INDIANAPOLIS — How ready is T.Y. Hilton to host the Detroit Lions for a couple days of joint training camp practices?
Look no further than his interview with reporters after Wednesday's practice, which he conducted while wearing his helmet.
"I'm always ready," Hilton said with a smile.
The rest of the Colts are also welcoming today's first of two days of practices with the Lions with open arms. Because Indy's camp to this point has been more physical than training camps in the recent past, the team looks forward to the opportunity to finally put a lick on someone not wearing the Horseshoe on their helmet.
That theme will continue Sunday, when the Colts and Lions face off against each other in their 2017 preseason opener at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"It'll be good to see some different faces and line up across from different bodies for a couple days," defensive lineman Henry Anderson said. "We're kind of at that point of camp where we're tired of hitting the same dudes, so it'll be good to bring in the Lions and start seeing some different techniques — like how their offensive linemen set and punch and all that stuff."
The Lions this season are looking to take yet another step up under former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. Detroit finished the 2016 season with a 9-7 record and clinched a Wild Card playoff spot, falling to the Seahawks, 26-6, in that postseason matchup in Seattle.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford once again leads the Lions' offense for a ninth year, and is coming off yet another 4,000-yard passing season. For Vontae Davis and the rest of the Colts' secondary, getting the chance to face off against a quarterback like Stafford and his weapons — like 1,000-yard receiver Golden Tate — will be yet another quality opportunity to get ready for the start of the regular season.
"I mean, me personally, I'm tired of chasing T.Y. Hilton around the field all day," Davis said. "It will be good to go against a different opponent. It's fun to compete against another team."
The Lions' defense, meanwhile, finished 18th in the league in total defense a year ago (allowing 354.8 yards per game), but return many younger weapons from that unit in 2017, including defensive end Kerry Hyder, who had a team-best eight sacks last year in his first full NFL season.
Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said he's especially looking forward to those battles in the trenches the next couple days leading into Sunday's preseason matchup.
"These two days against Detroit I think will be a real test against their front and we'll get a good gauge for where we are at with the O-line," Chudzinski said.
Both days of practice are expected to be fully-padded sessions for the two squads, which is quite all right to Hilton.
"Just coming out here and compete, especially against a different team — a (different) team in the league — we look forward to it," he said. "And we can't wait for (today)."
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