INDIANAPOLIS -- Dwayne Allen was joking when he said it, but you also had to wonder how serious he was inside when talking about his 29 targets this season.
“Targeted (29) times in the passing game? Wow, that many? I didn’t know it was (29),” the Indianapolis Colts tight end said. “They count some throwaways, though, if I was in the vicinity.”
Yep Dwayne, you were targeted only 29 times last season, which was good enough for just seventh on the team. And now Allen, who entered the NFL upset about sliding to the third round of the draft in 2012, is about to hit the free-agent market coming off a season where he felt like he was underused.
Allen ended the season with 16 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown, all career lows for him. He played only one game during the 2013 season because of a hip injury.
“If you use a spatula to swat flies, it’s still a spatula,” Allen said. “You just misused the spatula. To grade or evaluate my season would be unfair a little bit because I don’t think I was used the way I should have been used. I signed up to be a part of this team and the way the coaching staff and personnel decided to use me is how they were going to use me. But to evaluate my game as a tight end in the NFL, the film speaks for itself.”
Not only did Allen put up just mediocre statistics, he also has the fact that the Colts will likely have to choose between him and fellow tight end Coby Fleener, who was also drafted in 2012, on who to keep this offseason.
And by simply looking at the stats, Fleener would be the one to choose. He has more receptions, yards and touchdowns than Allen during their four-year careers. Fleener also only missed four games compared with 21 for Allen.
Allen’s blocking ability did impact him in the passing game. The Colts needed as many extra blockers as possible because the offensive line did such a poor job blocking. That meant Allen was needed to help.
“I’m very proud of my blocking ability and love the opportunity to go out there and help the team in that role, but whenever my skill set is boxed in to just that, that’s what frustrates me the most,” Allen said. “It was a long year, along with being used a ton in the pass-blocking game and being off the field on third down. That’s how crazy this year has been.
"I want to win more than anything. My decision, whenever it is, will be about winning."