival.

"It was something I needed to do before the season ended just to see where I was at," Coleman said, "see what I need to work on in the offseason."

Unfortunately, there's no next game for Coleman to use the performance to build upon. But there are vital months of offseason ahead of him, and he's entering them in much better condition than this time last year, when he was dealing with a knee injury.

What's on his plate over the next few months? Coleman didn't hesitate.

"A lot of things," Coleman said.

"Pass protection is one of the biggest things you've got to be able to do in this league. That's something I took very serious. Just doing the work, knowing the play calls, knowing the playbook and getting better everything I need to get better at. That's what I'm trying to do this offseason."

Coleman added he'll incorporate some training methods from Browns strength and conditioning/skills development coach Joe Kim, whose background is heavy in martial arts. Kim works with players on both sides of the ball with a heavy focus on pass rushers and the players tasked to stop them.

Coleman will have a handful of highlights to analyze from his snaps against the Steelers. Perhaps none was bigger than his leveling block of safety Mike Mitchell, who was cleared from a play that ended with Browns running back Isaiah Crowell 67 yards down the field.

"It all went so fast," Coleman said. "I was just trying to look for someone to block. Just reacted and Crow made a great run to get out in space. It was a team deal."

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