ANDERSON, Ind. —
"He's a guy who is hungry and way more physical," Allen said. "Coby understands his time was limited last year because of injury. He knows he has some doubters out there, but he also knows he can be one of the best tight ends in this league. He's going out there this year to prove that."
A return to the system that made him a college star at Stanford isn't hurting. Pagano said in the spring he believes Fleener could double his totals from last season in Hamilton's scheme.
The tight end has been a favorite target of quarterback Andrew Luck through the first four days of camp, and he's rewarded that faith by consistently getting open and catching the ball. On Wednesday, Fleener even gave Luck an assist.
When the quarterback sailed a pass a little high over the middle, the 6-foot-6 target leapt into the air and came down with the ball for another completion.
Fleener can't pinpoint the reason for his renewed confidence and early production, but he didn't dismiss his familiarity with Hamilton from their days with the Cardinal.
"I think that's probably part of it," he said. "Any time you understand the offense, you feel more comfortable in being able to go out there and run as fast as you can and do your job at full speed as opposed to second guessing."
That doesn't mean Fleener has everything quite figured out.
Like almost all of the team's receivers, he's been lining up all over the field. One moment he's tight up against the line of scrimmage in a traditional formation. The next he's spread out wider than veteran Reggie Wayne. Or in the slot. Or the offensive backfield.