It wasn’t the type of game that Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener wanted to have Sunday afternoon. There was tons of hype coming out of the Colts’ training camp about Fleener being one of the most improved players, and that he could have a huge 2013 season.
Fleener was coming into his second season with the team, and having another year with his college quarterback Andrew Luck should result in the familiarity needed to be successful. Also, the big tight end had his college offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton added to the team in the same role, and it was expected that he and Luck would thrive in making the same plays in the NFL as they did in college.
The 6-foot-6 tight end only had 281 yards and two touchdowns in 2012 with 26 receptions, but was looking to more than double that in 2013. He had his chances on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills, but made two costly mistakes in as many plays.
Luck found Fleener for a big 24-yard gain on the second possession of the game, but the second-year player fumbled the ball inside the red zone after the completion as he was tackled, and Buffalo recovered.
On the very next possession after a Buffalo fumble, Fleener had another shot. Second-string quarterback Matt Hasselbeck hit him on a nice pass to the endzone, but he dropped the easy touchdown pass. The Colts were forced to go for a field goal as a result.
That’s two mistakes which could have likely resulted in 14 points on two early possessions resulted in just three. With the Colts’ motto for 2013 being “One Play” (meaning games are won or lost by one play), he made two that would have cost the Colts the game if it was a regular season matchup.
These mistakes need to be cleaned up and they likely will. Sunday wasn’t a good debut to the 2013 season for Fleener.