INDIANAPOLIS -- Two Colts receivers with Miami ties played key roles in helping the Colts defeat the Dolphins 23-20 on Sunday.
T.Y. Hilton, a Miami native who starred at Miami Springs High School and FIU, caught six passes for 102 yards, including a spectacular leaping 36-yard touchdown grab. Reggie Wayne, a 12-year veteran who attended the University of Miami, caught seven passes for 78 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown reception. The two helped Colts quarterback Andrew Luck set an NFL rookie record with 433 yards passing.
Hilton, a rookie whose game-day locker is next to Wayne’s, said he relishes the chance to learn from such an accomplished player.
“I pick his brain every day, trying to learn as much as I can from him while he’s here,” Hilton said. “I just want to do as much as I can for him.”
Wayne leads the Colts with 61 catches for 835 yards and three touchdowns in eight games. Hilton has 24 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns and leads the team with 14.8 yards per catch. Hilton said Wayne is mentoring him the same way Marvin Harrison once mentored Wayne.
“We went out [Friday night] and he told me when he played with Marv, it was always they were doubling Marv,” Hilton said. “He said, ‘Make sure you’re ready when it’s your time,’ and that’s what happened.”
Well, at least that’s what happened after Hilton dropped two possible touchdowns. He got ahead of the defense on a perfect deep throw from Luck late in the second quarter, but he couldn’t reel it in.
“The one that got away earlier, I lost it in the light and I should have dove for that one,” Hilton said. “That’s my fault.”
Hilton said Wayne chatted with him after the play.
“He came to me like, ‘Yo, it’s gone. Just got to let it go. In the NFL, you’ve got to let stuff go quick.’ ”
Later, he got his redemption, a leaping grab between starting cornerbacks Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll in the third quarter that gave the Colts a 20-17 lead.
“When I saw the ball come out, I saw a defender back and I was like, ‘Oh, Andrew probably didn’t see him,’ so I just went up and made a catch for him.”
Hilton was relieved after his score.
“It felt real good to get that one back,” he said. “[Luck] trusted me, and he threw it up. That was my ball, so I had to go get it.”
Wayne said the touchdown was an important step in Hilton’s development.
“It was big,” Wayne said. “He was going to have to step up after dropping the one touchdown. We knew he was going to have to do something amazing. One thing about it is Andrew Luck continued to support him and go at him and give him the opportunity to make up for his mistake.”
Luck said he had no problem going back to Hilton.
“T.Y. is a phenomenal player, dynamic,” Luck said. “He can stretch the field, he’s quick. Drops happen, but obviously, you don’t expect them out of him. It happened, move on. He happened to be the open guy on the next play, and he made a heck of a catch. I’m very proud of his performance today.”