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Young Colts Receivers Gained Valuable Experience in 2013

Intro: Much has been made about what the top of Colts wide receivers group will look like in 2014. There are some young players, who showed promise last year, knocking on the door behind the likes of Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton.


INDIANAPOLIS – Having the luxury of three 1,000-yard receivers on an NFL roster is something the Colts will carry into the 2014 season.

Yes, the presence of Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks certainly has the makings of a three-headed monster.

Yet, for the Colts air attack to be successful in 2014, the receiver group will in all likelihood have to be deeper then three names.

Consider that in last year's postseason, three of the top four Colts wide receivers weren't even on the team's 53-man roster at various points last September.

It took some time following Reggie Wayne's season ending injury last year, but the emergence of young playmakers became apparent in the second half of a trip to Cincinnati.

First, it was Da'Rick Rogers running free for his first NFL touchdown and recording the longest score of the year by a player not named T.Y. Hilton.

Then there was LaVon Brazill pinballing off half of a dozen Bengals defenders to score the first of four touchdowns the second-year receiver would compile to end the season.

Not many players occupying a spot on a team's practice squad received the amount of attention that Rogers did last season.

The Bengals game was Rogers coming out party but you could argue the 46-yard reception the 6-3, 215-pound receiver hauled in against Kansas City was his biggest play of the season.

"There's a guy there that physically is what you're looking for, height, weight, speed and all those things. He makes 'wow' plays," Chuck Pagano said of Rogers back at the NFL Combine.

"It's a matter of him coming in and continue to get better every day and have a great offseason. He's a mismatch against a lot of the guys he goes against. We saw him make some big plays when he had some opportunities. He needs to become more consistent."

Rogers knows how grateful he was for his 2013 experience.

He points out that Darrius Heyward-Bey played five NFL seasons before earning a trip to the playoffs.

Following the loss to New England last year, an excited Rogers was intrigued by what the future looks like here in Indianapolis.

"The receivers, other than Reggie are one year ahead of me. My quarterback is one year ahead of me. It's good living, a lot here to build on," Rogers said.

"Just continue to be consistent. Come out every day focused, ready to make the same plays, you make every day."

On the other end of the Colts locker room is Brazill, who caught six balls for 127 yards and two touchdowns in last year's playoffs.

Thanks to end of the year performances by some young Colts receivers, the group has the potential to have an extremely productive season with more than just three heads.

"It gave me a lot of confidence going into the offseason, knowing that I can play in this league," Brazill said of his finish.

"This team, they've got guys that are ready to come out here and play. We've just got guys that are hungry and ready to come back and play. I know that they know they bring a big difference to the team."

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