When it comes to the Cleveland Browns, patience is often seen as a four-letter word.
But wide receiver Rashard Higgins is working to show that patience can sometimes pay off.
Higgins was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft after setting school records at Colorado State for receptions (239), receiving yards (3,649) and touchdowns (31). After a rocky rookie season that only saw him be targeted 12 times, Higgins was cut at the end of the 2017 preseason.
He landed on the Browns practice squad for the opening game of the season before rejoining the active roster in Week 2. It was a mostly nondescript season until Week 17, when Higgins had a pair of touchdown receptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That effort carried over into training camp as Higgins quickly developed a connection with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Higgins has also made the most of his opportunities in the preseason as he has recored eight receptions for 113 yards in the three exhibition games.
His work has caught the attention of the coaching staff, as head coach Hue Jackson said on Monday, per clevelandbrowns.com:
“I think he has really improved. He if one of the most improved players. If you think about Year 1, and Year 2, he started contributing. Obviously, the young man got cut before the first game, made it back, made plays and now you see him now. He is contributing as a member of the offensive football team.
“He had the longest touchdown catch and run last year for our team against Pittsburgh. Whatever that is, he has it. He has enough speed on gameday to make those plays. Sometimes speed — obviously, we all want it — I think it is a little overrated. Can the guy play, play fast and play consistently throughout a game? I think that is what is important.”
Higgins has shown what can happen when a team gives its young players the time to develop, rather than casting them aside at the first opportunity.
And given the way he has played so far throughout the summer, Higgins should not have anything to fear when the Browns make their roster cuts on Saturday.