Colts tight end Coby Fleener admits he was frustrated as a rookie last season, as a shoulder injury slowed him down after a promising start and limited him to just five catches over the Colts’ final nine regular-season games. But Indianapolis can expect a lot more from Fleener this year.
Coach Chuck Pagano said he thinks Fleener will be twice as productive in 2013.
“You saw today, he made some outstanding catches so he’s making progress every day,” Pagano said of Fleener, in comments distributed by the team. “What did he have, 20, 30-some catches last year? That should double.”
For the record, Fleener had 26 catches last year. Doubling that total would get him to 52, which is almost exactly the pace he was on through the Colts’ first six games, before getting hurt in the seventh game. If Fleener can stay healthy and play like he was at the start of his rookie season, it would make him the kind of difference-maker the Colts thought they were getting with the 34th overall pick in last year’s draft.
It would also please Fleener, who said he hated the way last season turned out.
“It’s brutal. Trying to cheer on your team from the sideline, I was a well-paid cheerleader at that point. It’s rough,” Fleener said.
Fleener should be much more than a well-paid cheerleader this year.