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Collie makes case for #3 WR job


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One of the Indianapolis Colts' questions going into training camp was who would be the third wide receiver, with rookie Austin Collie and second-year pro Pierre Garcon the leading contenders.

After two preseason games, Collie has emerged as a player who makes clutch catches. Four of his team-high six receptions have gained first downs. Two came on third down.


While the fourth-round pick out of Brigham Young usually is positioned in the slot, he also lines up wide. Colts coach Jim Caldwell appreciates versatility in a multiple-position offense, as well as Collie's grit and on-field awareness.


"He has certainly shown the ability to be a clutch player and catch the ball in tough situations, and can run with it after the catch," Caldwell said Friday, a day after Collie caught 20- and 12-yard passes for first downs in a 23-15 home victory against the Philadelphia Eagles.


"He also has a real fine understanding of where he's supposed to be, and I think that's the really important thing, particularly when you're working on your timing with the quarterback."

Garcon still is in the mix but has had a drop on screen passes in both games.


Collie, a married Mormon who prides himself on humility and a tireless work ethic, said he pays no mind to talk about the No. 3 receiver job.

"I don't think there's much thought or worry about who's going to start or what's going to happen with the third receiver position, and I'm going to keep it that way," he said after Thursday's game. "You get on film and there are still some things. I still look like a rookie.


"But overall, yeah, it is reassuring to go out there and catch the ball and realize, 'You know what? I deserve to be here and I can hang with these guys.' "

The 23-year-old Californian came out of college after a junior season in which he had 106 catches for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.


"He's got an attitude where he's like a gym rat," Caldwell said. "He's in early and stays late. He has a bit of a perfectionist attitude about all of his work and preparation.

"He keeps growing as time goes on. At some point, when he gets a real good sense of everything that we're doing, he's going to be quite an effective player."




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This reminds of the Green Bay #3 WR, not that Wayne is declining, but there isn't a clear #3 yet and both seem in the mix. Let's hope it's not a #3 WRBC. I hope Garcon or Collie are a clear cut 3rd WR.

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So far, rookie WR Austin Collie leads the team with six catches. What also stands out is he's been an intended receiver seven times and missed only one chance. By comparison, second-year WR Pierre Garcon has just two catches with seven intended passes. I realize this doesn't tell us if the pass was on the mark or catchable, but it does reflect the Colts are trying to get these guys work to see what they have.








I like Collie because he seems the perfect slot receiver for the Colts. I think Gonzalez stays outside and Collie plays Stokley's old role.

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