When Pep Hamilton had his opening conference call upon being named the Colts offensive coordinator, he made one thing clear.
West coast or no coast, the ball would be finding the hands of the Colts playmakers.
This was evident on Sunday night with Darrius Heyward-Bey being a frequent recipient of quick passes.
On several occasions, DHB hauled in short passes down the line of scrimmage and turned them into gains of nine and seven yards.
“You see those quick throws out to the wide outs, they are actually called runs, but they are loading the box up, putting eight, nine, 10 guys up there to stop the run,” Head Coach Chuck Pagano said after the game.
“We feel like that is just a long hand-off when you toss it out there. You get it out to a guy like T.Y. (Hilton), you get it out to a guy like DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey), all they have to do is break one tackle and you are looking at one of those long hand-offs going for a 50 or 60-yard touchdown.”
DHB caught a total of four catches for 42 yards against the Giants and showed an ability to rack up yards after catch.
With DHB back from a knee injury and having an up and down end to training camp, quarterback Andrew Luck wanted to find his new receiver early on Sunday night.
“(DHB) is a phenomenal athlete. We need to get the ball in his hands and that was a focus on my end this week,” Luck said. “This game was, ‘let’s make sure we get the ball in Darrius’ hands and let him do what he does best’ and he had a heck of a game.”
Almost a half year later, Luck is speaking the same language that his offensive coordinator did back in the winter.
The playmakers and balance at the skill positions are there, now it’s time to accentuate that.
“It’s always important to get the ball in as many guys’ hands,” Luck said. “We’ve got great running backs, we’ve got great tight ends, we’ve got great wide receivers. The ball needs to be in their hands as much as possible.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, darrius heyward-bey, Pep Hamilton, T.Y. Hilton
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