The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Colts

August 6, 2012

Fleener feeling his way

ANDERSON, Ind. — Coby Fleener, the Indianapolis Colts’ No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, is a bit divided about the upcoming preseason game Sunday.

“Yeah, definitely eager to get on the field,” said Fleener.

But he does have some reservations as well.

“Camp is going well,” he said. “But they are baby steps. I think I’ve learned a lot to say the least. There’s a lot of learning. Partly (it’s) the playbook, but there’s also a lot of little things that you pick up.”

One of those things is far from easy — blocking Colts’ All-Pro defender Dwight Freeney.

“Close your eyes and hope,” said Fleener when asked about his strategy for dealing with Freeney so far in camp. “He’s a heck of a player, and he’s going to get me better.”

Better is what the Colts are hoping for out of Fleener, who is listed as the No. 1 tight end on the team’s depth chart, which was released Monday evening.

“He’s solid,” said Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians of Fleener. “He’s a really good blocker on the offensive line. We need to get him better as a receiver. But he’s making progress.”

How much progress will likely be defined by his work with the No. 1 offense Sunday against St. Louis.

“They need to play against somebody else,” said Arians. “Each receiver will have a set of things designed for him to do.”

The team won’t be reluctant to put two tight ends on the field, Fleener and another early draft pick, Dwayne Allen. That is a combination that just might work well because of their differences.

“I think Coach Arians has done an awesome job of utilizing our strengths in a way that both of us feel very comfortable in moving inside, outside, all around,” said Fleener. “I think he’s done an awesome job of using us in all of those routes. I think Stanford (where he was a teammate to Colts No. 1 quarterback Andrew Luck) utilizes their tight ends more than any other school in the nation. So I think I’m excited to be part of an offense that really uses their offensive tight ends.”

So Fleener will now take that next step in his NFL development.

“Everybody’s fast out here,” said Fleener. “Thus far it hasn’t been a huge challenge for me. It’s been more mental than it has been physical. But I think each guy has his own physical challenges.”

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