I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Darrius Heyward-Bey and Coby Fleener having to step up in Reggie Wayne’s absence. That they are the key to the Indianapolis Colts’ passing offense continuing to play at a high level.
I don’t disagree that they need to step up, but the key to the passing game is now T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton has shown potential of becoming a star receiver in the league, while not showing much consistency. But now it is time for T.Y to show how high he can truly fly.
It’s time to show that he can have reliable hands. Show he can be there for Luck when he needs a first down. Show that he can be the number one receiver he wants to be.
Now, the run game is just as important if not more so, but strictly talking about the passing game, Hilton is the biggest factor going forward. He knows the offense and the quarterback better than any of the current receivers on the roster. And with familiarity and reliability comes success.
Hilton just needs to show that reliability. He certainly has great big play potential but in order to become a star receiver he must be versatile. Hilton must show the ability to adapt and move around. And, of course, most importantly, get open, early and often.
Wayne played out of the slot often in Pep Hamilton’s offense and many are expecting the same from Hilton. However, I believe we will see a lot more of LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen in that spot with Hilton and Heyward-Bey on the outside, stretching the defenses.
Speaking of Brazill and Whalen, one of these two must provide the Colts with good production. Especially considering the fact the Colts should be running a lot more three wide receiver sets because Jack Doyle and Weslye Saunders are the tight ends behind Fleener.
And I’ve liked what I saw from Brazill last year, though I don’t trust him totally, I think he could really grow into a useful part of this offense.
With Whalen, I fell in love with him during training camp. Someone who catches the ball very well and somehow always seems to find a way to get open? Sounds familiar. Not saying he’s anywhere near Wayne’s level but he presents the same type of skill set.
We shall find out how Hamilton and the Colts offense moves forward without Wayne for the first time tonight against division rival Houston Texans. As big of a blow it is to lose Wayne, it is exciting to see what these young players can bring to the table. I look forward to seeing quarterback Andrew Luck spread the wealth and develop these receivers. I expect a Colts win tonight, in a close one. Go Colts!
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