High praise for T.Y. Hilton

AP

With the Colts acquiring receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and hiring an offensive coordinator who may be more inclined to dial up throws to the team’s tight ends, it’s easy to assume that receiver T.Y. Hilton will see a decrease in his production from 2012.

That assumption could be incorrect.

“I think T.Y. Hilton can be really special as a receiver, and I’ve been around a lot of receivers,” said quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck, via quotes distributed by the team.  “He’s a guy I see who could be poised to break out.”

In a recent practice, Hilton scored three touchdowns, including one despite close coverage from cornerback Greg Toler.  More of that could be coming on the field during the games.

Another guy who has been around a lot of receivers — and who is one himself — agrees.

“He’s young but he’s a professional, he’s what you want in a young guy,” receiver Reggie Wayne said.  “He’s in meetings asking questions, writing down notes, making sure he’s on the right page with Andrew [Luck].  He’s doing everything right.  T.Y. is constantly just growing and growing, that’s all you can ask for.”

The guy who runs the show agrees, using a word that typically appears when debating the relative quality of high-end quarterbacks.

“T.Y. is not thinking.  He plays fast,” coach Chuck Pagano said.  “You could see him in the middle and toward the end of last season really take off.  He came in in the offseason and picked up right where he left off.  He’s a talented guy.  He’s going to become an elite guy.”

Not could be or may be or probably will be.  Pagano says Hilton going to be elite.

And that would help the Colts become elite again, too.