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Coby Fleener: “When the game is on the line, I want to be that guy”

Posted Jun 17, 2014

Intro: Coby Fleener has a specific goal in mind for his third NFL season. Fleener told NFL Network that he wants to be a guy that the team turns to late in crunch time.



INDIANAPOLIS – About a year ago, Chuck Pagano stood in front of reporters and made a bit of a bold proclamation.

Coby Fleener was coming off a rookie year in which he snared 26 passes for 281 receiving yards in 12 games.

Pagano’s expectations for the second year was to see those numbers double.

Fleener’s 2013 stat line was highlighted by 52 receptions for 608 receiving yards in playing all 16 contests.

Last year, Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts saw a different Fleener, one that flashed in the postseason with 11 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.

“One is a trust factor,” Roberts says of how he saw Fleener develop in 2013.

“He grew and he challenged himself to make plays and he showed up, especially in big games.”

 

Fleener wants to expand on Roberts’ assessment of the tight end’s game in his third NFL season.

The offensive weapons for Andrew Luck have added a few more options in 2014 but Fleener wants to be high on No. 12’s priority list on the biggest of stages.

“I'd like to take more of a burden,” Fleener told NFL Total Access.

“I’d like to be the guy that coaches and players around me feel comfortable to make the big play to win the game, to go into overtime. When the game is on the line, I want to be that guy.”

In Luck’s first two seasons, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton have been the most frequent targets in crunch time.

With Hakeem Nicks and Dwayne Allen in the fold for 2014, Luck is going to have ample players to turn to.

This season will mark the seventh straight year that Fleener and Luck have teamed up in the same offense.

Fleener says he sees Luck continuing to try and build a stronger rapport with his receivers in the timing department.

Another attribute that Fleener values in his quarterback is Luck’s ability to consume an extensive playbook, yet still be able to listen to his teammates and bring them up to speed.

“Andrew from day one has been able to pickup the whole offense and just go,” Fleener says.

“With that said, he’s been an awesome guy in the locker room to go to him and talk about the little things and understand the next day he’s going to make the changes necessary to get better.”

Roberts jokes that maybe it’s Fleener’s new hairstyle in wanting to become a go-to guy late in games.

No matter the look, that mindset is just fine with the Colts tight ends coach.

“His offseason this year, is far past anything he has done the past two years,” Roberts says of Fleener.

“He’s great coming into the room. He wants to learn. He wants to be good so it makes it a lot of fun.”


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