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The letter ‘R’ that is often seen next to tight Dwayne Allen’s name is there to indicate his inexperience in the NFL.
But there is no time to grow up at the tight end position with five players combining for a total of three years of NFL experience.
“We don’t have time to approach this as rookies,” Allen said. “I told everyone in that room because there are no (veterans), we have to approach the game like we’ve been in the league for four or five years and we’re not rookies. In college, they say you’re not a freshman anymore, same thing here.”
The importance of the tight end position in offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ offense was made pretty clear when the Colts chose tight end Coby Fleener and Allen in the second and third rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Both of the rookies have been utilized in a number of ways during training camp and Allen said his position is still working towards their potential.
“(Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians) doesn’t want us just to be good, he wants us to be great,” Allen said of the tight ends. “Not saying that we’re good right now because we have a lot of things to work on, but we’re working towards it.”
For those that watched Arians offense put up 38 points in the preseason opener against the Rams, it might be hard to find mistakes in such a performance.
Not for the members of the offense, though.
“Outside looking in, you only see the good, you only see the big plays. You don’t see all the little things that we know that we can correct to be even better,” Allen said.
Allen and the young tight ends will be introduced to a new experience this week heading to their first road environment in Pittsburgh.
“Good teams are able to win on the road, so I’m looking forward to building on what we did in the first game and getting better. Tough road wins are tough, even tougher in the NFL,” Allen said.
“Going against a Pittsburgh team who is known for their physicality, for their toughness, that’s something we want to incorporate into our game, into this program, so we need to go out and have a good showing.”
Early in training camp, Allen admitted he was a bit shocked when the Colts took him at the top of the third round.
How him and Fleener would co-exist was a concern to him, but those worries were quickly put to rest when he learned who is offensive coordinator was.
Arians has a history of making the tight end a vital part of the offense and that role has head coach Chuck Pagano excited about the future of the position.
“The two young guys that we drafted and the guys that we brought in, they’ve all done a nice job,” Allen said. “They’re learning on the run but I feel like by the time we finish the preseason games, once the regular season starts, they’ll be ready to go and obviously they’re going to play an integral part both in the run and the pass game in our offense.”
Tags: bruce arians, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
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