Cole Beasley hasn’t been quiet in expressing his happiness with his new home and team in Buffalo. Beasley has spent his whole life in Texas but now gets a chance to shine with the Bills after seven seasons with Dallas.
Beasley entered the league as an undrafted free agent and earned his role with the Cowboys. Beasley admits that he never really wanted to be in Dallas. It was a place for him to get an opportunity. In his career, Beasley turned into a star slot receiver for the Cowboys known for his reliability.
Now, Beasley has another opportunity to show that in Buffalo.
High percentage target
Since his second year in the NFL, Beasley has played in 93 out of 96 games for the Cowboys. He has 319 catches on 450 targets while averaging just over 10 yards per reception. Something that makes him so valuable is his catch percentage. He caught 74.7 percent of balls thrown his way last season.
“It’s big, especially for the type of offense that we run,” quarterback Josh Allen said, “A good example, New England’s had Julian Edelman for a long time. Tom [Brady] trusts him, knows where he’s going to be, knows his body language. It’s no secret that we run a similar offense to the Patriots, and we want to utilize our slot guys, too, to make somebody miss and get up field.”
Bills fans have probably seen more of Edelman than Beasley’s tape since he lines up against the Bills twice a year but, Beasley can be that X-factor to the Buffalo offense.
Reliability on third down
Allen threw deep more than any other quarterback last season. A reliable target underneath should increase Allen’s completion rate and increase the length of drives, especially with his play on third down. Allen called Beasley his new “safety valve.”
“That’s a quarterback’s best friend,” general manager Brandon Beane said. “A guy that you know – if the route is supposed to be six yards, and option in or option out, you know sometimes receivers, some guys aren’t as technically sound. They’re going to run it at seven or eight or a guy is going to run it at four. A guy is pressing them and they’re nervous that the quarterback isn’t going to see them, so they cut it short and it’s 3rd-and-5 and they run it four yards.”
Beasley and Allen have a lot of work to do before the season starts. Beasley was sidelined with a core muscle injury throughout OTAs but participated in drills during minicamp.
“I’ll probably annoy the heck out of him,” Beasley said on his relationship with Allen. “The whole time I’m here. I’ve always been that way, very engaged with the quarterback and want to know what he’s thinking, I want to know what he saw.”
Beasley can’t wait to get back to playing football. His current injury has kept him away from the game longer than he’s ever had. Beasley won’t be returning to Texas this offseason, he’ll do that when Buffalo plays Dallas on Thanksgiving. He’ll spend his time at the Bills facilities until training camp begins, rehabbing and making sure he can be the same receiver that led the Cowboys in targets (98), receptions (75) and yards (833) in 2016.
High football IQ
“When you turn on the film for Cole, you see a guy that is quick. Quicker than fast, gets off the line and he does a great job with his routes of not selling them,” Beane said. “He doesn’t give away to the defender which way he’s going. He gets onto those option routes and he had of all the receivers, the quickest immediate, out-of-the-cut separation.”
Beasley is one of the most confident players in the NFL and knows its his job to be the best he can for Buffalo.
“You have to be to play wideout,” Beasley said of being supremely confident. “You can't go into a game thinking you're not going to win. You can't play football that way. You can't play any competitive sport without confidence. ... In my mind, nobody can cover me – it doesn't matter what corner is in front of me. You have to think that way as a wideout, or you've already lost, because I know the corner on the other end is thinking the same way.”