The influx of speed came via the draft and free agency.
As the players, and particularly the wide receivers, trickled into the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this past offseason there was no denying what they would be bringing to the Colts.
Speed. Speed. And more speed.
“To me, the old adage speed kills is a true statement,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. “No matter how you slice it, speed is something that shows up on film, it shows up throughout the scouting process. It’s one thing that scares the heck out of people.”
There was the signing of free agent Donnie Avery who ran a sub 4.3 40-yard dash in becoming the first wide receiver selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. Avery had a career year in Indianapolis with 60 catches for 781 yards.
The speed movement did not stop in free agency with the Colts drafting a pair of receivers known for stretching the field.
T.Y. Hilton ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at his pro day and his big play ability led to 861 receiving yards and his seven receiving touchdowns topped all rookies.
Fellow rookies LaVon Brazill and Nathan Palmer have also been timed in the 4.4/4.3 range in the 40-yard dash.
When training camp got under away, wide receiver Reggie Wayne was in awe of the speed that he saw in his position group.
Wayne wanted to get a race set up between the speedsters with the 12-year veteran serving as merely an observer.
“Just make sure I’m at the finish line, not in there (the race),” Wayne said with a smile back during training camp.
“We have some burners. That’s something we really haven’t had in the past. We’ve had one here, two there, but we have quite a few of them right now. It makes it all fun, guys are out there just acting like they’re in the Olympics.”
During Grigson’s time in Philadelphia, the Eagles were known for their electric playmakers at the skill positions and that attribute has been brought to the Colts.
“When (Chicago wide receiver/kick returner) Devin Hester walks out on the field people get scared,” Grigson said. “People get scared of it’s not because of his size or that he looks mean, it’s because he can flat out fly.”
“And it doesn’t matter how you try to defend it, if you mess up one time it could be six points. If you don’t play to your technique perfectly it’s going to cost you.”
Grigson is hoping that speed costs Colts opponents for years to come.
Tags: donnie avery, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, ryan grigson, T.Y. Hilton
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