WESTFIELD, Ind. — Ryan Grant has a very quiet demeanor, even on the football field.
And while he may not be the flashiest player, and while he might not be logging multiple highlight plays a day during training camp practices, the veteran wide receiver’s approach — a day-by-day consistency with a focus to continually improve — has certainly caught the attention of the Indianapolis Colts’ coaching staff.
Already featuring one of the top No. 1 wide receivers in the game in T.Y. Hilton, the Colts have been searching for a consistent No. 2 player at the position for some time now.
They believe they have that in Grant.
“T.Y. (Hilton) and Ryan Grant,” head coach Frank Reich told reporters on Sunday, “have really separated themselves.”
That being said, it’s not like the Colts didn’t know what they were getting when they signed Grant to a free agent deal this offseason.
Grant, 27, is coming off a career year with the Washington Redskins, where he spent the first four seasons of his career. In 2017, he caught 45 passes for 573 yards and four touchdowns — numbers that represented more than 50 percent of his career totals in all three categories.
Grant spent his first couple seasons learning the ropes from the likes of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, but was able to stick around by becoming a master of the route tree, as well as by excelling as a blocker and on special teams when called upon.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Grant became a favorite of Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, who appreciates a wide receiver who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work to create opportunities for others.
“He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent,” Gruden said last year of Grant, via Redskins.com. “Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right. No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do — he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever position and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them. He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."
Now, check out what Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni had to say about Grant on Monday, and see if you notice any recurring themes:
“Ryan has done what we ask guys to do on a consistent basis, and that’s just improve every single day — fight to improve every single day. And we just see that in Ryan,” Sirianni said. “Even if the ball’s not going to Ryan and maybe not everybody sees that — ‘Hey, why didn’t Ryan Grant catch more passes?’ — we see it on every single play. ‘Hey, man, look at how he’s running that route. Look how he’s releasing off the ball right there. Look at how he’s getting in and out of (breaks). Oh my goodness, did you see that big run? Ryan Grant was the one who came in and got him.’ And that’s what we’ve seen out of Ryan.”