Nyheim Hines Impresses Frank Reich At Colts Rookie Minicamp
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INDIANAPOLIS – If first impressions truly last, Nyheim Hines is in a good spot with Frank Reich.
Hines’ first practice with the Colts---which took place last Friday during the team’s rookie minicamp---saw the versatile North Carolina State running back dazzle early on.
“The other thing that (Hines) flashed (last Friday) was he makes a catch on a crossing route that’s a low ball, it’s a little bit behind him, and he catches it with ease and without breaking stride,” Reich recalled over the weekend. “He’s a running back doing that. That was kind of a little bit of an unusual catch for a guy who is known as a running back to make with that much ease. So, first day was a good day for Nyheim.”
In the classroom, Reich also came away impressed by Hines.
For Hines to be able to transition to the Colts and still be used in a variety of ways from Day One, the mental aspect of the game cannot be too taxing for the rookie.
The Colts need for Hines to be able to grasp all that comes with being a running back (including pass blocking responsibilities), while also handling the reps that might come lined up as a wide receiver.
So far, so good.
“One of the things that you have to have to have position versatility is high football intelligence,” Reich says about Hines. “You have to be able to move and play a lot of positions and move around and play fast. (It’s) very evident that he’s very intelligent, besides being a 4.3 (40-yard dash) speed guy.”
With Hines, and the other rookies, now ingrained into the rest of the offseason program, the first-year players are going to be doing all the same activities as the veterans going forward.
Marlon Mack’s absence until Training Camp means even more starting-type reps are there for Hines during OTAs and the June minicamp.
At this past weekend’s rookie minicamp, Hines reiterated how great of a fit he thinks awaits him in Indianapolis.
“I think the coaches have a plan to use me in space and use me as a mismatch guy,” the 4th round pick says.
The mutual fit is something that Reich wants to extend past just the sheer numbers of carries or catches for a guy like Hines.
When the Colts go multiple, and put their pieces like Hines in other spots on the field, intel will also be on the mind of Reich.
“Just trying to stay one step ahead of the defense,” the head coach says. “Trying to create mismatches, trying to get coverage indicators, trying to give the quarterback information. You can move the back around sometimes, and by moving the back around, the defense has to make certain adjustments.
“So it’s not always just to get him a mismatch, sometimes it’s to get the quarterback information to accelerate his vision and the read that can help him get the ball to somebody else.”
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