Second-year receiver T.Y. Hilton lined up on the outside of a two-receiver set and then beat Bills cornerback Ron Brooks on a 45-yard Matt Hasselbeck pass. The emerging star made the diving catch early in the second quarter right before sliding his way into the end zone for a touchdown.
A painful looking, red, contact abrasion on his right wrist was his reward. “Yeah, that’s my new watch, my new watch for right now,” he said pointing to the wound. He finished the afternoon with 61 yards. His performance was a continuation of what has thus far been a great training camp for him.
Coach Chuck Pagano apparently agrees. “That guy’s a freak,” he said. “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.”
But Pagano isn’t the only one who sees Hilton’s talent. Second-year tight end Coby Fleener said, “There’s not too many things that T.Y. can’t do. Something you can’t teach is his speed. It’s impressive to watch him on a daily basis to see him improving, and improving and see it all come together.”
But Hilton can also be a threat in the return game, as evidenced by a 15-yard gain on a punt return that seemingly had nowhere to go.
Throw in the fact that Andrew Luck is the man throwing passes to him, and it’s easy to see Hilton emerging as one of the league’s elite receivers. When asked for his assessment of Hilton, Luck said, “He’s a phenomenal football player. He’s going to make plays. That’s why he’s out on the field. I don’t know if I’ve come to, when you expect it, it’s not as special. It’s still special when someone makes a play like that. That’s special.”
The good news: Football is back. The bad news: It’s only preseason. Here’s to seeing what Hilton can do in the regular season, which as always, can’t get here soon enough.