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"Sky's The Limit" For Donte Moncrief In His Second Season

Intro: Donte Moncrief should not be a forgotten man in the Colts loaded wide receivers group in 2015. What might Moncrief’s role look like in his second NFL season?


INDIANAPOLIS – He's not the new wide receiver who many call the best player in Houston Texans franchise history.

He's not the dynamic weapon fresh off his first Pro Bowl appearance.

He's not the first-round draft pick with speed that rivals some of the NFL's fastest players.

Donte Moncrief brings his own unique potential to the 2015 Colts wide receivers group.

As a 21-year old rookie last season, Moncrief forced his way into the lineup and gave Colts coaches enough of a look to feel just fine in increasing expectations for No. 10.

"Moncrief has big play ability and we saw him do that," Chuck Pagano said back at the League Meetings in March. "He's going to have more opportunities going forward.

"He's got such a high ceiling and room for improvement. The sky's the limit for him."

The "big play ability" Pagano is referring to first came in Week Three of the 2014 season.

Snaps for Moncrief were a bit scarce early in his rookie season, due to a talented and veteran receiving group ahead of their third-round pick from last season.

In a blowout win over Jacksonville, Moncrief's four catches for 55 yards led to coaches not hitting the panic button when Reggie Wayne was sidelined a month later.

With Wayne missing the Steelers game in late October, Moncrief caught seven balls for a then career-high 113 yards. Moncrief's breakaway running after the catch, along with the ability to take a hit from All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu to hold onto his first career touchdown, were definite highlights from an otherwise gloomy evening in Pittsburgh.

A play that should not be forgotten in Moncrief's rookie campaign occurred in Week 14 against the Browns.

Down 24-19 with just under three minutes remaining, the Colts faced a third-and-seven at their own 13-yard line.

A loss in Cleveland would turn the following week's matchup with the Houston Texans into major, major implications regarding the AFC South.

Andrew Luck didn't shy away from avoiding the rookie Moncrief on this critical third-down. A 27-yard snag by Moncrief ignited the Colts eventual game-winning scoring drive.

After 32 receptions for 444 yards in 2014, Moncrief has laid out some specifics for his second NFL season.

"Being able to catch the ball and explode, and not let one guy tackle you," Moncrief says of his 2015 aspirations.

"My goal is just to get on the field and make plays for our team---special teams, offense, it (doesn't) matter. I want to make those plays for Luck, all those small plays that I made mistakes on. Now that I know what to do, it should be much easier and I should make those plays."





Moncrief's 2014 Stats





Trying to decipher exact roles for Moncrief this season is tough to gauge.

Is he the Colts third wide receiver, possibly splitting those reps with rookie Phillip Dorsett?

One guarantee is this---if a wide receiver personnel grouping of Moncrief, Hilton and Dorsett break a huddle this fall…

"That's a lot of speed on the field," Moncrief says without being able to hide his smile.

"(Defenses) are going to have to back up, no pressing and you better back those safeties up because we are going."

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