Nyheim Hines’ first impression of Matt Ryan: ‘Love him’

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The Indianapolis Colts have gotten through the 2022 NFL draft and now are getting work in during the offseason training program.

This time of the year is crucial because the Colts once again have a new quarterback in the mix with Matt Ryan coming to town. Some of the incumbent starters are getting their first impressions of the 36-year-old, including running back Nyheim Hines.

“Love him. Like him. I haven’t played with a lot of guys – kind of reminiscent of Philip (Rivers) with his command. He doesn’t know the playbook as well as Philip yet but just his detail, his leadership, him just talking to us after every route, coming and talking to every guy,” Hines told reporters Wednesday. “It’s great. I think it’s going to be great for us. I think it’s going to be great for myself and this offense. I think the sky’s the limit with Matt (Ryan). So, I’m super excited to work with him.”

After a year with Carson Wentz under center, Hines’ usage plummeted to near career lows in 2021. That isn’t expected to happen again with Ryan now commanding the offense.

Both head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard know that keeping an explosive talent like Hines out of the mix is never going to make the offense better as a whole.

So getting him more looks in 2022 is going to be something of a priority when it comes to looking for explosive plays.

“Opportunity. That’s how I’ve looked at it throughout my career here the last five years. I’m not a starter and I know that, and I know my role. So, try to get in where I fit in and hopefully I exceed expectations and I just have more opportunity. I have an opportunity now and I look to put my best foot forward and make the most of it,” Hines said.

The Colts will be rolling with Jonathan Taylor as the starter for another season while he comes off a historic campaign as the youngest back to ever top 1,800 rushing yards in a single season.

But Hines will be a factor in the offense as well and with Ryan now leading the offense, the former’s usage should go back to normal.

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