When Alfredo Roberts walks into his tight ends room each morning he can’t help but smile.
Looking at him is a trio of excited players experiencing their first NFL season.
“Energy, energy, energy,” Roberts said of his tight ends room. “It’s been fun because they are buying in. It’s a new lesson each day.”
The elder statesmen of Roberts’ room is 25-year old Dominique Jones.
This time last year Jones was playing in the Indoor Football League but his versatility to line up at a number of spots on the field has him in the NFL.
“He’s an interesting story because he had to persevere to actually get to this spot,” Roberts said of Jones. “He adds a different dimension because he had some success in the preseason catching the football so guys know that he can catch and run, so you can’t just turn a blind eye to him.”
Following Jones, is the recently turned 24-year old Coby Fleener.
At six-foot-six-inches and over 250 pounds, Fleener’s frame is similar to many of the premier tight ends in the league.
Fleener caught six balls for 82 yards in his first career NFL game playing in front of family and friends in Chicago.
While Roberts is preaching consistently with his young group, having a player like Fleener can make up for the inexperience.
“Everything is not going to be perfectly laid out for you so sometimes you need that great athlete to make that unusual play to get yourself going,” Roberts said of Fleener.
Allen brings the physical nature to the group, excelling in run blocking but showed what he can do in the receiving game with a handful of catches for 35 yards on Sunday.
“He’s always had the opportunity to have some production in the passing game,” Roberts said of Allen. “Sometimes the ball doesn’t find him just based on defensive structure or play call.”
Roberts admitted that the energy he gets from his players has rubbed off on him. He has seen strides daily from the trio and for a coach that has kids a few years younger than his tight ends, he knows he must keep things interesting.
“For me it’s a lot of college football talk, get those guys motivated and keep them consistent,” Roberts said. “We got Green Bay coming in next week and that’ll be interesting because those linebackers will be a nice matchup to see how they guard these guys.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, Coby Fleener, Dominique Jones, dwayne allen
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