INDIANAPOLIS – It's not the first way you think the speed at receiver will be used in 2016.
When talking about the dynamic playmaking ability the Colts have at receiver this season, the track speed at the top of the depth chart makes big plays seem like a frequent occurrence.
Names like Hilton, Moncrief and Dorsett getting behind the secondary and letting Andrew Luck fling one down field has to cause some sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.
However, last Saturday night, in Luck's 2016 debut, we saw something different.
Instead of attempting passes well past the first down marker, the Colts relied on a bevy of high percentage throws.
Crossing routes were used, giving Luck high percentage throws, leading to a perfect night throwing the football (8-of-8 for 71 yards).
"You're going to want to get the ball in your best players' hands with a little space," Luck said of hitting on the horizontal routes.
Luck knows what he has at receiver:
- T.Y. Hilton: A 4.37 40-yard dash in coming out of college.
- Donte Moncrief: A 4.40-yard dash clocked at the 2014 Combine, fourth fastest among the wide receiver group.
- Phillip Dorsett: A 4.33 40-yard dash clocked at the 2015 Combine, second fastest among the wide receiver group.
From the risk standpoint, these sorts of throws should be an element used in 2016, particularly when the line protects for Luck like they did last week.
"It's an easy throw for Andrew and we can create the yards for him," Dorsett says.
"I think we should definitely have that more and more in our offense because we got guys that can (make plays). If we catch a crossing route in man coverage and break a tackle, there's nothing but room."