Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

July 31, 2013

In good hands

Colts feel comfortable relying on receiver Hilton

ANDERSON — Andrew Luck’s best throw came late in Tuesday’s practice, and it wouldn’t have been possible without T.Y. Hilton.

As Luck scrambled behind the line of scrimmage, avoiding the oncoming rush, Hilton broke free in the back of the end zone. He raised his hand to alert his quarterback, and Luck stepped forward to launch a rocket into the former Florida International star’s arms.

As he has almost all offseason, Hilton held on.

In their second year together, Luck and Hilton seem to be on the same page. And that’s no accident.

They spent time last month working alongside Reggie Wayne in south Florida trying to make certain their encore performance is even better than their debut.

“We know it’s going to be harder,” Hilton said. “Guys are going to expect that. But we did a great job in Miami getting the timing down. He knows where I’m going to be, and I know what he is thinking. So, right now, it should just be fun and just go deep.”

Hilton went deep often in his rookie season. He averaged a healthy 17.2 yards per reception and led the team with seven touchdowns. He was the team’s most productive receiver late in the season and finished with 50 catches for 861 yards overall.

He entered training camp in a competition with free-agent addition Darrius Heyward-Bey to become the No. 2 receiver and still is likely to serve as the team’s primary punt returner.

So far, new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has used Hilton all over the field. He’s lined up on the outside to the left and the right, and he’ll also see time in the slot.

No matter where he plays, or what unit he’s running with, he’s been consistently turning heads.

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