Colts tight end Coby Fleener goes way back with Andrew Luck: They starred together at Stanford and were both selected by Indianapolis in the 2012 draft.
But as he heads into his fourth year in the league, Fleener now has more competition than ever for Luck's throws.
The Colts added an impressive stable of wide receivers to complement Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton this offseason. Andre Johnson, Vincent Brown, first-round pick Phillip Dorsett, and Duron Carter are all in the mix now, leading beat writer Mike Chappell of Indy Sports Central to call the receiving corps "unquestionably the area deepest in talent and potential."
So where does this leave Fleener? It's hard to tell. The tight end said recently, per Chappell, that he's looking to cut down on mental errors and simple things like drops.
"There's stuff that anybody who's watching the game can pick out. ... (Dropped passes) are probably the most frustrating because everybody can see them," Fleener said.
"This year for me is just about making sure every single play is done correctly," added Fleener, who is playing out the last year of his contract. "At this point in my career, there should be no more mental errors. ... It's easy to say, but hard to do."
For what it's worth, the Colts are still saying they plan to feature the tight end position, where fourth-year man Dwayne Allen (8 TDs last year, matching Fleener) is also a factor. Fleener was targeted 92 times last year, to Allen's 50. Allen is also in the last season of his rookie deal.
"We're going to play everybody probably a little bit different," coach Chuck Pagano acknowledged, adding: "We're not going to abandon the two-tight end sets, three-tight end stuff."
Regardless, it's getting more crowded in Indy. It will be interesting to see where Luck directs his affection when the Colts open the regular season against a potentially nasty Buffalo Bills defense on Sept. 13 in Orchard Park.
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