The Colts had a pretty good vertical passing game last year, and they are looking to develop it further. What’s more, they believe they have the resources to be one of the better teams in the league at stretching the field. Part of their enthusiasm has to do with the acquisition of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Indy coaches see him as a potentially explosive playmaker who can get behind coverage. The Colts will be trying to get Heyward-Bey more opportunities than he ever had in Oakland. And they also want to use second year tight end Coby Fleener more as a vertical threat down the seam. With his speed and size, Fleener should be able to take advantage of man to man matchups as well as zone coverages.
The plan to push the ball downfield doesn't really jibe with the team's move to a West Coast offense, which typically relies on quick hitting throws. Heyward-Bey has played very well in stretches, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. If he stays healthy (and progresses), DHB could be a long-term replacement for Wayne.