INDIANAPOLIS --- The final week of Organized Team Activities for the Colts is next week with veteran mini-camp, and as training camp approaches, it sounds like a previous staple of the Colts offense will remain a big part of it, despite an abundance of talent in the wide receiver room in 2015.
Chuck Pagano made it clear at his OTAs press conference Wednesday that two tight end formations will still be prominent.
"Always. We're going to play everybody probably a little bit different. We're not going to abandon the two tight end sets, three tight end stuff," said Pagano.
"We'll do a bit of both or all of the above should I say," said Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton two weeks ago, when asked how he'll determine whether to use three wide receivers or two tight ends in 2015. "It's like playing chess and replacing your pawns with more bishops and knights. We feel like we should be able to create some conflicts for the defenses that we face."
Tight End Dwayne Allen spoke about the offense as well Wednesday, saying the depth makes him work even more.
"It definitely makes me practice a bit harder knowing that we have a couple more weapons on the offensive side of the ball. I want to make sure that the two tight end sets stay a staple here in Indianapolis."
Allen explained the other options as well and how they could affect him.
"If it's three wide receivers and one tight, I'm working my tail off to make sure that I'm that one tight," said Allen, before admitting the Colts probably won't use many formations with three tight ends, as they did at times last year with Allen, Coby Fleener, and Jack Doyle. "Or hopefully it's, again, three tights, one back, one wide receiver. But we're putting a lot of money into the wide receiver room so I doubt that will happen."
Allen has 75 receptions for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career.
During last year's playoffs, the Colts favored playing both Allen and Fleener a large majority of the snaps. Based on these statistics, it's safe to assume a good number of those snaps were in two tight end formations.
· Wild Card vs. Bengals: Allen 85% snaps, Fleener 74% snaps
· Divisional vs. Broncos: Allen 64% snaps, Fleener 61% snaps
· AFC Championship vs. Patriots: Fleener 79% snaps, Allen 71% snaps
The Colts two best tight ends were on the field more often than not last season in the games that mattered most, and Pagano is now looking forward to the 2015 season with plans already in motion for the offense.
"We're going to find out once they come back and we get back together August 1st in Anderson, exactly what type of team we're going to have and what type of team we're going to be."
We may not know how often it will be utilized in the offense, but we do know now that the two tight end formation will likely continue to be a staple in Indianapolis.