Darrius Heyward-Bey was the receiver that the Indianapolis Colts needed to sign this offseason. After the departure of Donnie Avery, it was essential the Colts inked a young wide receiver to replace him. While most people don’t view the loss of Avery as a huge deal, he did rack up 781 yards in 2012. That’s a solid chunk of production the Colts had to account for, and thus why the Heyward-Bey signing was so crucial.
What the team has with Heyward-Bey, is still unclear at this point. After four years with the Oakland Raiders, his career is at an important point where he has to take the next step as a pass-catcher, or he’ll risk being labeled as a bust. I hate to rag on teams, but I view the Raiders as ‘player poison’ at this point. They just kill players and careers, and they’re certainly not churning out talent. Heyward-Bey was lucky to get out when he did, and boy has he landed in a great situation.
Sometimes it’s one player that makes all the difference in a player’s career, and that player will be Andrew Luck for Heyward-Bey. Instantly, the receiver’s stock went up when he signed on the dotted line in Indy. I see no reason why he couldn’t have a career-season right away in his first year with the Colts. He’ll have to top 975 yards and five touchdowns, and with Luck tossing him the pigskin, those numbers are very achievable.
As far as what he must do, Heyward-Bey has to at least equal Avery’s production from a season ago. If he can come in and be a reliable target for Luck all season long, while hauling in 65+ passes, I think you’d have to call it a success.
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