Redskins

Luck has youthful pass-catchers for Colts

201212021226448072124-p2.jpeg

Luck has youthful pass-catchers for Colts

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.''

Quick Links

5 best fan-generated Washington Warriors logo, uniform designs

5 best fan-generated Washington Warriors logo, uniform designs

As Dan Snyder and his advisors have huddled up to discuss whether to change the name of his Washington franchise over the past two weeks, D.C. sports fans have chimed in on social media making suggestions for what the new name should be.

Though there is a long list of ideas that have been tossed around, two names have emerged as the favorites among fans and former players: Redwolves and Warriors.

Of course, many of these suggestions came with fan art included. While we dove into the Redwolves submissions over here, these are our five favorite Warriors designs that have circulated around social media:

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE TEAM NEWS:

Quick Links

5 best fan-generated Washington Redwolves logo, uniform designs

5 best fan-generated Washington Redwolves logo, uniform designs

As Dan Snyder and his advisors have huddled up to discuss whether to change the name of his Washington franchise over the past two weeks, D.C. sports fans have chimed in on social media making suggestions for what the new name should be.

Though there is a long list of ideas that have been tossed around, two names have emerged as the favorites among fans and former players: Redwolves and Warriors.

Of course, many of these suggestions came with fan art included. While we dove into the Warriors submissions over here, these are our five favorite Redwolves designs that have circulated around social media:

View this post on Instagram

Petition is in my bio if you guys want to sign it. Making the case for Washington #Redwolves, a name and story I have personally fallen in love with ; Here’s the military connection to Redwolves ; “The Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 84 “Red Wolves” was a helicopter squadron of the United States Navy Reserve. Along with the “Firehawks” of HSC-85, Red Wolves were only one of two squadrons in the US Navy dedicated to supporting Navy SEAL and SWCC Teams, and Combat Search & Rescue. Now let’s talk about the animal itself : The red wolf is the world's most endangered canid, and the Southeast’s native wolf. Uniquely "All-American," the red wolf's entire historical range is confined within what is now the United States. Once roaming as far west as Texas, down into Florida, and up into the Midwest, the red wolf now persists in only a fraction of its range. It has lost more of its historical territory—99.7 percent—than any other large carnivore, including lions and tigers. Redwolves were designated as an endangered species in 1967. Today, about 40 red wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina as a non-essential, experimental population and more than 200 red wolves are maintained in captive breeding facilities throughout America. I am very passionate towards the #Redwolves movement. Redwolves are an extremely endangered species and this could be just the thing to get them some national recognition and help grow their population back somehow. Washington could partner up somehow with a foundation that can give these wolves more habits to live in peace and stabilize their population. Even if this doesn’t become the name, I’ll be at peace knowing I spoke my mind. This is what I want the name to be. If you don’t like the Redwolves name, that’s okay. It’s okay to think differently. Don’t feel pressured into liking or not liking something, I just am making it known that this is how I feel. Photo credits go to : (@dcsportsxp @redskinsgraffix @koenvgraphics)

A post shared by Jordan (@redskinstoday) on

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE TEAM NEWS: