After being selected in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, there were high expectations for Coby Fleener.
Not only was the young tight end coming in to the NFL after putting up 667 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior year of college, he was also coming in with his Stanford teammate in Andrew Luck.
While Fleener didn't have an awful season, things could have been better. He was sidelined for four games due to a shoulder injury, and it appeared to bother him throughout the season. He finished with 48 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns on the year.
Now, things are certainly looking up for Fleener.
The arrival of Pep Hamilton will certainly help out Fleener a lot. Along with Luck, the three worked together back at Stanford when Hamilton was the offensive coordinator, or "Andrew Luck Director of Offense".
The "No Coast Offense" that has been talked about for months has appeared to rely quite heavily on the tight end. From what had been seen at OTAs, guys like Fleener and Allen were used heavily in the offensive scheme.
George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin talked about Fleener back in June, and stated showed signs of progress a little over a week ago. He had this to say about what he's seen:
In the two padless practices open to the media so far, he’s delivering. Fleener’s highlights Wednesday included a leaping reception in front of a defender in addition to the two Hail-Mary scores.
"You saw today, he made some outstanding catches," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. "So he’s making progress every day. What did he have 20-, 30-some catches last year? That should double.
"There’s only one football. We’ve got some playmakers on this team so he’s doing a great job. He’s right where we think he should be."
Fleener said more and more of the old Stanford offense comes back to him every day. And he can feel the progress he’s making on the field.
It shouldn't be surprising to anyone that watched Fleener play at Stanford that he is making big plays as OTAs. While OTAs don't tell the whole story, it's certainly nice to hear that he's looking good already.
Teammates have been giving Fleener high praise as well. According to Kevin Bowen of Colts.com, Reggie Wayne has been quite impressed with Fleener so far, saying:
"I see (Fleneer) growing every day," Reggie Wayne said. "I think this offense is something that he’s more familiar with and may help him out even more. He’s already a big kid, so hopefully he can just grasp everything, as he’s been doing.
"I really believe the sky is the limit for him."
If healthy, it should be quite exciting to see what Fleener can do. He's truly in the perfect situation right now with the Colts, and his numbers should certainly improve with a full season in the "No Coast Offense".