Frank Reich: Nyheim Hines Exceeded Colts Expectations In 2018

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Frank Reich: Nyheim Hines Exceeded Colts Expectations In 2018

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Frank Reich: Nyheim Hines Exceeded Colts Expectations In 2018

The Colts drafted Nyheim Hines to be a unique part of their offense. How did Hines perform as a rookie?

Michael Hickey | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLISIn being hired barely two months before the 2018 NFL Draft, Frank Reich had a long to-do list after taking the head coaching job in Indianapolis.

 

Eventually, it came time to evaluate draft prospects.

 

For Reich, that meant trying to find some fits into his new offensive system.

 

Reich had preached the multiplicity he wanted to achieve with his offensive approach, so looking for versatile prospects would greatly help in that area.

 

That’s where the attraction for Nyheim Hines first began.

 

The Hines/Colts marriage turned out pretty good in 2018.

 

Hines finished his rookie season with 85 carries for 314 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and 63 catches for 425 yards.

 

The 63 catches were the third most for any NFL rookie in 2018. And Hines also now ranks third in Colts franchise history for catches by a rookie (Bill Brooks caught 65, Marvin Harrison caught 64).

 

That’s not bad company for a 4th round rookie running back.

 

“He has greatly exceeded I think the role that we had envisioned,” Reich said of Hines late in the 2018 campaign.

 

Using Hines in the hybrid running back/receive role was a huge reason why the scouting and coaching departments agreed on such a talent having success in Indy.

 

Reich loves the unpredictability, yet versatility, he can maintain with specific personnel pieces.

 

Hines offers that.

 

After a preseason to forget, with issues on handling the football on returns causing Hines to question himself and his NFL future, the rookie still had enough trust from the coaching staff, and his quarterback.

 

And his presence was vital, with the Colts searching for receiving support behind T.Y. Hilton, and battling through an injury-riddled campaign to Jack Doyle.

 

Even Reich admits that he didn’t think Hines would be as involved with the offense as the rookie was in his first NFL season.

 

“He just developed faster,” Reich says. “I think we thought he could get where he is right now, but I think he’s just ahead of the process. There were no shortcuts to that. He has worked as hard as anybody. The guy works really, really hard. He does all the little things right. He’s very dependable.

 

“Because of all the work that he puts in, Andrew (Luck) has a tremendous amount of trust in him and he’s really been instrumental in the success of our offense.”

 

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