Dwayne Allen got a few strange looks from teammates when he told them what was in store for his offseason.
“A lot of the guys hear about it initially, they hear hot yoga, ‘Whoa too hot for me,’ and then they understand that it’s something that’s going to help their game and hopefully prolong it,” Allen says.
The next progression for Allen was to improve his flexibility so the tight end got into contact with former Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson.
“It was something that I was just researching and I came across (Jackson). He does a ton of yoga and also Justin Snow does yoga and recommended it to me,” Allen said.
“I had probably over 100 classes of yoga and it’s helped out a ton. I feel more fluid in my routes, getting in and out of my stance. It’s definitely helped calm me down a little bit.”
Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts has taken notice of Allen’s offseason regiment and is pleased with the results.
“Dwayne has really done a nice job on working on himself in the offseason and I say that as far as his body, doing some flexibility stuff,” Roberts said. “He identified what he wants to get better in and he’s done a nice job with that.”
With the Colts heading into week two of the 2013 training camp, Allen looks very similar to the consistent, reliable target of last season.
New Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is getting his first look at Allen, and the tight end friendly coach is enjoying watching No. 83 operate.
“Dwayne is a horseshoe guy,” Hamilton said. “He’s physical at the point of attack but at the same time he has the potential to be an explosive playmaker.”
“He is a leader on our offense. He has a no-nonsense mentality on the football field so we are excited about Dwayne and what he can offer our offense this season.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, dwayne allen, Pep Hamilton
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Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts marvels at the innate skills Coby Fleener brings to the football field.
Fleener stands 6’6” and has the abilities to run like a receiver.
His position coach said when Fleener was consistent in 2012, he played at the ability you would expect a rookie tight end to be.
So what is Roberts looking for out of Fleener in year two?
“To impose his will,” Roberts said over the weekend. “(Fleener) has such natural gifts in the game that he doesn’t have to play mad. I want him to play up and play to his ability.”
“I just saw so much promise in him and I just wanted him to force himself to be better.”
Pep Hamilton’s affinity for utilizing the tight end position is well documented and Fleener should expect to see ample opportunities in the passing game in 2013.
“Coby’s got a chance to go outside and use his size and speed,” Robert said. “He’s had a phenomenal offseason just with growth and getting familiar with what Pep and those guys have done before.”
Roberts joked that he doesn’t think the tight end position can be used much more than how the Colts offense is incorporating the position.
He points out Fleener’s success at Stanford, where the All-American tight end caught 10 touchdowns in his lone season in Hamilton’s offense.
Now, Fleener is back in Anderson without having an offseason filled with academics, rookie obligations and a new offense.
It’s a clearer mind for Fleener and he should reap the benefits out on the gridiron.
“Pep (Hamilton) and I had success together at Stanford. Having as many tight ends on the field as we did out there, hopefully it will translate here as well,” Fleener said.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait. I think there’s a lot of times when you’re trying to learn a new offense and you freeze up on the field trying to figure out what you’re doing. You can’t run as fast. You can’t think as fast. So, to have a better understanding will be helping me out a lot.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, Coby Fleener
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Kyle Miller doesn’t have to look far to find a teammate that has been through the rigors of playing Division III football before finding a career in the NFL.
In 2006, Miller was about to embark on an All-American career at Mount Union, a perennial Division III contender, while eventual Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman was wrapping up another All-American career of his own at Mary-Hardin Baylor.
Although the two never shared the same playing field during college, they will be on the same sideline this weekend as Miller was called up to the Colts active roster on Monday afternoon.
“Being on the practice squad has been a blessing for sure but it’s hard standing on the sideline watching, while these guys go out there and play,” Miller said. “It’ll be a lot of fun to be out there with them and to experience what it’s really like to play in a regular season game.”
Miller entered the NFL in 2011 but did not make the Jacksonville Jaguars final 53-man roster after spending training camp with them.
The Colts signed Miller on April 3, and he is now apart of one of the youngest position groups in the NFL.
At the age of 24, Miller is the oldest of the group with Weslye Saunders (2 years of NFL experience, age 23), Dwayne Allen (rookie, age 22) and Coby Fleener (rookie, age 24) rounding out the tight end room for coach Alfredo Roberts.
