2016 #ColtsCamp Q&A: Michael Irvin

Intro: Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin was at camp on Monday with the NFL Network. He talked with Colts.com about the Colts’ receivers, comparing Luck to Aikman and Marvin Harrison’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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2016 #ColtsCamp Q&A: Jason La CanforaColts.com: Michael, T.Y. Hilton, is nicknamed "the Ghost" — as a guy known as "the Playmaker," why do you think "the Ghost" is maybe the appropriate nickname for a guy like T.Y.?**

Irvin:"When you come into the league in your first four years, you put out 4,413 yards, you're seventh all-time on the receiver list in the first four years, it's a, 'Now you see him, now you don't,' kind of thing. And that's kind of what it is when he's running he's routes. He's so fast, man. And I always say to people: there's always two kinds of fast, fast receivers in this league: you got track guys that you're trying to turn into football players, and those guys, eh, they're OK. But then you run into that rare-quality guy that's really a football player with track speed. And there's a difference between those two. You know, T.Y. Hilton, most of the people that are in this league with T.Y. Hilton's speed, they're really track guys trying to play football. T.Y. Hilton is a football player with real track-guy speed. That's what makes him 'the Ghost.'"Colts.com:Now, when the Colts took Phillip Dorsett out of the "U" — we all know you love the "U" — you said, "I think this kid's incredible." You know, he's entering his second year — kind of had an up-and-down first year, learning the system and all that…Irvin:"…Yeah, tough first year for the whole team. It was a tough first year for him to be part of that team. And for a rookie, and Phillip Dorsett, it's hard to find his place when he's looking around and the big veterans in front of him are really not comfortable with their place or haven't found their place. Andre Johnson never totally got comfortable in his place, and I think sometimes, to some degree, you bring in those guys, and it could've been a hinderance, because everybody's trying to give them the respect that they deserve, because they've earned that respect. But now, it's all about — all of that doesn't matter anymore. You can focus on these young guys, and they can take it from here and grow it. It's their team now. Phillip Dorsett, he's part of that. That's a great opportunity right now to step in and make a lot of plays. And, he didn't have 12 (Andrew Luck) a lot last year. Let's be real. He didn't have 12. I was just telling those guys, I know what it's like, man. I've been in that huddle a million times, man — I've been in that huddle a few times when Troy (Aikman) wasn't playing, and I would look, every play, every time we called a play, I would look at the locker room and then I (think), 'Is Troy coming out?' I knew he's not playing. ..."Colts.com:You're not used to that, are you?Irvin:"…People don't understand the mentality and how it messes with the receiver if he doesn't have his guy on the field. And I'm pretty sure that affected (Dorsett) a lot last year."Colts.com:Now you talked about Troy Aikman, a guy in '93 who signed an eight-year, $50 million contract — at the time it was the richest deal in the NFL. The Colts have a guy under center who just recently signed the richest deal in NFL history. They're kind of at similar points of their career — (Luck) can take it up from here. What do you see in Andrew Luck? Are there any comparisons to what you saw in Troy Aikman about that time?

Highlights from Luck's 2015 season!

Irvin:"Outside the normals — first pick of the draft, but so much promise. I would say Troy came in with as much promise, you know? I mean, you knew this was a different kind of guy; you knew not just physically gifted, mentally stable, the way he plays the game shoulders-up. And I see that a lot in Andrew Luck. I remember when Troy signed that deal — albeit it was after some Super Bowl wins that he got the richest deal in NFL history … — I remember reading where people said, 'He's probably one of the only guys in the NFL that's mature enough to handle that kind of deal.' And I wasn't mature enough, so I was like, 'What are they talking about?' You know? I thought I was, and 'What are they talking about. Everybody can handle that kind of a deal.' But I would say the same thing about an Andrew Luck, because you will worry when you give such a young guy, coming off his worst season of his career, such a big deal, that you worry about, '(Is he) complacent,' or 'What can set in here?' But in this situation, you don't. He's probably — he's one of the most mature people in this league that can take on that kind of a deal, and it not affect him one bit. You know, he's about still playing the game of football and playing the best he can play."Colts.com:I've read what you think about Marvin Harrison. This weekend, he's getting his gold jacket, he's getting his bust in Canton. A guy that just went out, he prepared like none other, and dominated. I think that's familiar to you. What do you think of Marvin Harrison, and now he's finally getting his due diligence?Irvin:** "Well, Marvin, I've watched him for a long time. I mean, since, you know, Marvin stole my (number) 88, and then he came back and they were calling him 'the Playmaker.' He just stole everything. When we get together, people always say, 'Well, you guys look alike!' You know? We look alike. So we've always had fun with it. But it has given me an opportunity just to watch and admire him for as long as I can remember because of those things. You know, he was wearing 88 and I knew people called him 'the Playmaker,' and he joked about it; we would joke about it. But just a phenomenal player. You remember. What we see right now with Steph Curry, what we see with Steph Curry and the warmups and all of that? That started way back with those guys…"

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Colts.com:Putting on a show.Irvin:"…With Marvin Harrison and Peyton (Manning) warming up. Man, I remember reading where Chad Johnson, he said him and his quarterback, Carson (Palmer), would come and watch those guys warm up to see how, to see how to handle themselves in a professional manner. And so, it was about putting in the work, and he's always put in the work. And as we say, when you put in the work — you outwork everybody — the football gods make it right, and the football gods are making it right by giving him his rightful ownership in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."Colts.com:I've got a real quick one for you. Frank Gore: I know he's a U guy; he's coming back, doing it all again. Still feels he's effective; still feels he can get the job done. What are your thoughts on Frank Gore and how he's able to sustain this longer than pretty much any running back can do it now?Irvin:"I've said to Frank himself personally, man, I remember watching Frank in high school. I've been watching Frank since high school. I went to his high school game. That's when I met him — high school game. I thought I saw the greatest running back that I have ever seen at the high school level. And what he's accomplished in his NFL career is incredible. It's just absolutely incredible. And I think about it, I say, Frank, you know, I joked with him one day, I said, 'Frank, can you imagine if you had never had any injuries what you had been? I mean you had a great career…'"Colts.com:Those numbers would be up there — I mean, they're already up there.Irvin:"…Oh my god — they're already up there. They're already up there. And I think, more importantly than all of it, is anybody you ever talk to will tell you he's a great teammate. Just a great teammate. Hard-workin' dude…"Colts.com:They say he's like a kid out there.Irvin:"…He's just a hard-workin' dude that loves the work and loves playing the game of football, man. I'm glad to see him getting another chance. I know things didn't go they way they wanted to go last season, so to get another chance now with this squad here and the talent and Andrew Luck, 12, standing upright for 16 (games) this season…"Colts.com:The offensive line getting right...Irvin:** "…yeah, the offensive line being rebuilt, you've got a chance to do something here, and I'm anxious to see what happens."

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