For Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, 2021 will bring on the fifth different opening-day quarterback that he's had during his career.
Since playing the majority of his career with former Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Hilton has had a mixed bag of players throwing his way but he's excited for 2021 and to have the quarterback most resembling Luck's style to throw to him.
The Colts reached an agreement to trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz over a month ago, and he and Hilton have been chatting ever since.
"I've been talking to Carson since the day he signed. He texted me yesterday, too," Hilton told The Pat McAfee Show about Wentz reaching out to him about his free-agent status. "We texted each other yesterday and he was like, 'Are we close? How we lookin'?'
"He wants to play football with me, and I wanna play with him," Hilton continued. "It's been incredible for him to just continue to reach out to me as I'm a free agent. I respect him a lot. I can't wait to get to work with him. I told him, 'If you need me, I'll be there. I'll go through the fire with you.' And he said, 'I'd do the same with you.' We look forward to it, and there's gonna be some big things happening in Indy.
Hilton's calling card throughout his career has been the big downfield plays he's been able to cultivate using his speed and unique route-running ability.
Quarterbacks with lackluster arm strength or without the comfortability to consistently throw the ball downfield don't often result in Hilton's full capabilities showing through, but for all of Wentz's imperfections, his style suits Hilton's well.
Wentz moves around to keep plays alive, has a big arm, and the ability to make unlikely throws. He also has no issue looking downfield.
Through injuries, inconsistent quarterback play and sometimes playing a decoy, Hilton's last two seasons have been statistically subpar for his standards. He's averaged 13 games and 50.5 catches for 631.5 yards and 5 touchdowns in that time.
Perhaps being paired with a quarterback like Wentz could reinvigorate Hilton's consistent big-play ability.
It doesn't appear as if Hilton and Wentz have gotten together to throw yet, although it seems as if it may be happening at some point.
"COVID makes everything tough, but you've just gotta do it virtual right now," Hilton said. "But whenever you get together, you start building that chemistry, start learning the playbook, start learning what Carson likes, what he doesn't like, what spots he wants you at, how he likes to call the plays, what he likes to check to, what routes I like to run. Once we get those things down, the rest will be easy."
As for being excited for the season to start and to begin working with Wentz, the season can't come soon enough for Hilton.
"Absolutely. I look forward to it," Hilton said. "He seems like a great guy. I talked to Torrey Smith today about Carson. He had nothing but great things to say about him. He said, 'Y'all got a chance to be real dangerous.'
"I can't wait to get a chance to work with him."
Will T.Y. Hilton bounce back with Carson Wentz at quarterback? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!