It was a job interview so Coby Fleener smiled and nodded.

In reality he didn’t have a clue what Bruce Arians was talking about.

It was spring 2012. Fleener sat in on a pre-draft meeting with his college teammate Andrew Luck while Indianapolis Colts coaches and front office personnel grilled their soon-to-be No. 1 pick. Fleener the highly-touted tight end listened while Arians the offensive coordinator broke down his philosophy for the two All-Americans on the Stanford campus.

The complexities of the scheme left Fleener baffled. He remembers staring at Luck and thinking “I hope you’re getting this because you’re going to have to explain it to me later.”

It was a harbinger of the season to come. Luck thrived. Fleener sputtered.

“I would characterize my rookie year as a learning experience” Fleener said during a break at training camp this week speaking slowly choosing his words carefully. “There was definitely a lot of ups and some downs.”

It was a largely uneven rookie campaign for Fleener whom the Colts grabbed with second pick of the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. At his best he was the dynamic playmaker he was in his four years at Stanford a matchup nightmare a speedy shifty pass-catching tight end capable of spreading a secondary thin. At his worst he took his lumps. He dropped passes missed blocks got bulldozed on the line of scrimmage.

Making matters worse was a dislocated left shoulder that cost Fleener a good chunk of November. While his teammates won three of four setting the stage for an improbable run to the playoffs Fleener watched from the sidelines his left arm in a sling. Inside he burned.

“Absolutely it was frustrating” he said. “You have very little control over the game and you’re used to having control. It was really hard to not be a part of it.”