INDIANAPOLIS – "Go."
That word from Chuck Pagano, directed at Pep Hamilton on Sunday night, might as well have described the trust the Colts coaching staff has in Donte Moncrief.
After hearing Pagano's message, Hamilton looked down at his play sheet and dialed up a fourth-down call not for T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson or Frank Gore.
The ball was going to Moncrief and it was up to the second-year wide receiver to make a play at the moment of truth.
It was a fade route the Colts practice on a daily basis, yet there were just a few more eyes watching this version.
The Colts had Moncrief isolated on the left side of the field with New England running their top cornerback, Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, across from No. 10.
"I had to make a play on the ball," Moncrief says describing the play seem much easier than it looks.
When Luck threw the fade pattern in the one-on-one matchup of Moncrief, the 6-2 wide receiver did a wonderful job of opening up his hips and then high-pointing the ball.
The decision to even throw the ball in the direction of Moncrief indicated how the Colts view the emerging playmaker.
"He's done a heck of a job," Andrew Luck says of the second-year receiver.
"I've said this before, I remember going into my second year and how much changed. You learn so much from year one to year two. He's definitely running with it and doing a heck of a job and making some really big plays."
On the season, Moncrief is second on the Colts with 30 receptions for 347 yards. He leads the team with four touchdown receptions.
In the Colts fourth-quarter comeback down in Tennessee, it was Moncrief hauling in the eventual game-winning touchdown. It was yet another sign of the trust the Colts have in Moncrief.
Coming into the season, projecting a specific role for the 2014 third-round pick was difficult.
After ending 2014 with more than a few flashes, where would Moncrief fall in the Colts skill group filled with premiere playmaking ability?
Thanks to consistent results (Moncrief has caught at least six passes in four games this season), there's no telling what the Colts have in his potential.
"He's a guy that comes to work every single day, ready and willing to get better," Dwayne Allen says of Moncrief. "He improves each and every day. That's what he does.
"He's benefitted from some early success, not only this year but in his career last year, having some big games. He just wants to continue on that success."