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Chuck Pagano: Sky's the limit for Colts' Donte Moncrief

The Indianapolis Colts front-loaded their wideout room with the signing of Andre Johnson, but inside the building, coaches are hoping for a breakout campaign from second-year target Donte Moncrief.

"Moncrief has big-play ability and we saw him do that," coach Chuck Pagano recently told the team's official website. "He's going to have more opportunities going forward."

Moncrief's in for a bigger role, but he still faces a numbers game in Indy. With Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks out the door, the Colts added a bona fide star in Johnson, signed Duron Carter out of the CFL and nabbed Vincent Brown off the open market.

Johnson and T.Y. Hilton -- along with tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener -- are ticketed for the lion's share of playing time, but Moncrief, who played 547 snaps last season, is bound for more looks after showing steady growth down the stretch as a rookie.

"This guy can make plays," Pagano said. "He's big. He's fast. He can stretch the defense, all those types of things. It's a learning process, and he's going to be better in Year 2 than he was in Year 1.

"He's got such a high ceiling and room for improvement. The sky's the limit for him," said Pagano.

The Colts don't designate their targets as X, Y or Z receivers, asking players to learn each position. The playbook slowed Moncrief's progress out of the gate, but the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder took off in Week 8 with seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. We saw that explosiveness once again in a two-score, 134-yard outburst against the Redskins in Week 13.

The next step for Moncrief is fine-tuning his route-running, but it's worth noting that the Patriots thought enough of the 21-year-old to ask Darrelle Revis to shadow the wideout in the AFC title game.

"He can do all of the above," Colts play-caller Pep Hamilton said in December. "But I think we drafted him to score touchdowns."

It's a crowded house in Indy, but Moncrief looms as a good bet to do more of that in 2015.

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