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Colts’ new wide receivers coach has high hopes for Donte Moncrief

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

One of the more interesting veteran players to watch for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 will be wide receiver Donte Moncrief.

He’s a guy with a lot of potential who is entering a contract season, but as of yet he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.

He has been good, but there’s still a lot of room to grow. That’s exactly what new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is hoping to help him do.

“I don’t know how he was coached, what was demanded of him in the past,” Lal said earlier this week, according to the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer. “All I know is with me, it’s a blank slate. And I see this piece of clay that can be one of the better receivers in the league. He has all the tools.”

In three seasons with the Colts, Moncrief has played in 41 games and has started 19 of them, catching 126 passes for 1,484 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 10.8 yards per catch. He had a really nice sophomore season in 2015 as he caught 64 passes for 733 yards and six scores despite Andrew Luck missing over half the games, but his 2016 season was plagued by injuries. On the positive side, he caught seven touchdowns in nine games. On the negative side, he recorded just 30 catches on the season for 307 yards.

So for Moncrief in 2017, it will be important to stay on the field and be more consistent when he is on the field. With him on a contract year, he’ll likely be even more motivated to do so.

Moncrief will be battling with Kamar Aiken this offseason for the number two wide receiver spot, though Moncrief would seem like the favorite for the job. Regardless, he’ll get plenty of passes thrown his way, and if he can live up to the hype he’s received the past few years he could have a big season for the Colts. His progress and development this year will be something key to watch, then.