"One is a trust factor," Roberts told the team's website. "He grew and he challenged himself to make plays and he showed up, especially in big games."
After catching 26 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie, Fleener hauled in 52 passes for 608 yards and four scores last season. Both he and tight end Dwayne Allen, now recovered from a hip injury, are expected to be used heavily in 2014.
“We love using tight ends like everybody else,” coach Chuck Pagano told the website. “But (Fleener) took a big step in Year 2 and played really good football for us and will continue to do that. Getting Dwayne back, we're going to have great options there. You get that inline blocker in Dwayne but don't forget that Dwayne is a heck of a pass receiver, too. So we can create a bunch of mismatches with those guys and get them out in space and get the matchups that you want. It's going to be a great situation.”
Pagano said having Allen and Fleener allows for multiple formations and "gives us a lot of flexibility there.”
With Dwayne Allen coming back from a season-ending injury,
"We're going to ask him to do some of the heavy lifting," Pagano said of Fleener to the Indianapolis Star, noting that he and Allen will be interchangeable at tight end.
"I think part of it is you're coming into an offense that's probably one of the most complex in the NFL," Fleener told NFL.com. "And so for him to play a week after being there was impressive because it took me a year and a half to learn the offense. I think this camp will do him a lot of good, and then you guys can judge him after that."
Richardson's production deteriorated to the point in which he was barely used in the playoffs. He averaged just 2.9 yards per carry after the trade and lost his featured back spot to Donald Brown.
Five of Fleener's six grabs resulted in 8 yards or more, including a 29-yard reception in the second quarter. He caught six of the 11 passes thrown his way and finished the game with 74 yards (12.3 yards per reception).
Fleener caught 11 passes for 120 yards and one touchdown in two playoff games. He finished the regular season with 52 receptions for 608 yards and four touchdowns in his first full season.
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