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Burning Questions at the Tight End position prior to Training Camp

Posted Jul 18, 2013

Intro: Over the next two weeks, Colts.com will run a series profiling the burning questions at each position group heading into training camp. Today’s installment comes at the tight end position.

INDIANAPOLIS – No tight end group in the NFL has the youth that the 2013 Colts five-man group possesses.

However, don’t mistake such a young group for not having talent. It's a group that has raved about what Pep Hamilton has in store for them in 2013.

Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen seem primed to become one of the game’s best young tight end duos.

The Colts return every tight end that caught a pass in 2012 and that includes a slimmer Weslye Saunders.

How does the tight end outlook stack up this season…

CAN COBY FLEENER DOUBLE HIS PRODUCTION IN 2013?:
One would think that perhaps no one on the Colts roster, including quarterback Andrew Luck, was happier to see Pep Hamilton hired than Fleener.

During Hamilton’s one year as Fleener’s offensive coordinator at Stanford, the 6’6”, 247-pound tight end earned All-America honors with 10 touchdowns.

Fleener had a very solid OTAs and minicamp in Hamilton’s offense. Similar to the other tight ends, Fleener lined up all over the field and was split out wide on several occasions.

Chuck Pagano was quick to mention that he expects Fleener’s production (26 catches for 281 yards) to double this season.

Can Fleener be the Colts top red zone threat, something that the team did not consistently have in 2012?

DOES DWAYNE ALLEN BECOME ONE OF THE AFC’S ELITE TIGHT ENDS?:
By all accounts Allen’s rookie season more than met the expectations for both the Clemson product and the Colts coaching staff.

While Allen contributed on special teams and as the team’s primary fullback, he was impressive in the receiving department with 45 catches for 521 yards (Colts tight end rookie records).

Many national pundits have raved about what they saw out of Allen in 2012 and see a potential Pro Bowler.

The depth at tight end, and the offense in general, might not allow for those individual numbers in 2013 but there’s no doubt that Allen is among one of the game’s best young tight ends.

IS WESLYE SAUNDERS GOING TO FIND A ROLE IN THE COLTS RECEIVING GAME?:
Saunders is the forgotten man at the tight end position, yet if the spring is any indication than he will be showing up frequently on opposing team’s scouting reports.

Saunders is down to 261 pounds and loves how he has been showcased in Hamilton’s “tight-end friendly” offense.

When Saunders was signed last season, he was thought to be more of a blocker but he is out to debunk that notion, and give the Colts one of the league’s premier young tight end groups

HOW WILL THE USE OF A FULLBACK EFFECT THE TIGHT END POSITION?:
Similar to Fleener’s joy of Hamilton’s hire in Indianapolis, Allen more than welcomes the addition of Stanley Havili.

All signs during the Colts open OTA and minicamp practices indicate that a fullback will be used more in 2013 and that player is Havili.

Hamilton alluded to the need for versatile players at the skill positions and Havili gives the Colts a blocker first, who also excels in the receiving department.


In case you missed the earlier burning questions entries, click here for a recap on the quarterback position, here for the running back position and here for the wide receiver position.

 

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