Throughout Indianapolis Colts history, there aren’t many wide receivers better than T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton has firmly established himself as one of the best Colts of all time and is one of the most beloved players in franchise history as well.
When he was a free agent for the first time this offseason, the #BringTYHome movement spoke volumes to the wide receiver and was a huge influence in him returning to the Colts.
Hilton arrived in Westfield, Ind. on Tuesday and met with local media as the Colts convened for training camp. Now entering Year 10, Hilton is the longest-tenured Colt on the roster after the retirement of Anthony Castonzo this offseason and he’s ready to get it underway.
“Yeah, it’s Year 10 for me – the old man, the O.G,” Hilton said. “I feel good, glad to be back out here, glad to be able to have the fans back in the stands. We’re looking forward to a great season.”
While he may be entering his 10th year, “The Ghost” still has plenty that he wants to accomplish this year
“I still haven’t got my double-digit touchdowns yet and trying to get to 10K (receiving yards)," he said. "Other than that, just doing whatever my team needs me to do, continue to make the big plays, keep the chains moving, and just continue to be me.”
The most touchdowns that Hilton has had in a season is seven, and he is only 640 yards away from 10,000 for his career. Hilton has only had one season in his career where he did not reach that mark when he missed six games due to injury in 2019. The Colts would become the first team in NFL history to have three players with more than 10,000 receiving yards with the franchise, as Hilton would be joining Marvin Harrison (14,580) and Reggie Wayne (14,345).
A big component of Hilton’s success this season will be his connection with quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz and Hilton have already been getting work in this offseason to create the chemistry needed for success on the field.
“Great guy," Hilton said about Wentz. "We are staying in contact, stay texting. We got to work and it was some really good work. We got some of the young guys together and we just got better. Talking to him, he’s excited. The city has embraced him and we’ve embraced him in the locker room. He’s been excited and he can’t wait to get out here in front of the fans.”
Hilton has not had the same success since former Colts quarterback Andrew Luck retired. With Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers as his signal callers, the deep ball has not been as prevalent, which is one of Hilton’s strong suits. Wentz’s style of play is much similar to Luck’s, which bodes well for the speedy wide receiver.
“It can look great. Explosive,” Hilton said when asked how the offense can look with Wentz. “Got a run game, then he’s able to do what he can do outside the pocket. And he has a big arm so if plays break down you know he’s able to get out of the pocket, keep plays alive with his legs. He has all the intangibles.”
Hilton has a very high football IQ and is fantastic at finding soft spots in the defense, especially when plays break down. With Wentz’s ability to escape the pocket and keep plays alive, Hilton should see plenty of opportunities to make big plays. He will also play a crucial part in helping Wentz get his confidence back as he tries to revive his career in Indy.
While Hilton is no longer the wide receiver he used to be, he is still an exquisite route runner and can dominate defenses if they aren’t sliding coverage his way. With Wentz as the quarterback, Hilton may just see a resurgence in Year 10.
What are your expectations of Hilton in 2021? Drop a line in the comments section below!
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