A lot of the talk this offseason has been about the Indianapolis Colts' offense and, in particular, their wide receiver position. T.Y. Hilton is coming off of his first Pro Bowl and figures to only get better, while in free agency they signed Andre Johnson, who will warrant consideration for the Hall of Fame one day. They also have Donte Moncrief entering his second season and looking to continue to improve, they signed the talented Duron Carter from the CFL, and in the first round of the 2015 Draft used their selection to add speedster Phillip Dorsett out of Miami.
For Andrew Luck, he will have a lot of weapons in 2015 and the biggest problem will be finding enough targets to get each of them. It's not just the wideouts who will factor into the passing game, however, as the Colts also boast one of the league's top tight end duos, and they aren't abandoning that advantage either.
"We're going to play everybody probably a little bit different," head coach Chuck Pagano acknowledged on Wednesday. "We're not going to abandon the two tight end sets, three tight end stuff."
The Colts will absolutely utilize three wide receiver sets, and in fact that was the formation they used most often in 2014. But they also love to use two tight end sets, something that will continue moving forward. And as long as the team has Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen as those two tight ends, it makes a lot of sense. Fleener has emerged as a top-ten receiving tight end in the league, and in 2014 he caught 51 passes for 774 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 15.4 yards per reception and having 40 of his 51 catches go for first downs (78.4%). Allen is one of the most balanced tight ends in the game, though he has had a hard time staying healthy. In addition to being a fantastic blocker, he has caught 75 passes for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns (averaging 12.5 yards per catch) in his three year career, but he has missed 18 of a possible 48 regular season games so far - and even though he only missed three games in 2014, he was plagued with injuries for much of the season.
"It definitely makes me practice a bit harder knowing that we have a couple more weapons on the offensive side of the ball," Allen said on Wednesday. "I want to make sure that the two tight end sets stay a staple here in Indianapolis. Coach is going to do the best job, 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."
Even the team's number three tight end, Jack Doyle, is a player that the Colts can (and likely will) use some in 2015 just like they did a year ago. Serving as a very good blocking tight end (and the fullback when the team needed it), Doyle helped to fill Allen's role so that Fleener could focus on the receiving game. Utilizing Doyle opens things up, as he adds another blocker who might be able to free things up for other players.
Simply put, the wide receiver position isn't the only one with a lot of talent on the Colts' offense entering 2015, and with Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and even Jack Doyle at tight end, the Colts will still be using plenty of multiple tight end sets in their offense moving forward.