T.Y. Hilton was the 13th receiver chosen in April’s NFL Draft.
Luckily for Hilton and the Colts. that number doesn’t correlate to on the field performance.
After the first half of the NFL season, Hilton finds himself third among all rookie receivers with 355 yards receiving.
For the second time this season, Hilton turned in a 100-yard receiving day against Miami and credits the attention given to Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne for his productive afternoon.
“They started doubling Reggie a lot more so that left me and Donnie Avery with one-on-one matchups that we had to win,” Hilton said on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show.’
“I had to step up. The receivers went out the night before and Reggie Wayne gave us a great speech. He told us how they used to double Marvin (Harrison) and he used to wonder why he was getting the ball. He said to make sure that when it’s your time make sure you’re ready and that’s what I was able to do. I was ready and I had a big day.”
Numerous times during training camp there was Hilton and Wayne walking off the practice field together with the rookie taking in everything his mentor had to say.
“He’s a 12-year veteran. There isn’t any defense that he hasn’t seen,” Hilton said of Wayne. “To have him in the room and just to be able to pick his brain, it helps out a lot. It’s showing out there on the field.”
Hilton is obviously listening to what Wayne is saying as he remains the lone rookie in the NFL with a pair of 100-yard receiving games on the season.
Interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians knew Hilton brought an element to the return game but has been pleased with his progress at the receiver position, too.
The electric Hilton is still waiting to show Colts fans the special teams part of the game that made him a versatile prospect coming out of Florida International University.
“There’s one aspect where I know that I’m going to get the ball once they kick it to me,” Hilton said of punt returns. “I love changing games so once they give me an opportunity, I try to make it the best out of it.”
On Sunday against the Dolphins, Hilton’s 36-yard touchdown catch came in front of a familiar face.
Chuck Pagano addressed the Colts before and after Sunday’s 23-20 victory and Hilton’s spirited play was credited to his head coach.
“(Pagano) gave us that extra juice that we needed,” Hilton said. “To see him, made us even play harder and made us want it even more. We thrived off him and came out with the victory for him.”
Tags: bruce arians, chuck pagano, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
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