ANDERSON – For the record there are no scoreboards on the grass practice field at Anderson University, which see the majority of the Colts workouts during their annual training camp.
The workouts near a scoreboard on Tire Barn Field don’t get turned on during the team’s morning walk-through either, but in T.Y. Hilton’s head, the number are always lit.
“Right now, I have no drops,” said Hilton when asked generally about his start of camp.
He was then asked if he was consciously keeping track.
“Yeah, every drop I have, I am going to run so right now just limit my drops and just have fun,” responded Hilton-and that’s indicative of his desire to improve from a solid rookie season.
A third round draft pick out of Florida International, Hilton emerged as a major target for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, who connected with the receiver 50 times over the course of the season for 861 yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned kicks and punts and got a touchdown doing the latter against Buffalo on November 25th.
Hilton’s exploits were good enough to earn a major story in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated as the receivers profile continues to grow as his second season approaches.
“That guy’s a freak,” said head coach Chuck Pagano glowingly about Hilton. “I’d hate to be the guy on the opposite side of the ball. I know our defensive guys make sure they know where he’s at all the time. He just keeps growing and growing and growing. You can see his confidence level.
“This game is so easy to him, he is so smart, he has put so much time in not only in the weight room, on the practice field working his craft, but in the classroom.”
Yet despite the notoriety and praise, Hilton’s goals remain as simple as the number he keeps in his head. Coming into his second training camp at Anderson University, Hilton continues to stress the basics to improving and expanding his game in 2013.
“I don’t really have any,” said Hilton when asked about his goals for the upcoming season. “I just want to have fun. I want to limit my drops to single digits and just go out there and have fun and punt return, probably get about two or three touchdowns. ”
One person that Hilton believes could help him do so is fellow wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who has had at least 100 catches in three-of-the-last-four Colts seasons. He says the veteran helped him during his rookie season to adjust to the NFL and can continue to do so as he tries to emerge as a consistent receiver threat.
If anything, Wayne’s career provides Hilton a bit of a roadmap to success in the league.
“Oh yeah, got to whenever I have a chance, I pick his brain and ask him questions and just make sure we are on the same page,” said Hilton of Wayne. “I am very appreciative of him. Whenever I get a chance I just make sure I tell him thank you just being able to have the time to be able to talk to me, just give me the time. “Whenever I have a question to ask him, he always answers so just to be able to have the type of guy means a lot.”
But when it come to dropped passes in camp, T.Y is the man to ask.