Chuck Pagano: T.Y. Hilton having impressive offseason


Much of the offseason focus for the Indianapolis Colts has been on Andrew Luck, but there is another player vital to the offense's success in 2016: T.Y. Hilton.

In 2015, the receiver broached the 1,000-yard barrier for the third straight season, but had just 69 receptions and five touchdowns. It wasn't what he or the Colts had in mind when inking a massive contract extension last year.

This offseason, coach Chuck Pagano sees a renewed focus for Hilton.

"T.Y. is having as good of an offseason as anybody, probably better than anybody right now," Pagano said, via "There's a lot of good stuff going on out there. But I've never seen anybody practice as fast as he's practicing right now and compete at the level he's competing at and leading the way that's he's leading. He's done it day in and day out."

Much of Hilton's struggles last year came with Luck injured. The wideout finished with more than 70 yards receiving in just one of his final five games -- zero TDs in that span.

A frustrated Hilton criticized the offense for not utilize the speed of its receivers, including Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett: "Running stick routes, chain routes; we can do that, but at some point you have to take your shot and get the defense going back. The throws have been there, but we haven't been calling them," Hilton said in December.

With Luck healthy and Rob Chudzinski fully installing his offense (after taking over as coordinator at the midway point last year) the Colts will get back to those vertical routes to take advantage of one of the fastest receiving corps in the NFL.

"It wasn't them. It was more of me not being there, not being able to help my team, doing what I've been doing," Hilton said of this critique last season. "Looking forward to this year. ... Right now, just doing what I can for us to get better and continue to (be) playing after Week 17."

If the Colts get back to the playoffs the Luck-Hilton connection will be a major reason.