The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Colts

April 2, 2013

Free agent WR follows heart to Indy

ANDERSON, Ind. — Darrius Heyward-Bey said he’s trusted his heart in tough spots before.

So when it was time to make the biggest decision of his NFL career thus far, the former Oakland Raiders wide receiver decided to go with his heart again.

It led the 26-year-old free agent away from the Detroit Lions and into the arms of the Indianapolis Colts, who are coming off an 11-5 season and an AFC Wild Card playoff appearance.

In four seasons with the Raiders, Heyward-Bey never finished better than 8-8.

“At the end, I just had to follow my heart,” he said during a conference call with local media Tuesday, “and I just felt comfortable there.”

Part of that comfort level was induced by the presence of second-year quarterback Andrew Luck. The former Stanford star started all 16 games for the Colts and threw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, finishing as runner-up for NFL Rookie of the Year honors to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Luck’s consistency under center is appealing to Heyward-Bey who played for three head coaches, four offensive coordinators and seven quarterbacks in Oakland.

“It’s a confidence thing,” Heyward-Bey said. “You know that this guy is going to be your quarterback. There’s no question about that. In Oakland, there were times when we weren’t sure going into a week and we had to adjust on the fly. Knowing that Andrew is going to be back there feels good.”

Heyward-Bey was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft coming out of Maryland. He went that high in part because late Raiders owner Al Davis was enamored with the 4.3-second 40-yard dash the receiver ran at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Despite combining his speed with a 6-foot-2 frame, Heyward-Bey never really lived up to expectations in Oakland. He caught 64 passes for 975 yards and four touchdowns in 2011 but had just 140 receptions for 2,071 yards and 11 scores overall.

Heyward-Bey said he picks out one area of his game to improve each offseason and strives to become a complete wide receiver.

“Last year it was run after catch, and actually some of my touchdowns were run after catch,” he said. “So this year I just want to concentrate more on high playing the ball up in the air and getting it into the end zone without running on a run after catch. I’ll still continue to work on that, but high playing the ball is something that I definitely want to improve on.”

There have been some questions about what kind of fit the speedy vertical threat will be for new Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s West Coast-based scheme. No less an authority than former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana — who won four Super Bowls and played under the offense’s originator, Bill Walsh — weighed in on his verified Twitter account.

“Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey is going to be a big weapon for Luck and the Colts,” Montana wrote.

Heyward-Bey agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million with a $1.5 million guarantee. He could have chosen instead to join the Lions’ high-powered offense with quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and offseason addition running back Reggie Bush.

But he said he wants to be part of something special in Indianapolis.

“Well, if you look at the roster, you have Andrew Luck, in my opinion the best young quarterback out there,” Heyward-Bey said. “You’ve got a veteran in Reggie Wayne. You have a former teammate of mine in Samson (Satele) at the center. They had some young guys make some plays out there so just being a part of something like that, I think it can be great.”

1
Text Only
Colts
  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Fleener - 206 Colts focusing on situational improvement One year ago, the focus in Indianapolis Colts training camp was on turnovers. The team had committed far too many in 2012 and was determined not to repeat its mistakes. The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field, and the Colts' 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Colts Camp Day 6: Midday Update

    Herald Bulletin sports reporter George Bremer checks in from training camp, saying a fond farewell to a longtime Colts employee and updating fans on when they might see some of the injured Colts back on the field.

    July 30, 2014

  • Colts Camp update: Will injured players return?

    Cornerback Vontae Davis and safety LaRon Landry have yet to participate in a training camp practice, and running back Trent Richardson has missed four straight after running through drills on opening day. Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano doesn't want to rush any of those players back onto the field. But he made it clear Wednesday morning at Anderson University that he hopes to see them back soon.

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - HB0730 - Colts recap art 1 Looking back at Week 1 of Colts Camp

    The first week of Indianapolis Colts training camp has ended at Anderson University, and the players received their first day off Tuesday. Practice resumes today with the daily morning walkthrough followed by a public session scheduled to begin at 1:50 p.m. With the team's preseason debut at the New York Jets just eight days away, here's a look at three things that have stood out since the Colts hit campus on July 23.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 4.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Tuesday, July 29

    Notes,news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University on Monday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colt Anderson - JC 2 Anderson hopes to make name with Colts

    Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the first person Colt Anderson saw upon reporting to Anderson University last Wednesday. And he couldn't resist making the obvious connection. "Colt Anderson's a Colt ... in Anderson," Manusky said as a way of greeting the new Indianapolis Colts safety to training camp.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0729 - Chris Rainey - DK Colts release RB Rainey

    Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning. The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later confirmed by Pagano during an afternoon session with the media.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 3 Colts Camp 2014: Day 5

    VIDEO: As the Colts wrapped up their first week of training camp at Anderson University, the team announced the release of Chris Rainey and quarterback Andrew Luck got a taste of the defense's ferocity.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 1 Luck still learning

    Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University. During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colts practice - JC 046a.jpg Colts Camp Update: ESPN's in town

    The first week of practice at Anderson University wrapped up Monday morning with the Indianapolis Colts working out from 9 a.m. to noon.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Colts Video
Twitter Updates
Reader Photos From Camp


Share your camp photos with us.

Colts Camp Webcast Archive