‘Jack of all trades’ Doyle helps Colts with versatility

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Colts tight end Jack Doyle tries to elude defenders after a catch against the Jaguars.

INDIANAPOLIS – The pun was too convenient not to use on Thursday afternoon.

Early in his weekly news conference, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was asked about one of his tight ends who has emerged as one of the more versatile players in his offense through three games.

“Well he’s a jack of all trades,” said Hamilton when speaking about Jack Doyle, a second-year player who grew up in Indianapolis and played at Cathedral High School before a solid career at Western Kentucky.

It’s not just a pun for pun’s sake. It’s true.

Colts fans with a keen eye have noticed Doyle lining up all over the place as Hamilton throws a collection of sets at Colts’ opponents early this season. Sometimes, he lines up at the traditional tight end spot. Other times, he’ll be split out. You’ll also see him being used as blocking back for either Ahmad Bradshaw or Trent Richardson.

“That’s what this offense is all about,” said Doyle of being a versatile player. “It’s having tight ends that can do different things. That’s what I take a lot of pride in-be able to block, catch the ball, pass block, run block, try to do everything just to help the team and doing the best when the opportunities are there.”

That wasn’t necessarily the case in his rookie season when Doyle was used off and on after being picked up as a free agent in September 2013. He caught his first pass on a nationally televised night game against the Broncos on Oct. 20 and was the highlight of a light year in which he caught five passes for 19 yards.

Doyle saw increased tight end competition when Dwayne Allen returned after missing most of last season with a hip injury, but he managed to make the team yet again.

“Rookie year is a crazy year, it’s a crazy transition,” said Doyle of his first season.  “You kinda feel settled down a little more comfortable with everything.”

That’s showed in his ability to impact the game in just his first three games of the season. Doyle was all over the field against the Eagles and caught his first touchdown pass late in the first half. Against the Jaguars, the tight end had a personal best three catches in the Colts’ 44-17 victory in Jacksonville as he’s earned his way into Andrew Luck’s receiver rotation.

“I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job but it’s only been three games,” said Doyle with humility as he talks about his opening month. “You’ve got to be consistent throughout the whole year.”

Hamilton believes that Doyle can be based on the practice habits he has seen out of the tight end in 2013 and 2014.

“He’s consistent in his preparation and what he brings to practice on a daily basis, and how he interacts in meetings,” said Hamilton of Doyle. “I think as a coaching staff we all trust that he’s going to be a good decision maker on the field. His versatility is invaluable for us.

“It’s a pleasure to have three tight ends at our disposal that can all play at the point of attack as well as be threats down the field.”

Doyle says that he’ll continue that level of preparation as the season continues, especially against the Titans this weekend. After playing at Western Kentucky, Doyle signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent. He was in the final round of cuts in 2013.

“That’s your job, you’ve got all week to prepare for games,” said Doyle. “You have no excuses to mess up mentally.”

Especially when one is a Jack is of all trades.