2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Luck has youthful pass-catchers for Colts

By CLIFF BRUNT - Associated Press
    2012-12-06 19:13

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck's dynamic rookie season is even more impressive when considering that most of the people he's throwing to are new to the NFL, too.

Five of the Colts quarterback's top seven pass catchers are in their first season. Receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener and running back Vick Ballard are all learning the ropes along with Luck.

The youngsters have helped Luck put most meaningful rookie passing records in jeopardy. Luck has passed for 3,596 yards, fourth in the league behind Detroit's Matthew Stafford, New Orleans' Drew Brees and Dallas' Tony Romo. The Colts (8-4) rank third in the league in total offense heading into Sunday's home game against Tennessee (4-8).

Because Luck is a rookie, the young receivers have the benefit of an understanding quarterback.

``A guy runs the wrong route or breaks the wrong way, he understands because he's a young guy, too. If you're dealing with a veteran quarterback, you might get fussed out or something like that, and that might cause you to lose a little bit of confidence,'' Allen said. ``Andrew's a young guy, just like us. He understands that we all make mistakes, him included, so he tries to make us feel as comfortable as possible when we make those mistakes.''

The young receivers say veteran wideout Reggie Wayne, who ranks third in the league in receptions and yards, has helped them develop. The scary part? They're just getting started as a unit.

``We're still figuring out each other,'' Hilton said. ``We're young, but we've got a few veterans we can lean on. We're growing and the bond is getting stronger.''

Donnie Avery, the team's No. 2 receiver, is a senior statesman at age 28. He scored the winning touchdown last week in Detroit with no time remaining.

``We just play our role,'' Avery said. ``When our number's called we just try to make plays. Everybody just complements 12 (Luck) and 87 (Wayne).''

Avery has 49 catches for 675 yards. Hilton ranks third on the team in catches (39) and yards (588). Allen is fourth on the team in both categories (36 for 435). Fleener, Luck's teammate at Stanford, has 22 catches for 248 yards.

LaVon Brazill has 10 for 178 yards and leads the team in yards per reception. He scored his first NFL touchdown last Sunday in the fourth quarter at Detroit.

Ballard has 14 catches for 133 yards, including a dramatic dive for a game-winning touchdown reception in the first meeting with Tennessee.

Hilton, a speedster from Florida International, is opening eyes with his ability to make game-changing plays. He had two touchdowns against Buffalo two weeks ago, including a 75-yard punt return for a score. He led the team with six catches last week against Detroit. He has set the team record for 100-yard games for a rookie with four.

``He's a great receiver,'' Avery said. ``He's young in the game, but he makes plays. He knows how to get open, he knows how to catch the ball. He's going to be special.''

The offense has developed surprising effectiveness for a group that is so new and lacks NFL experience. The Colts have put together five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime. Hilton said it's partially because Luck knows he can go to any of his targets.

``He's trusting us to be in the right spot at the right time,'' Hilton said. ``He drops back three steps and he's looking, he knows we're going to be there. Chemistry is growing. We know people are going to double-team, triple-team Reggie and make other guys get them. That's when we step up and be accountable.''

Allen said the coaching staff expects the rookies to perform like veterans.

``They demand us young guys to not play like rookies,'' he said. ``It's week 14. You're not a rookie anymore. That's what they say all the time.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 1 09:33a

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) has his right foot and ankle in a cast Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Donald BrownOct 1 09:23a

The San Diego Chargers ran just 20 times for 42 yards in Week 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars for a measly 2.1 yards per carry. After four games this [ More ]

Teddy BridgewaterOct 1 09:18a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) is feeling 'much better' Tuesday, Sept. 30, and head coach Mike Zimmer remains hopeful that Bridgewater can play in Week 5 against the [ More ]

Eric WinstonOct 1 07:13a

The Atlanta Falcons worked out free-agent FS M.D. Jennings, SS Chris D. Clemons and OL Eric Winston Tuesday, Sept. 30. ESPN analyst Ed Werder confirmed the workout of Winston, [ More ]

Brandon BrownerOct 1 06:43a

The New England Patriots reinstated CB Brandon Browner and WR Brian Tyms from the suspended list Tuesday, Sept. 30. They each have a roster exemption that expires Monday, Oct. 6.

