The New England Patriots were one of those teams, and they landed him in the Fifth Round of the 1991 Draft. After obtaining only 30 catches in his first two seasons, his fortunes changed with the arrival of Coach, Bill Parcells, and Quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, and he was incorporated as a more significant part of the Patriots offense.
From 1993 to 1998, Coates had at least 50 Receptions and 600 Yards per season. His best season was 1994, where Coates had career-highs in Receptions (96) and Receiving Yards (1,174), and it began a five-year run of Pro Bowls and a two-year run of First Team All-Pros. Coates helped the Patriots won the AFC in 1996, but they would lose to the Packers.
Coates declined in 1999 and was released after the season. He had one final year in football with the Baltimore Ravens, winning Super Bowl XXXV.
Coates was named to the 1990s All-Decade Team, and in 2005, he entered the Patriots Hall of Fame.