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T.Y. Hilton: "It's Slowing Down for Me, Real Slow."

Posted Jun 6, 2014

T.Y. Hilton has made some impressive tracks in his short career. The player who has the franchise’s second-most catches and the highest number of reception yards in the first two years of a career says the game is slowing down even more for him as he approaches 2014.



INDIANAPOLIS – As if T.Y. Hilton has not struck enough fear in opposing defenses so far, he claims the game is in clearer focus entering 2014.

 

“I feel good, healthy.  I know the plays, so that’s allowed me to go fast,” said Hilton.  “I pretty much know all the positions, so it’s slowing down for me, real slow.”

 

Hilton demonstrated those claims Wednesday before he spoke them, making a number of dazzling plays with the first unit as the Colts finished their sixth OTA session.

 

This was the work Hilton missed with a groin injury as a rookie and the same workouts he used last year to build onto a brilliant career start.

 

Hilton bolted from the gate in 2012 with 50 receptions for a hefty 17.2 average that ranked third-best ever for a Colts rookie.

 

His five 100-yard games set a franchise rookie standard, while he hauled in 56 percent of the passes where he was the target.  Almost 46 percent of his yards came after those catches, making him a deadly performer immediately.

 

Hilton’s 10 career 100-yard outings dwarf the three accomplished by five other Colts over the first two seasons of a career, and they rank sixth among league leaders since 2012.

 

Hilton used Reggie Wayne as a reference tool early and often.  “Whenever I get a chance, I always pick his brain.  Whenever I don’t know something, I call him and just go from there.”

 

Doing so even now, it has left defenders scratching their heads, and Hilton does not aim to stop.

 

“I know what to expect now,” said Hilton.  “I don’t know about the DBs, but I know what to expect from them.  They probably don’t know what they’re going to get (from me).  I’m just able to play my game.”

 

Hilton hedged when asked if he were as complete a player as he shows on the field.  The man who jumped to get him in the 2012 draft did not hedge.

 

“Yes,” said Ryan Grigson.  “He plays extremely fast and makes impressive plays day-in and day-out, but it is normal for him and just the standard in relation to his God-given ability.” 

 

One of the NFL’s top defensive strategists noted the challenge he faced with Hilton in last year’s playoffs.

 

“He’s productive at all three levels of the defense,” said Bill Belichick.  “He’s a vertical receiver, a good intermediate receiver and a good catch-and-run short receiver that can turn short plays into big plays.  

 

“He’s a dynamic player that can hurt you in a lot of different ways, a good route runner, fast.  He really does everything pretty well.”

 

Hilton’s fluency in the formations (click here for film breakdown from 58-yard TD at Houston) is a strength that cannot be understated.

 

“He’s played all four spots, both outside positions (and) both slots.  We feel like that’s important so that teams can’t scheme to take him away,” said Pep Hamilton.  “We’ve challenged T.Y. to understand the concepts (of) all four spots.  He’s done extremely well.”

 

Andrew Luck calls Hilton “phenomenal” and a teammate with whom he is proud to share a field and locker room.

 

The two have collaborated for 132 completions (five shy of Marvin Harrison’s two-season franchise record to open a career) and 1,944 yards. 

 

T.Y. HILTON THROUGH TWO SEASONS

Year

Target

Receptions

Yards

Avg.

TD

1st Downs

YAC

25 Yds

2012

90

50

861

17.2

7

30

393

11

2013

138

82

1,083

13.2

5

46

402

9

Total

228

132

1,944

14.7

12

76

795

20

 

T.Y. HILTON WITH AND WITHOUT REGGIE WAYNE (22 with; 9 without)

Games

Target

Receptions

Yards

Avg.

TD

1st Downs

YAC

25 Yds

With

144

77

1,273

16.5

9

48

496

14

Without

84

55

671

12.2

3

28

299

6

 

Their scoring plays have covered eight, nine, 10, 14, 29, 36, 40, 43, 58, 61, 70 and 73 yards, a 37.6 average.  Since 2012, only A. J. Green (seven) and Adrian Peterson (six) have had more touchdowns beyond 50 yards than Hilton (five, including a 75-yard TD punt return).

 

Hilton says this time of year is important for timing and concentrating on the phases of the game.  He is helping younger teammates understand the playbook he started absorbing two years ago.

 

“The competition is very high.  I think that all phases we’re all competing at a high level,” said Hilton (click here for film breakdown of Hilton's TD reception vs. Kansas City in playoffs).  “Right now, OTAs is all about the individual.  Once you get to the season, then it’s about the team.  

 

“Right now, we’ve got to compete against one another and just help each other out.”

 

It is about inclusion and building the best team.  Hilton (click here for film breakdown of long Hilton reception vs. St. Louis) is one of those using a big hammer for the job.

 

“T.Y. is a pro, a guy that takes a tremendous amount of pride in knowing what to do and how to do it,” said Hamilton.  “He’s shown he can do it on a consistent basis.”

 

Said Grigson, “T.Y. has become a consummate pro and is a shining example to all the young guys in terms of how a rookie, second-year and now third-year player’s approach and overall progression should look like. 

 

“Plain and simple, he just goes out there every day and expects nothing but greatness from himself, and it shows.”


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