With receivers Andre Johnson and Phillip Dorsett joining a depth chart that already features T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen may enter the final year of their rookie contracts without a full chance to lay the foundation for their next contracts.
Allen realizes that the number of receivers could make it harder to get on the field.
“I want to make sure that the two tight end sets stay a staple here in Indianapolis,” Allen told reporters on Wednesday. “Coach is going to do the best job, [offensive coordinator] Pep Hamilton that is, with putting the best group of guys out there that are going to allow us to score. If it’s three wide receivers and one tight, I’m working my tail off to make sure that I’m that one tight. Or hopefully it’s, again, three tights, one back, one wide receiver. But we’re putting a lot of money into that wide receiver room so I doubt that will happen.”
Allen may take some solace in separate comments on Wednesday from coach Chuck Pagano: “We’re not going to abandon the two tight end sets, three-tight-end stuff.”
While those formations may not be abandoned, it’s hard to imagine the Colts not getting as many of their wideouts out the field, as often as possible.
Meanwhile, Allen also may have to contend with feeling star struck while on the field this year.
“I sometimes have to catch myself because I do, I get like the fans and ogle over Andre Johnson or Frank Gore,” Allen said. “I’m just like, ‘Man, we’re going to kill it this year.’ Then I have to remember that there is a process and that process is we work on techniques and fundamentals this time of the year. We get to training camp, we put the pads on, see where the top guys are and then we build the team going from there. I have to respect the process this time of the year. I don’t have the privilege as the fans do of just jumping the gun and booking their tickets to Santa Clara.”
No Colts fans should be booking their tickets to Santa Clara just yet. Despite all the improvements made on offense, the Colts didn’t do much to upgrade their run defense, which means they could get pounded up the middle again by the Patriots. And, eventually, by other teams that figure out what the Patriots do, and do it themselves.