INDIANAPOLIS – T.Y. Hilton says those 1,000-yard seasons he used to rack up will return this season ‘with ease.’
It’s a bit of a bold statement when you look at how Hilton has produced the last two seasons.
He’s averaged barely 4 catches for 50 yards per game since Andrew Luck’s retirement.
But the Colts think the arrival of Carson Wentz will accentuate more of Hilton’s strengths.
That surrounds two attributes of Wentz—his big arm and his ability to keep plays alive.
When Frank Reich first arrived to Indianapolis in 2018, he sat down with Andrew Luck to get to know the Colts’ offensive personnel better.
Luck tried to explain to Reich what made Hilton such a dynamic receiver.
“Andrew used to always say that there’s no player better at finding open space than T.Y. Hilton,” Reich explains. “When things break down or you are out of rhythm, T.Y. just had this knack. He said that from day one. I remember thinking that’s kind of a weird thing for Andrew to say about T.Y., but I’ve seen that play out over three years.
“Given Carson’s ability to (scramble), obviously I think that bodes well for T.Y.”
During Hilton’s first ever free agency this offseason, Wentz was in communication with him, even though the two weren’t sure if they’d actually be teammates.
The two got a chance to throw together in the spring, and that’s expected to happen again a time or two before training camp.
“It’s been fun just having (Wentz) around,” Hilton said in the spring. “He’s excited. Just getting to know him, embracing him and just spending time with him, any time you get to do that with your quarterback it makes him feel at home, it eases the way for him.”
While Hilton returned to his normal health in last year (playing in 15 of 16 games), he didn’t come close to a 1,000-yard season (762 yards) and averaged just 3.7 catches per game.
In the playoff loss to the Bills, Hilton couldn’t come down with a pair of catchable balls early on, and had only one target in the final three quarters.
Hilton’s free agency wasn’t a no brainer for the Colts to hand him whatever contract he wanted and bring him back.
Eventually, with the coaxing of Jim Irsay, the two parties came to a deal.
Having a quarterback with the skillset of Wentz played into the Colts thinking Hilton can still provide this offense with a high-level of production.
“It was on the money,” Hilton said of experiencing Wentz’s arm. “He has a big arm. He likes to throw it.”
Will Hilton be the one catching enough balls to the tune of reaching that 1,000-yard plateau again?
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