Over the past few weeks, the “Next (Men) Up” in the Colts backfield and offensive line have received the headlines.
Yet, there’s Coby Fleener going about his business following Dwayne Allen being placed on injured reserve after Allen played in Week One.
“I would say that I have to pick up some slack as far as some plays where Dwayne would have been in,” Fleener said on Monday.
“Anytime a guy like Dwayne (Allen) goes down who makes such a big impact for the offense, other guys are going to have to fill in here and there. So yeah, I would say my role has expanded a little bit.”
Fleener has seen his playing time increase over the last three weeks and that includes some significant blocks in the rushing department.
On Sunday, Fleener had five catches for 77 yards and his 31-yard touchdown gave the Colts a 27-3 lead early in the third quarter.
It was the fourth touchdown of Fleener’s young career and the second-year tight end could have walked into the end zone.
“I think it’s kind of the idea in basketball, layups are some of the hardest buckets to make,” Fleener said of the wide-open touchdown. “It’s one of those things where you really have to focus and make sure you do all the things, look it all the way in and focus all the way until the end.
“Thankfully Andrew (Luck) made an awesome throw, the line gave him enough time to make it out there and it looked good for us.”
During the offseason, Chuck Pagano said he expected Fleener to double the 2012 production of 26 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
Fleener is well ahead of that pace in yards and touchdowns already in 2013 and it’s his development in the run game that has also caught the head coach’s eye.
“We’re asking (Fleener) to do a little bit more heavy lifting in the run game and he’s responding,” Pagano said on Monday.
“You see him out there playing fast; big, tall, fast guy that’s athletic and can make plays. He had a great day yesterday.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
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