INDIANAPOLIS – Nyheim Hines is just one of the far more approachable, personable and obliging players in the locker place. Or on Zoom.
He’s partaking and thoughtful. He’s a single of individuals dependable “voices’’ who frequently has anything worthwhile to provide regardless the subject matter.
It usually takes a great deal to set him off.
But request Hines about the notion he’s been a successful “gadget guy’’ in Frank Reich’s offensive toolbox, and duck.
The Indianapolis Colts’ veteran running back does not react with a elevated voice or by waving clinched fists in the air, but there even so is an edge that is commonly missing.
Gadget male? And continue to keep in head, the description wasn’t lofted in his direction in a derogatory manner. Absolutely everyone realizes the 2018 fourth-spherical draft pick has been a person of the Colts’ most functional offensive weapons, one particular that routinely exams the inventive expertise of Reich to improve his varied, massive-play talents.
“I’ve never been a gadget man,’’ Hines stated past 7 days on a Zoom meeting simply call. “I loathe when folks call me that.’’
His voice was measured, but the stare was proof of the amount of his irritation.
“I really do not feel I’ve ever been that,’’ Hines continued. “I’ve played functioning again my full existence. I’ve always been ready to operate the ball in amongst the tackles. Very last 12 months I imagine that was a stage to that.
“Ever considering that I’ve been in the NFL I have listened to all the issues – the gadget guy, also very little to run in amongst the tackles – so I think past yr was a fantastic to start with stage.’’
There was a little bit more.
“This year I’m hunting to create on that since I detest when people call me a gadget person,’’ he explained. “I’m not a gadget man. I’m a soccer participant. Which is how I see it.’’
Marcus Brady is in his initial 12 months as offensive coordinator but witnessed Hines’ expansion even though serving as the Colts’ quarterbacks’ coach considering the fact that 2018. He sees the elite velocity, elusiveness, and threat in the open up industry that Hines possesses as a runner and receiver.
“He’s certainly a weapon,’’ Brady reported. “He’s a dude you can have faith in in the backfield, even just handing the ball off. You constantly discuss about acquiring him out of the backfield, finding him out in house, but he does a terrific work in involving the tackles where he’s in a position to get by way of there and then use his velocity to develop explosive plays for us.
“He’s just developed. His eyesight has developed, his persistence has developed by the holes, and that just comes from encounter.’’
Did Brady comprehend Hines’ disdain for the “gadget guy’’ description?
“I recognize the place he’s coming from, definitely,’’ he said. “And he shouldn’t acquire it as a knock mainly because he’s not just a gadget participant, but he does have that skill that does carry challenges to defenses.
“He is just much more than that.’’
He’s been a minimal bit of this, a whole lot of that.
In a few seasons, Hines has left footprints as a runner, receiver and returner. In reality, due to the fact 2018 he’s just one of just 8 gamers to score a touchdown hurrying, getting and returning. And of that special group, only Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill – with a ridiculous 43 overall TDs in 42 game titles – has produced much more TDs than Hines’ 15. Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson has 8.
“With each and every opportunity I believe I have gotten much more self-assured,’’ Hines claimed. “My rookie calendar year I had to figure out the game a little bit. I tried out to discover from Andrew (Luck) and individuals guys. In 2019, I believe I took a phase ahead, turned a punt returner.
“Last 12 months, I think I took off, and I consider it seriously arrived down to my attitude and generating the most of my options. In our offense, if you really do not make the most of your options, you’re not heading to get a further possibility.
“Also, I have my own God-supplied talents – my velocity, quickness and athleticism that I do the job on each and every calendar year. I have uncovered much more self-confidence in myself, far too.’’
Reich hardly ever has lacked self-confidence in Hines, but it’s been a weekly obstacle finding ways to make use of his flexibility in a backfield which is showcased Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor and bundled occasional doses of Jordan Wilkins. Early on, it was as a third-down or change-of-tempo back again, just one adept at building mismatches in the passing game.
An amazing tidbit: Hines’ 170 receptions are the most by a Colt operating back in his to start with 3 seasons (Marshall Faulk had 164 and Edgerrin James 149) and the fourth most total (T.Y. Hilton 214, Marvin Harrison 196, Austin Collie 172).
When major punt returner Chester Rodgers experienced a period-ending knee damage in 7 days 13 of 2019, the coaching team turned issues more than to Hines. He had struggled returning punts early in his vocation, but labored diligently with assistant coach Frank Ross and turned a person of the NFL’s much more feared experts.
In week 16 against Carolina, Hines returned 3 punts for 195 yards, such as 84- and 71-yard touchdowns. The yardage and TDs ended up solitary-video game club documents whilst the yardage was the most in the NFL considering that 2004.
As Hines mentioned, 2020 represented a visible phase up as a functioning again. He set profession highs with 89 attempts, 380 yards, 3 TDs and a 4.3 normal whilst operating at the rear of Taylor, the significantly-hyped second-round draft choose. In his initial two seasons, Hines had 11 rushes that acquired at minimum 10 yards. Last time, he broke off 17 for the duration of the standard year and added 33- and 29-yarders in the playoff reduction at Buffalo.
Which is a “chunk play’’ in the operate activity (10 yards or a lot more) on 25.3% of his makes an attempt in 17 online games. Taylor, who would complete 3rd in the league in dashing and was the unquestioned workhorse, experienced 38 gains of at the very least 10 yards on his 253 general attempts (15%).
Together with bringing versatility to the huddle, Hines signifies toughness. He’s one of 5 Colts – All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson, wideout Zach Pascal, extended-snapper Luke Rhodes and linebacker Zaire Franklin are the other folks – to seem in 51 games, which include the playoffs, due to the fact 2018.
The Colts’ dedication to Hines may well manifest alone in an extension this summer time. He’s coming into the remaining 12 months of his rookie contract.
“It’s on my intellect naturally,’’ he reported, “but I haven’t believed that substantially about it. I’m just permitting my agent tackle it. My career is to be the finest participant I can be and the very best leader I can be.
“At the very least for me, I know when they simply call 21, I know it’s showtime, and I consider that’s what all those people other (jogging backs) say, much too. When we get the probability, it is time to go.’’
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