Drew Stanton has been in this position before.
During the 2009 season with the Detroit Lions, Stanton served as a backup quarterback to then No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford.
An injury late in the season to Stafford paved the way for Stanton to make his first career NFL start.
Now, three years later Stanton is in a similar role as a backup quarterback to the No. 1 pick and knows that he’s one play away from being under center.
“You always have to be ready to go. It’s one of the most important positions because you never know when your opportunity is going to come, but you don’t want to drop off,” Stanton said. “The preparation and professionalism that goes into that is of someone who has to take that in a very high regard.”
As practice began Saturday morning, Stanton and quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and Andrew Luck gathered while special teams drills were going on.
Even though Stanton knows he might not get the same amount reps on the practice field as a starter, it’s little conversations like those which will keep all three signal callers on the same page and ready to go at any time.
“I think that is something that, like I said, you’re in there and your constantly getting mental reps, you might not be getting all the physical reps, especially when the season begins. But you have to be sitting there taking notes. There’s constant communication going on,” Stanton said.
During OTAs, Stanton took a majority of the reps at quarterback, as Luck was still at Stanford finishing up his degree.
This marks the sixth training camp Stanton has participated in during his NFL career and he is trying to give every bit of advice to his two rookies in the same meeting room.
“I think it’s a relationship that’s built on trust. It takes time, but I think there’s no better time than right now,” Stanton said. “These dog days that we’re in right now of getting out there and getting the little reps and the little nuances that go in to the patterns here and there. I’ve had the luxury of working with these guys a little bit longer than Andrew and Chandler, so trying to just help speed up that learning curve.”
Stanton’s six years in the league has provided a unique opportunity to frequently work with young quarterbacks and both No. 12 and No. 8 have caught his attention on and off the field.
“My standpoint of trying to help these two young guys and show them what it’s like to be a professional in this league. I think Andrew (Luck) and Chandler (Harnish) both have a tremendous upside. Obviously, Andrew being the number one overall pick and getting in there and playing right away, he’s going to have a little bit more on his plate. But both of them can handle everything that’s going to be thrown at them,” Luck said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish, drew stanton
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Residents of Central Indiana haven’t had too many kind words about this summers weather, marked by strings of days with temperatures approaching 100 degrees. But for South Florida native and Colts rookie wide receiver TY Hilton, it feels just like home.
“Oh, I’m loving the Miami weather right now. Now in October I understand I might have some issues, but for now it feels like home.”
Hilton grew up in Miami and played collegiately just north of there at Florida International University in Boca Raton. While his time at FIU won’t prepare him for an Indianapolis fall and winter (the furthest north he ever played was in Knoxville, TN) he feels his coaching staff led by head coach Mario Cristobal helped prepare him well for an NFL career.
“We played top colleges and practiced very hard. Our coaching staff was always pushing us. I was a leader there, always the first one on the field and the last one off.”
Hilton knows why the Colts spent a third round pick on him: his speed. Although he expects to contend for playing time at wide receiver, he knows at least in the first part of his career, his main contributions will be on special teams. To that end, Hilton is extremely confident in his ability to make plays.
“I’m a game changer…I’m a humble guy, but at that position (return specialist) you’ve got to have some confidence, a little swagger.”
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians had another third round speedster from a small school who blossomed into a top flight receiver during his tenure in Pittsburgh, Mike Wallace. Hilton says he’s heard the comparisons between the two. He thinks, however, that Arians will use him more like the Steelers used Antonio Brown, in a more versatile role than simply relying on him to streak past defensive backs using his speed.
He may not be looking forward to the weather here this fall, but one thing he can’t wait to hear is a Lucas Oil Stadium Crowd in full voice.
“I’m ready to get in that dome and see and hear those fans.”
If Hilton’s confidence in his ability to make big plays translates into touchdowns, he’ll get his wish soon enough.
Tags: bruce arians, Florida International, TY Hilton
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Reggie Wayne sees something in his wide receiver group that he has never seen in his 12-year career with the Colts.
Speed, speed and more speed.
It all started back in late Match when the Colts signed free agent Donnie Avery who recorded a 4.27, 40-yard dash at his 2008 pro day.
The influx of speed continued a month later when the Colts drafted wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill in the third and sixth rounds respectively.
For the rookies, the speed element in their games is already there but they know who to talk to in trying to become a complete receiver.
“We look to him a lot. That’s Reggie Wayne, a 12-year (veteran),” Hilton said. “There isn’t too much a defense can throw at us that he hasn’t seen, so watching film with him, breaking it down, out on the field, just asking him any questions you want and he’ll pretty much answer them.”
Hilton missed most of OTAs with an injury and felt like he was a bit behind coming into his first NFL training camp.
“The first two days (were a bit overwhelming) but now I’m pretty much comfortable. Coach gives me plays right now. I’m running with the ones, twos and I’m feeling good so I kind of settled down and just got back to being me,” Hilton said.
Now that Hilton is ‘back to being him’ fans are starting to get a taste of his electric skill set that led him to score 24 touchdowns receiving, seven rushing, four on kickoff returns and two on punt returns during his four-year career at Florida International.
That speed has been evident during the first week of training camp but in order to become more like Wayne, the work needs to continue to be done off the field as well.
“Guys take good notes, heavy notes,” Wayne said of the rookies. “I’m a big note-taker so whenever I see them taking notes, I know they want to get better. They want to go out there and make plays. We have a lot of guys who can run, a lot of guys who are hungry.”
Tags: donnie avery, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
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