Marqise LeeSep 30 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) is going through the team's return-to-play protocol and could return to practice this week.

Toby GerhartSep 30 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will continue to be involved in a rotation at running back with RB Toby Gerhart, and head coach Gus Bradley said the team strongly [ More ]

Navorro BowmanSep 30 09:13p

San Francisco 49ers LB Michael Wilhoite has started for LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) in all four games this season, and Bowman said he has been impressed by his replacement. [ More ]

Larry DonnellSep 30 09:03p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is on pace to finish the year with 100 catches, 944 yards and 16 touchdowns. The single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end is currently 17.

Bruce CarterSep 30 06:53p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter's (quadriceps) will reportedly need 10-14 days for his strained right quadriceps to heal, assuring he will miss Week 5 against the Houston Texans.

Brandon HepburnSep 30 06:43p

The Philadelphia Eagles released LB Brandon Hepburn and OT Tyler Hoover Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Gabe MillerSep 30 06:33p

The Washington Redskins re-signed LB Gabe Miller and DT Robert Thomas to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Chris BoswellSep 30 06:33p

The Houston Texans released PK Chris Boswell Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Mario ManninghamSep 30 06:13p

The New York Giants released WR Mario Manningham (calf) from their Reserve/Injured list with an injury waiver Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Joe McKnightSep 30 06:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs placed RB Joe McKnight (Achilles') on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Terrell ManningSep 30 06:03p

The Chicago Bears placed LB Terrell Manning and WR Rashad Ross on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Montell OwensSep 30 05:53p

The Detroit Lions placed RB Montell Owens (hamstring) on Reserve/Injured and signed RB George Winn from their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 30.

LaMichael JamesSep 30 05:43p

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent RB LaMichael James (49ers) Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jerick McKinnonSep 30 05:03p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle) was limited in practice again Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jarrett BoykinSep 30 05:03p

Green Bay Packers LB Sam Barrington (hamstring), DT Josh Boyd (knee) and WR Jarrett Boykin (groin) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30. LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) was limited, while [ More ]

Chad GreenwaySep 30 05:03p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway (hand/rib) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30. CBs Captain Munnerlyn (illness) and Josh Robinson (hamstring) were limited. FB Jerome Felton (knee), LB Michael Mauti [ More ]

Jadeveon ClowneySep 30 04:53p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) began running Tuesday, Sept. 30, as part of his rehabilitation process. He said the rehab process is coming along well and that he [ More ]

William MooreSep 30 04:03p

Atlanta Falcons SS William Moore (shoulder) will be placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Mike Smith.

Joe HawleySep 30 04:03p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, according to a league source. C Peter Konz will now be the [ More ]

Victor ButlerSep 30 03:43p

The Arizona Cardinals released LB Victor Butler Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 30 02:33p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) isn't practicing for the second straight day Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Tony SparanoSep 30 02:13p

The Oakland Raiders named Tony Sparano interim head coach Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Joe HawleySep 30 02:13p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) and OT Lamar Holmes (foot) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Tommy BohanonSep 30 02:03p

New York Jets FB Tommy Bohanon (collarbone) will have surgery for a broken collarbone, and will be placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list.

Uche NwaneriSep 30 02:03p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) could be dealing with a season-ending injury to his right knee, according to a league source. The Falcons will work out free-agent OG [ More ]

Matt AsiataSep 30 01:53p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon ran for 135 yards on 18 carries in the team's Week 4 win over the Atlanta Falcons, but head coach Mike Zimmer is hesitant [ More ]

Ben TateSep 30 01:23p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, for the first time since spraining his right knee in the season opener Sept. 7. It means [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group