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INDIANAPOLIS – The plays have looked like something you would see on a Randy Moss-highlight tape.
It’s fitting that Deon Cain has been routinely making plays in the air this offseason, given the man he trained with over the summer.
Moss came down to Tampa in July to work with the Colts rookie wideout, with a connection to Cain’s trainer leading to the invaluable teaching.
The biggest thing Cain learned from the Hall of Fame wideout?
“When the ball is in the air, it’s just you and the ball,” Cain says.
What Cain took from his week with Moss was about life in the NFL, on and off the field, and how to properly create separation from opposing cornerbacks, before it’s time to win at the point of attack.
Cain has displayed that early in Training Camp.
Snagging 50/50 balls deep down the field has been commonplace for Cain.
“Deon, absolutely has big play ability,” head coach Frank Reich said from Grand Park.
Witnessing Cain make highlight catches at the NFL level isn’t the most unexpected thing.
Despite falling to the 6th round of the NFL Draft, which remains a head scratcher, Cain was known as a big play receiver at Clemson. This is a guy who had 2,040 yards and 20 touchdowns in just 3 seasons for the Tigers.
The quarterback-turned receiver has made life pretty easy for his signal callers in camp.
At 6-1 and 202 pounds, Cain isn’t the biggest receiver in the world, but he brings something different to how the Colts look at wideout.
With the smaller T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers ahead of Cain on the depth chart, the rookie has a unique element for this new offense.
“In this league you still have to make chunk plays,” Reich says. “We’re looking for that from guys making big plays down the field.
“(Cain) flashes. He’s got a little knack, good against press coverage and then showing ability to make the play downfield like that. A good start for him.”
For Cain to receive playing time in 2018, the consistency must be there. The rookie himself says he has to earn the respect from his teammates and coaches.
This coaching staff knows they can’t ignore a guy like Cain, for a team looking for individual playmaking without relying strictly on the scheme to dial that up.
“Being a bigger receiver playing the boundary,” Cain says, “I see that as a plus in the offense because you have a bigger guy who can get separation against big corners.”
The skill to finish those plays has been seen in July.
Will it be seen in September and beyond?