It’s Nyheim Hines’ nature to try to get a jump on things, so the running back wasted no time looking at his iPad containing the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive playbook before the team’s recent rookie minicamp.

When the former North Carolina State standout opened it up, he could barely believe his eyes.

‘There are so many sub categories and sections, I just didn’t know what to pick’

“Wow! Wow!” Hines, a fourth-round draft pick, told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “There are so many sub categories and sections, I just didn’t know what to pick.”

That led to two conversations in as many days with his position coach, Tom Rathman. The  first lasted an hour and 20 minutes, the second an hour and 45 minutes.

‘There’s really no excuse not  to know the playbook’

“And we went through things and he kind of gave me a guideline of what to learn and how to learn it,” Hines said. “It actually helped me out a lot, because I do all the plays going into rookie minicamp. I do the checks and the reads and still just trying to build on that. The playbook’s really extensive but you’re a professional athlete. We don’t do anything but workout for that, get ready for that, so there’s really no excuse not to know the playbook.”

Hines didn’t realize that Rathman was a standout fullback for the San Francisco 49ers, helping them win two Super Bowls. Rathman didn’t share much about himself, but after the Colts drafted Hines, he advised the rookie to Google him so that he could learn more about Rathman and his coaching style.

”If I can make it half as long as (Rathman) did, that’s a great career for a running back’

“And when I Googled him I was like, ‘Holy crap! He’s a Hall of Famer for the 49ers,'” Hines said. “And honestly, ever since that, he’s brought a lot to me. He’s coached great running backs like Frank Gore; they’re really good friends apparently. And I’m just trying to take bits and pieces off of what he says. He played in the NFL for nine years, so if I can make it half as long as he did, that’s a great career for a running back.

“If you can make it that long as a running and a fullback, especially in the ’80s and ’90s, I think that’s an accomplishment within itself. So I’ve been just trying to take bits and pieces of his knowledge to try to help me become a better player.”

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