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INDIANAPOLISThat face-to-face interaction will come at some point in 2020 for T.Y. Hilton and Philip Rivers.

Likely in the next month or so, when the two get together with teammates to do some throwing.

For now though, Hilton is getting to know his new quarterback via Zoom.

Monday-Thursday, for about two hours per day, the Colts are taking part in their virtual offseason program.

That means players are getting a taste of Rivers, albeit in a slightly scaled back version.

Even so, the 16-year vet is clearly making his presence felt.

“He’s already taken control of meetings,” Hilton said of the man with 224 straight starts under center. “So he’s asking questions, knowing the terminology. He’s been in this offense, some things we’ve changed up with different names. So he’s just getting those things down and once he gets those down, he’ll be ready to go.

“We talk almost every day on Zoom or whenever me and him talk on the phone. He calls me up, just him getting to know me, me getting to know him (and) asking those personal questions about one another. I feel like I’ve gotten to know him.”

The virtual offseason program was barely two weeks old before Jack Doyle walked away thinking, ‘I like this guy.’

“I love hearing (Rivers) talk during the meetings and the way he talks ball is really cool,” Doyle says. “I see it the same way he does. So I feel a little connection there already and we will just build off of that.”

In trying to replicate some semblance of normal spring activity, the Colts have had Rivers practice his cadence over Zoom.

For center Ryan Kelly, who will be working with his third different starting quarterback in three different seasons, that has been a key step in trying to speed up some of the learning curve, despite being virtual.

“What we do is they basically give Phil the play call, and he’ll just say, ‘All right, we’re in the huddle. Here’s the formation. Here’s the play. Here’s the cadence,’ and we go to the line of scrimmage and we’ll cut to a play,” Kelly says.

“We’ll kind of run through it the best that we can. We’re doing everything that we can to get live reps. If you visualize it enough, it will come over time to get used to it. As far as down to the cadence and his presence in the huddle, it’s obviously going to be paramount that we get that down. I think we’re doing a good job.”

Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni were key first-hand witnesses to Rivers the leader.

But Rivers resonating with new players on a new team is something he has never done in his entire career.

That intensity and passion for the game can easily rub opposing players (and fan bases) wrong.

Having that on your own side is different though.

While Jacoby Brissett has always been an extremely respected teammate, Rivers has clout on the resume that the 2019 starter cannot measure up to.

“Phil is a guy I see taking us to the next level,” Hilton says.

For the two main guys building and installing the weekly offensive game plan around Rivers, it’s been like old San Diego times again.

“Just because of our existing relationship with Nick and I, it’s literally like riding a bike,” Reich says. “We’re laughing and joking about how it’s just like we’ve been together the whole time. A very quick re-acclimation to that.

“We know what Philip likes. Philip kind of knows how we think, but at the same time we’ve brought in some new things. He’s brought some new things. That’s been fun. It’s been exciting to hear some of the things that he’s learned over the last few years and he’s been equally as eager to hear kind of what we’ve learned over the last few years as well.

“I know we still have to play games and all that stuff, but the further we get into this process with Philip, the more I’m convinced that was the right move for us.”

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