Goss: Coby Fleener in key role as Colts make waves
October 10, 2012 9:04PM
Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) is tackled by Green Bay Packers strong safety Charles Woodson (21) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Updated: November 12, 2012 11:31AM
Coby Fleener kicked off his NFL career catching six passes in the Indianapolis Colts’ loss to the Bears.
But the rookie tight end from Joliet Catholic and Stanford is not playing favorites when it comes to NFC North opponents.
The 6-foot-6, 252-pound Fleener caught two passes in the Colts’ game against the Minnesota Vikings and last weekend made five catches for 41 yards, with a long of 18, to help Indianapolis come from behind to stun Green Bay 30-27. That brought his season totals to 13 catches for 139 yards, a 10.7 average.
The Green Bay game, where Fleener had been listed as questionable because of a head knock, gained attention nationwide not only because the Colts rallied from a 21-3 halftime deficit against one of the NFL’s best teams, but because they were playing for their coach, Chuck Pagano, who was in the hospital undergoing treatment for leukemia.
The Colts (2-2), with Fleener’s Stanford teammate Andrew Luck calling the signals, are becoming one of the feel-good, widely watched stories in the NFL this season, and Fleener, a Lemont native, finds himself vitally involved. That’s a nice bonus for NFL fans throughout this area.
Around the NFL
Fleener is not the only former area standout doing the job in the NFL.
Rob Ninkovich from Lincoln-Way Central, Joliet Junior College and Purdue, formerly a starting linebacker with New England, has moved to the left defensive end spot with the Patriots (3-2). He is No. 1 on the depth chart and has made 17 tackles, including nine solos, with 2.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries.
Kyle Williams, who attended Plainfield Central through his sophomore year and played at Arizona State, is a No. 2 wide receiver and regular return man for the San Francisco 49ers (4-1). He has caught four passes for a 16.5 average, highlighted by a 43-yard touchdown catch last week against Buffalo. He also has returned four punts for a 13.0 average and six kickoffs for a 35.7 average, including a 94-yard return.
Clay Harbor (Dwight) continues as the No. 2 tight end for Philadelphia (3-2). He has six catches for an 8.3 average with a long of 19, and has scored a touchdown.
Kelvin Hayden (Joliet Junior College), who played at Illinois, is the No. 2 left cornerback behind Tim Jennings with the Bears. He has made eight tackles, with six solo.
Three other former area standouts are No. 2 on the depth charts in the offensive line for their respective teams. David Molk (Lemont), a rookie out of Michigan, is the No. 2 center for San Diego, Adam Gettis (Lincoln-Way East, Iowa) is the No. 2 right guard for Washington and Byron Stingily (Romeoville, JJC, Louisville) is the No. 2 right tackle for Tennessee.
Corrigan on target
A couple of years ago, Bryce Corrigan was an accomplished quarterback at Plainfield North. But his accomplishments were somewhat overshadowed by those of running back Kapri Bibbs, who was one year his junior.
Corrigan chose to play his college football at NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Platteville. When Bibbs’ turn came, he made All-State teams and announced he was headed to Division I Colorado State.
However, Bibbs wound up first having to attend a junior college, Snow JC in Ephraim, Utah, where he rushed for well over 400 yards last fall.
He is not playing this fall while in the process of making a full transfer to Colorado State, where he reportedly plans to play his final three seasons.
Corrigan, meanwhile, enjoyed one of those dream games last weekend, after which the red-shirt sophomore was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week. In his second collegiate start, he led No. 14 UW-Platteville (4-1) to a 40-10 road win over Wisconsin-LaCrosse with an incredible performance.
All Corrigan did was complete 37-of-43 passes for 412 yards. He connected on his first 15 passes and 24 of his first 25 en route to the 37 completions that rank fifth in program history.
The game of a lifetime brought Corrigan’s season passing stats to 57-of-79, 72.2 percent, for 602 yards and three touchdowns entering Saturday’s game at No. 18 Wisconsin-Oshkosh.