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The Colts Leading Receiver After Two Games? The Blossoming Donte Moncrief

Intro: Through two games, second-year wide receiver Donte Moncrief is leading the team in receiving. Why has Moncrief been the go-to man early in 2015?


INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano has always been high on the potential of Donte Moncrief.

Despite a Colts wide receiver group with a potential Hall of Famer and a current Pro Bowler, Pagano spoke at the March Spring Meetings about the second-year receiver with high regard.

"Moncrief has big play ability and we saw him do that (in 2014)," Pagano said 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."

Moncrief got word of Pagano's comments from his mother, obviously.

They say moms always know best, so Nineta Moncrief relayed Pagano's message to her 22-year-old-son.

His reaction?

"It was shocking, but at the same time I just have to keep on getting better. But, like (Pagano) said, the sky's the limit," Moncrief said during the team’s offseason program.

After two games in 2015, it's Moncrief leading the Colts in receiving (13 catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns), as he continues to climb into the sky.

"He's playing hungry," Andrew Luck says of the 6-2, 222-pound Moncrief.

"He's playing fast. He's making catches and running with the ball. He's doing a heck of a job."

Coming into 2015, some more polished route running was needed, according to Moncrief.

This offseason, Moncrief said he wanted to have more deception in his route running, not tipping his hand off to defensive backs trying to read his body language.

When opposing cornerbacks get their first look at Moncrief, they might not see his explosive open field ability right away.

It's there though.

Moncrief had scouts drooling at the NFL Combine back in 2014 and showed the entire social media world his athleticism earlier this offseason.

Phillip Dorsett has a warning for defensive backs trying to pigeonhole Moncrief.

"Being a guy that big that can run like that, you would think he's a possession guy or a guy that is just trying to out-jump you," Dorsett says of Moncrief

"But, no, he's a guy that can stretch the field and be the big guy that he is, too."

Monday night's seven-catch, 122-yard performance for Moncrief marked the third time in his career he's eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

In March, Pagano foreshadowed such success.

In September, the Colts head coach is seeing it come to fruition.

"It was good to see (Moncrief) make some plays," Pagano said.

"He's been practicing really well and he practiced that way (last) week. He played extremely fast during the week and those plays I think (Monday) were a byproduct of his preparation. I look for him to continue to do that."

Highlights from Donte's 2015 photo shoot in the #ColtsPhotoGarage.

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