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Colts GM Chris Ballard on team’s wide receivers: ‘We think we’re a little better than other people do’

The Indianapolis Colts offense experienced a lot of change this offseason. Following the retirement of Philip Rivers and a trade for Carson Wentz, the team is on its fourth starting quarterback in as many seasons. They’ll start a new left tackle following the retirement of Anthony Castonzo. And former offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni left to become the head coach of the Eagles

One thing that’s not much different for the Colts this season, though, is the receiving corps. Each of the team’s top four wideouts returned to the fold, and the Colts did not make any significant additions to the group in either free agency or the NFL Draft. Considering the team was led in receptions by running back Nyheim Hines last season, the lack of change has led to some talk about how the receiver group is a team weakness. General manager Chris Ballard doesn’t see it that way. 

“I’m betting on Michael Pittman, who I think’s got a chance to be really good,” Ballard said on The Athletic Football Show. “I thought he ended the year strong. He had a big playoff game with over 100 yards. Everybody just ignores Zach Paschal, but all he’s done is catch (10) touchdowns over the last two years. And then getting Parris Campbell back is a big bonus and he’s looked great during the offseason. We think we’re a little better than other people do.”

Of course, Ballard also made sure to highlight T.Y. Hilton, the longest-tenured and most-accomplished member of the receiving group.

“They’re a talented group,” Ballard said. “Is there a guy that, you know, you just line up and go, ‘Holy crap man, how are we gonna stop this guy?’ Maybe not, but they are really damn good players, and T.Y. Hilton can still play. He can still play. T.Y. Hilton is as competitive and as good a teammate as I’ve ever been around.”

Hilton was limited to 10 games in 2019 due to injury, and last season recorded just 56 catches for 762 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll turn 32 years old during this coming season, but Ballard and the Colts are betting that he can recapture his mid-2010s form. For Wentz’s sake, the Colts need him to be right. 




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