“We are all on the same level so we are all learning together,” Miller said. “All of us had to work pretty hard to get everything down and we’ve all been in the film room together, just talking through things so it’s definitely helped.”
After spending the first 10 weeks of the 2012 regular season on the Colts practice squad, Miller will join his fellow tight ends in taking on the all too familiar New England Patriots this weekend.
“Any football fan is aware of the rivalry and I think it takes on a little more with us being a little bit of a surprise team and both of us having good records too,” Miller said.
Tags: alfredo roberts, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, kyle miller, Weslye Saunders
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The tight end position has been one of the most unique groups on the Colts roster this season.
Tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts started the season with three rookies on the active roster but has seen some change over the course of the season.
Second-year pro Weslye Saunders was signed on Oct. 16 and has seen action in the past two games for the Colts.
Saunders role is expected to expand this week as interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians announced on Wednesday that Coby Fleener will miss Sunday’s game with the Dolphins due to a shoulder injury.
“I think obviously I’m going to have to step in a few spots and everybody just gets bumped up,” Saunders said. “Dwayne (Allen) handles some of the responsibilities that Coby handled and I handle some of the responsibilities that Dwayne handled.”
Last weekend against the Titans, the 270-pound Saunders showed that he can do much more than be a blocker for the Colts offense.
With the Colts marching for a game-tying score, Saunders hauled in an 11-yard catch down to the Titans 17-yard line to continue a drive that resulted in running back Delone Carter’s one-yard touchdown.
“Nobody expects anybody to go down with an injury but being that I was familiar with the offense already and I felt very comfortable with the offense, I was able to make a play, help the team move the chains and we came out with the victory which is the biggest thing,” Saunders said.
Rookie tight end Dwayne Allen will most likely start his eighth straight game for the Colts and has been a steady rock for quarterback Andrew Luck.
Allen and wide receiver Reggie Wayne are the only Colts with more than one touchdown catch after seven games.
“Dwayne’s been great all year and I’m sure he’ll rise up with Fleener out now for the week,” Luck said. “He’ll do a great job. He’s done a great job all year and I know we can count on him.”
For much of the season, Allen has lined up in a variety of positions on the Colts offense and knows the challenge will be difficult this weekend in facing one of the top defensive lines in the NFL.
“Their front four, they’re defense is one of the best defenses we’ve played yet,” Allen said. “We have a huge task on our hands to get ready for, in the run game, in the passing game. They create a lot of problems for us and we’ve got three or four days to get ready for them.”
Following Allen’s senior season at Clemson, he had a decision to make on whether not to return for a fifth season of eligibility (he redshirted in 2008).
As the winner of the John Mackey Award (given to the nation’s top tight end), Allen felt it was time to continue his dream of playing at the highest level.
“Whenever I decided to leave (Clemson) it wasn’t to become a backup tight end in the National Football League,” Allen said. “I felt that I had the talents to be a starter in this league and with Fleener going down and more targets going my way, I’m definitely more than prepared for it.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, Weslye Saunders
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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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By Kevin Bowen, Colts.com
As the media headed into the Colts locker room on Wednesday afternoon for player availability a swarm gathered in front of locker #83.
Occupying that spot would be third round draft pick Dwayne Allen out of Clemson University.
The Mackey Award winner from last season, Allen was named the nation’s top tight end thanks to setting school records for tight ends with 50 catches for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011.
With Allen still on the board at the top of the third round in last month’s draft, the Colts knew they couldn’t pass on a player that fits into a offense which uses the tight position extensively.
“(The offense) requires the tight ends to be versatile and do a lot of jobs,” Allen said. “Coming from the college offense that I played in, I showed my versatility and I feel I have a very good chance to show it here.”
His ability on the field speaks for itself but the 22 year-old Allen was extremely composed while fielding questions from the media on Wednesday.
Colts tight end coach Alfredo Roberts has a pair of high draft picks at his disposal this season and can’t wait for the city of Indianapolis to see what he has already witnessed.
“He’s a big, strong guy that’s willing to work on some things that he’s probably not as clean on,” Roberts said of Allen. “People of Indianapolis are going to be impressed with the type of player and person he is once they get to know him.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, dwayne allen, tight ends
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