Of the plethora of veteran free agents that general manager Ryan Grigson inked this past offseason, one of the more intriguing players was former Raiders first round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Despite getting picked 7th overall in 2009, 'DHB' struggled in Oakland. Not all the issues were his fault. This is the Raiders after all, and it's not like their quarterback position has been the gold standard of stability in recent years.
Still, despite musical chairs at the quarterback position, four different offenses in four years, and a famously crazy owner (god rest his soul), none of those things excuse Heyward-Bey's penchant for dropping catchable passes. That was his M.O. in Oakland, and it seems that it has carried over to the Colts.
But, before we get into Heyward-Bey dropping footballs, let's highlight him calling his new, star quarterback "goofy" at yesterday's media session!
No, DHB was not trying to start trouble. He doesn't seem that sort of guy. The comment was a light-hearted response to a question about what Heyward-Bey has learned during the offseason about of his second-year gunslinger, Andrew Luck.
"Other than him being goofy? (Laughter) No, no, no. He's just like any other quarterback. He demands attention in the huddle. He's very confident in what he does and expects everybody to be on the same page."
When asked to elaborate on the "goofy" comment, DHB laughed and responded:
"He's just a goofy guy. (Laughter) No, I don't ant to say anything bad about Andrew. He's a good guy. He's a young kid, and he likes to have fun."
It would seem that, off-the-field, DHB and his quarterback have a good relationship. The two worked together in California during the offseason, outside of OTAs and mandatory minicamp. Hard work is no stranger to Heyward-Bey, who has tried to shed the "draft bust" label many have applied to him.
The goal of working so much with Luck:
"I always just tell him 'Trust me.' I think he will."
When asked how a quarterback gains the trust of a receiver like Heyward-Bey, the 5th-year wideout was quick to respond:
"Making plays. You gotta make plays out there. When he throws it up, you gotta come down with the ball. That's what a quarterback looks for, and that's what I'm gonna do."
It's this that brings us to DHB's before-mentioned problem with dropping the football. More than anything else, this is likely why he was not re-signed by the Raiders this offseason.
Already, in two days of training camp at the University of Anderson, DHB is still struggling to catch the football.
Deep bomb over the middle to DHB from Luck lands perfectly in his hands...and he drops it.— Andrew Mishler (@andrewmishler) July 29, 2013
Per Derek Schultz, via former Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau who is attending camp, Heyward-Bey has already dropped five balls.
Two practices. No contact. Not hitting. Five drops.
If Heyward-Bey intends to win the trust of his "goofy" QB, dropping the football is not the way to do it.
Meanwhile, last year's starter at receiver, T.Y. Hilton, has looked fabulous at camp, catching pretty much everything thrown at him. Griff Whalen, Luck's former teammate at Stanford, has also stood out.