Boom Herron, Donte Moncrief Emerging For Colts Offense At Critical Time

Intro: As the Colts head into the month of December, a pair of young playmakers are emerging. How important are Boom Herron and Donte Moncrief to a Colts playoff run?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Back in July, if you were to construct a Colts depth chart it would take several units before finding the names "Boom Herron" or "Donte Moncrief."

Talent wasn't the issue for the likes of Herron or Moncrief.

The depth at the running back and wide receiver positions was why there was so much intrigue to see what the Colts offense could look like in 2014.

As the duo began to flash in limited Training Camp reps, it became more and more clear that they would find their way on the field in some capacity.

Herron's development began up in Anderson. The major first team reps for Herron came when Vick Ballard was placed on injured reserve and Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw were sidelined with injuries.

During the Colts four preseason games, Herron was the team's leading rusher and receiver but knew a role on special teams was going to be the focus come regular season with Bradshaw and Richardson the top backs.

Mop-up carries were the extent of Herron's work through the first half of the regular season before everything changed when Bradshaw fractured his fibula in mid-November

In the last two weeks, Herron has played just under 50 percent of the offensive snaps, piling up 153 yards on 20 carries.

Herron's 49-yard touchdown run against Washington was the longest for the team since Week 16 of last season.

"He's a talented, talented guy and I think we've seen that out of him," Pagano said after Herron's 88-yard outing against Washington.

"He's quick, he's fast to hit the hole and once he gets outside, he's got some long speed. I think we all found that out (Sunday). It's always nice to be able to get outside and get those guys loose in the secondary and have a guy that can take it the distance."

On Sunday, Moncrief was another guy that showed he's more than capable of taking it the distance.

When the Colts chose Moncrief in the third round of May's NFL Draft, his potential was oozing.

As a 20-year old rookie, the question deserved to be asked on if 2015 or 2016 might be the years where Moncrief's true impact would come in the Colts offense.

Moncrief broke free from the likes of Lavon Brazill, Da'Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen in Training Camp.

He showed glimpses of his impressive skillset throughout the early part of the 2014 regular season before his real opportunity came with Reggie Wayne missing against Pittsburgh.

That seven-catch, 113-yard evening in late October showed that Moncrief could handle an expanded role.

Over the past few weeks, his reps have risen and No. 12 has taken notice.

"(Moncrief) just keeps getting better and better and I think he's just starting to figure it out a little more and a little more," Luck says.

"He's so conscientious. He is a pro. It feels like he knows how to be a pro."

Every season in the NFL an adaptation period has to take place over the course of 16 games.

The Colts skill spots are in the midst of that and it's guys like Herron and Moncrief who are key ingredients with the New Year approaching.

"We need everybody, especially the younger guys," Herron says realizing the moment.

"This is the time when things start boiling up. It's getting closer to big games we just have to keep executing and keep getting better."

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