One is 35 years old and entering the twilight of his career, while the other is 24 and just entering the prime of his. Yet, the Indianapolis Colts’ Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton form one of the best receiving duos in the National Football League.
Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts receivers Reggie Wayne (87) and T.Y. Hilton (13) celebrate after the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Colts defeated the Texans 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Their receiving games couldn’t be any more different. The 14-year veteran Wayne is a possession receiver, using his sure hands and route-running expertise to find holes in coverages. While his protégé, the younger Hilton, possesses elite deep speed and elusiveness.
Of course, Reggie Wayne knows the inner-workings of the “old dog, young pup” receiving dynamic too well, having been the young pup once upon a time to then Colts’ star wideout Marvin Harrison. Wayne was a first round pick of the Colts in 2001, by that time Harrison was already a 2-time Pro Bowler and 1st Team All-Pro entering his 6th NFL season. From what he learned from his mentor, Wayne once told the NYDailyNews in February of 2010:
"“This is what it takes to have longevity. This is what it takes to break records. This is what it takes to be a future Hall of Famer. That’s what I learned from Marvin.”"
Hopefully, T.Y. Hilton is taking the same kind of mental notes on Reggie Wayne, a future Hall of Famer, who has broken a lot of records in his own right. In the mean time, Colts’ fans should enjoy these moments once again, while they still last. It’s rare that you get to see a dynamic duo of a veteran Hall of Fame wideout and a talented receiving star in the making. Much less, live through it twice in a row.
Wayne and Hilton aren’t just sentimental favorites; however, as they’ve been incredibly productive through 6 games this season:
The Indianapolis Colts receiving duo is just 1 of 3 wide receiver duos in the NFL that is on pace to have each receiver eclipse 1,000+ receiving yards on the season. A pretty remarkable feat, when you consider that neither receiver is presumably “in their prime”.
Their counterparts are first, the duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders of the Broncos, two key weapons in the league’s most prolific offense under Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Second, the league’s best receiver in Calvin Johnson (i.e. Megatron) and his receiving-mate Golden Tate with the high-octane Detroit Lions.
Whatever the case may be, the Colts’ tandem of Wayne and Hilton has definitely been a dynamic duo for QB Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense, and a joy to watch this season as well.