November 8, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen (83) calls a play during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The longtime rival New England Patriots once had a pair of the most gifted tight ends in the NFL, however due to injury for Rob Gronkowski and legal trouble for Aaron Hernandez, the Colts may see their 2012 2nd and 3rd round draft picks snag the title of best tandem in the league. Last year the Colts front office surprised some by taking tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in back to back rounds.
Many expected Fleener to be the main target for Andrew Luck due to their familiarity at Stanford and while the two experienced immediate success against the Bears in Week 1. Fleener caught 6 passes for 82 yards, it was short lived as that was Fleener’s only game where he had more than 50 yards receiving. The lack of success may have been because Fleener missed some time with an injury and during his time on the bench that allowed Allen to flourish.
Dwayne Allen was a very pleasant surprise this past season, once Fleener experience injury troubles Allen fit in just nicely as a replacement. Allen also occasionally found use as a fullback blocking for running back Vick Ballard. In the passing game is where Allen made his biggest contribution, when the Colts were trailing Allen had 22 catches for 297 yards along with 3 touchdowns.
With former Offensive Coordinator and Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians now taking the helm in Arizona, the Colts replaced Arians with Stanford Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton. Hamilton who used plenty of multiple tight end sets in a system very similar to a West Coast Offense. It should be very interesting to see both tight ends in action if they can both stay healthy.