INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck's dynamic rookie season is even more impressive when considering that most of the people he's throwing to are new to the NFL, too.
Five of the Colts quarterback's top seven pass catchers are in their first season. Receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener and running back Vick Ballard are all learning the ropes along with Luck.
The youngsters have helped Luck put most meaningful rookie passing records in jeopardy. Luck has passed for 3,596 yards, fourth in the league behind Detroit's Matthew Stafford, New Orleans' Drew Brees and Dallas' Tony Romo. The Colts (8-4) rank third in the league in total offense heading into Sunday's home game against Tennessee (4-8).
Because Luck is a rookie, the young receivers have the benefit of an understanding quarterback.
"A guy runs the wrong route or breaks the wrong way, he understands because he's a young guy, too. If you're dealing with a veteran quarterback, you might get fussed out or something like that, and that might cause you to lose a little bit of confidence," Allen said. "Andrew's a young guy, just like us. He understands that we all make mistakes, him included, so he tries to make us feel as comfortable as possible when we make those mistakes."
The young receivers say veteran wideout Reggie Wayne, who ranks third in the league in receptions and yards, has helped them develop. The scary part? They're just getting started as a unit.
"We're still figuring out each other," Hilton said. "We're young, but we've got a few veterans we can lean on. We're growing and the bond is getting stronger."
Donnie Avery, the team's No. 2 receiver, is a senior statesman at age 28. He scored the winning touchdown last week in Detroit with no time remaining.
"We just play our role," Avery said. "When our number's called we just try to make plays. Everybody just complements 12 (Luck) and 87 (Wayne)."
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