Colts' T.Y. Hilton: Opener is like Christmas

Understated Pro Bowl wide receiver is psyched to see how Colts offense operates with new additions Andre Johnson and Frank Gore.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton isn’t much of a talker.

That’s one of the reasons he likes having wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore on the same roster. Those veterans are about playing the game, not talking so much about it. 

“They don’t speak much,” Hilton said Wednesday. “They’re the kind of guys that lead by example. Plus, just watch those guys and just follow their lead because once they’re out there they’re in full-throttle mode. They’re giving 100 percent at all times. They’re guys that we can depend on for leadership.”

Hilton, 25, has been the Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver the past two seasons with a penchant for game-breaking plays. That earned him a five-year, $65-million contract extension with $38 million guaranteed last month.

In 46 regular-season games, Hilton has caught 214 passes for 3,289 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s had 18 100-yard receiving games. His 13 receptions in a 2014 playoff win over Kansas City are tied for second in NFL postseason history and his 224 receiving yards in that game rank third all-time.

Because quarterback Andrew Luck and last season’s No. 1 passing offense have even more weapons entering Sunday’s opener at Buffalo, many are wondering if this will affect how many touches Hilton will get in his fourth NFL season.

But Hilton, coming off his first Pro Bowl selection, doesn’t concern himself with such things. He’s just eager to see how this new offense operates.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s time for the live bullets to start flying and guys are excited around here. We got our new pieces that we can’t get wait to get ready to use on Sunday.”

He likens the season opener against the Bills to a couple of other special days.

“Yeah, it’s Christmas because it’s finally here. You finally get to go out there and have fun and play for four quarters instead of a half or a series. Then it’s Halloween because you just don’t know what to expect with the first game. Guys are ready. Guys are ready.”

The Colts shouldn’t need to pull too many tricks to outsmart the opposition. Their skill set, particularly at the wide receiver position is vast.

Hilton, like rookie first-round pick Phillip Dorsett, is known for his speed and an ability to go deep on any play. Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection with the Houston Texans, brings 6-3, 229-pound size to his craft, a tough guy to jam at the line and someone who has perfected the art of getting separation from defenders in his dozen NFL seasons.

No. 4 receiver Donte Moncrief had two 100-yard receiving games as a rookie, but he also made his share of tough catches, snagging high passes and also displaying excellent foot control. And he has exceptional speed, too.

“We’re unique in our own ways, but we have a lot of speed,” Hilton said. “A lot of speed and a lot of depth. Guys that can contribute right away.”

The Colts have been asked throughout the offseason about Super Bowl expectations. Hilton was asked again about the lofty goals for a team that reached the AFC Championship Game last January.

“I just tell them one game at a time,” he said. “It’s a long season and just take it one game at a time, one play at a time and we should be fine. Don’t listen to the crowd, the media and all that. Just go out and play your game and just have fun. You’ve been doing this for a long time, why change now? Just continue to have fun.”

Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.

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