When Coby Fleener was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts at the top of the second round, his ability to create mismatches in the red zone was near the top of the list on why the Stanford tight end was so highly sought after.
It took a little longer than he was hoping but Colts fans saw the effectiveness the six-foot-six-inch Fleener can provide near the end zone on Sunday.
Isolated against Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy, Fleener went over the smaller Levy and hauled in his first NFL touchdown on a 26-yarder midway through the second quarter.
The touchdown was then followed by an animated celebration and Fleener had to thank Colts fans for the idea.
“The dance was the jackhammer and it was actually sent to me via Twitter from a fan so I appreciated his creativity and I will send him some gloves for his creativity,” Fleener said to Bob Lamey on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show.’
Fleener returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the Colts 19-13 overtime victory against the Titans on Oct. 28.
“I was excited to get back,” he said. “To stand on the sidelines is a great view for a spectators position but honestly I wanted to help the team. Getting back on the field was the only way to do it.”
Even without the services of Fleener, the Colts have found themselves in numerous one-possession games this season.
Over the past four seasons, Fleener has watched quarterback Andrew Luck orchestrate similar comebacks late in the game, so these victories don’t come as a surprise to him.
“I never count Andrew out in anything that he does,” Fleener said. “He’s a great a kid and a superb football player so I was really proud of what he did (Sunday).”
“We’ve been in situations like that before, games like that before and have come out on top in the past, so we knew it was a possibility. It was just a mentality of one play-at-a-time.”
Missing the past four games wasn’t how Fleener envisioned his rookie season after he played 51 games over four seasons at Stanford.
The All-American tight end caught 17 touchdowns over his final two seasons and was one of two tight ends the Colts selected in the first three rounds of April’s NFL Draft.
Rookie tight end Dwayne Allen and Fleener have both excelled in their first season with Bruce Arians’ offense and the duo has formed a friendship away from the gridiron.
“I think you have to give credit to (Ryan Grigson) and the scouting department in really picking quality guys that would mesh well together,” Fleener said.
“Dwayne Allen and I, despite competing for positions, get along great and are constantly joking back and forth,” Fleener said. “It’s not an ‘at each other’s throat type of rivalry.’ It’s basically we are all trying to make the team better. We are always trying to communicate any little things that we see and trying to really help the other guy with stuff that he may not catch during the game.”
With Fleener back in the lineup, the number of rookies on the Colts offense is at eight and that number helped the Colts move their record to 8-4 while recording their third road victory of 2012 over the weekend.
“Any win that we can get in the NFL is huge. It’s tough to win in this league and anytime you can sneak out with a one-point victory, or a 30-point victory, it makes no difference to us, it’s still a win in the ‘W’ column,” Fleener said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
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