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Monday, August 12, 2013
Colts' Hilton lets his play do the talking

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- Sunday was my first extensive interaction with Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton.

It didn't take long to realize that Hilton is a man of few words. His answers to questions were so short that I thought he was just pausing to collect his thoughts before resuming.

I was wrong.

But Hilton made one comment that stood out.

The second-year receiver was asked about the number of options quarterback Andrew Luck has to throw to between Hilton, starters Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.

“We feel like we would be the best receiver corps in the league," Hilton said. "So right now, we just continue to get better, continue to grind and use camp as another stepping stone.”

A man of confidence.

You know what you're going to get out of Wayne on a game-to-game basis. A fresh start for Heyward-Bey should do him some good and hopefully allow him to live up to his potential after spending his first four seasons in Oakland. Hilton, who had a very impressive rookie season, caught three passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in their preseason loss to Buffalo on Sunday. Hilton was the only highlight for the Colts. He made a diving 45-yard touchdown catch -- which cost him part of his skin on his right wrist -- from backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck at the end of the first quarter.

Hilton led all rookie wide receivers in TD catches -- seven -- and average yards per catch -- 17.2 -- last season . He was second in receiving yards with 861.

“He’s a phenomenal football player," said Luck, whose day had already ended when Hilton made the TD grab. "He’s going to make plays. That’s why he’s out on the field. I don’t know if I’ve come to when you expect it, it’s not as special. It’s still special when someone makes a play like that. That’s special. But you do sort of say, ‘All right T.Y.’ He’s going to do something special when he’s on the field. He has that factor to him.”

Having Hilton and Heyward-Bey allows Wayne to line up at different spots.

"I’ve been all over," Wayne said. "It’s all a chess match. The name of the game is you want to try to create mismatches, so (offensive coordinator) Pep (Hamilton) does a great job of moving everybody around, trying to get the receivers on a linebacker and things of that nature. I’ve been all over, so right where you thought you saw me the play before, I’ll be somewhere different the next. So stay tuned.”

Depth at receiver is a concern for the Colts after Wayne, Heyward-Bey and Hilton because LaVon Brazill is suspended for the first four games. Heyward-Bey didn't have any catches Sunday. He missed some practice time last week with a sprained left knee.

It's uncertain when Luck will have his full group of receivers to throw to because Allen is out a "couple weeks" with a foot injury.

"When we get Dwayne back, and you’ve got (Fleener) and you’ve got DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey) and Reggie, we’ve got a ton of weapons and feel really good about our starting lineup up front with the offensive line," coach Chuck Pagano said. "They’ll continue to get better."