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Morning Tailgate: Defending Coby Fleener

Posted Sep 19, 2013

Stanford product and Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener was Jim Harbaugh-like in describing Sunday's college reunion.

Coby Fleener was pretty direct and, in a way, very Jim Harbaugh-like on Wednesday.

“I was fortunate to have him at Stanford,” Fleener said of his former college coach in a talk with Indianapolis media. “Right now, he’s the enemy.”

Fleener’s Colts visit Harbaugh’s 49ers, of course, on Sunday at Candlestick Park. Though he and fellow Stanford product Andrew Luck expect to connect with Harbaugh before the game, it doesn’t seem either party is looking forward to competing against each other.

READ: LUCK TO FACE COLLEGE COACHES

“(Facing former players is) not necessarily a good thing,” Harbaugh said, before adding, “because they’re good.”

Fleener falls under that category. As the 34th overall draftee in 2011 – Harbaugh said he and San Francisco’s brass discussed potentially selecting him that year – he has taken a step forward in the second year of his career. The 6-foot-6, 247-pound tight end demonstrated that in Week 2, catching four passes, including a 40-yard connection with Luck and a three-yard touchdown grab.

With the season-ending hip injury to Dwayne Allen, Fleener will be featured even more prominently on Sunday.

“He’s got real good ability to go downfield and stretch defenses,” Harbaugh said. “Post, corner, big catch radius, good speed and strong, he’s tough.”

For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee opined on the potential comeback of wideout Michael Crabtree.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about the 49ers early-season difficulties running the ball.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News discussed facing the newest Colts player, Trent Richardson.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com covered Jim Harbaugh’s comments tying Colin Kaepernick and Luck together.

Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star focused on the Harbaugh-Luck connection specifically.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com quoted NaVorro Bowman on the challenges of tricking Luck.

 

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