INDIANAPOLIS – On April 1 when Darrius Heyward-Bey signed with Indianapolis, the fifth-year pro said he always had followed his heart while making decisions.
His heart told him Indianapolis was the place to be, one that would provide comfort after four years in Oakland.
As the club's OTA schedule hits the halfway point today, Heyward-Bey has been a steady presence in the offense and much to the liking of Andrew Luck.
"Darrius has been great. What a great addition," said Luck. "He has great speed, obviously, and he has a real knack for football. It's fun to see.
"He's played a lot of football, and he understands situations. He's a good voice to have in the wide receiver room as well."
Heyward-Bey, 6-2, 216, provides a big target on the offense, and his intent is to be a frequent one.
"Every day is a work in progress," said Heyward-Bey. "My focus is letting Andrew know I'm there for him. I'm going to make plays. If there are some mistakes, make sure we talk about it and get on the same page."
Being on the same page with a quarterback has been an arduous process in Heyward-Bey's first four years.
He had six different starting quarterbacks, with Carson Palmer being the only one to experience extended career success. Heyward-Bey also had three different head coaches and four offensive coordinators.
Darrius Heyward-Bey Career Statistics
Yds after Catch
11 Teamed with Luck and his fifth coordinator, Pep Hamilton, might be the ticket for unfound stability.
"Darrius is learning the offense like the rest of us, but he's getting better and better every day," said receivers coach Charlie Williams. "He's helpful to others. He's improving the skills he might have felt he was deficient in and skills we might have felt he is deficient in. He works hard every day.
"I think Darrius has a chance to benefit really well. He is a nice, big target. When Darrius and Andrew get working with the rest of the group, I think it could be real special for him."
Heyward-Bey says he started the sport a little later in life, and he still feels like he is a kid at it.
A starter 52 times in 56 career games means Heyward-Bey is entering his prime, and he plans to do it however called upon in the Colts' offense.
"It's (knowing all assignments) very important," said Heyward-Bey. "If my goal is to go to the Super Bowl and win it, then having that extra receiver on the same page as the quarterback is big.
"If you have the 'trips' formation (three receivers), the extra receiver it might just be hand signals. We have to make sure we're on the same page. The fact we're connecting (in OTAs), it means good things."
Last year, the club brought in Donnie Avery as a veteran free agent, and Avery was second on the club with 60 receptions.
With Luck in his second year, Heyward-Bey hopes to add to reception totals that were 64 and 41 over the past two seasons.
"I'm learning from everyone," said Heyward-Bey. "I'm learning from Andrew, knowing what he wants. I'm learning from Coach Pep (Hamilton), Coach (Charlie) Williams, I'm just learning from everybody.
"I also know what I've learned as a starter with Oakland for four years. You get experience by playing every down for the last four years. I just go out there and work hard each and every day, get better each and every year. That's what I'm going to continue to do."
Heyward-Bey says the comfort level at his position group is high, and that he and the others will feed off the veteran vibe of Reggie Wayne.
As for Hamilton's offense, he feels pressure will be applied to opposing defenses.
"He's going to push the envelope a little bit," said Heyward-Bey of Hamilton. "When you have 12 (Andrew Luck) back there, 87 (Reggie Wayne) back there, 81 (Heyward-Bey) and 13 (T.Y. Hilton), you can do those things.
"I think we're working together well. It's a work in progress. There's always room to improve."