Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne & Andre Johnson Among Five Potential Free-Agent Receivers For Patriots

It didn’t take much for New England Patriots fans to become giddy over the thought of Andre Johnson losing his job. The receiver either will be cut or traded by the Houston Texans after refusing to take on a reduced role, The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reported Monday night. Patriots fans have longed after Johnson for years, and now that he’s 33 years old and in the twilight of his career, he might finally be available. Johnson would be a fine fit with the Patriots, but fans better know that they wouldn’t be getting Johnson circa 2009. They would be getting a player who just spent a year in Bill O’Brien’s offense and would likely be grateful at the shot to compete for a Super Bowl title.

REGGIE WAYNE Wayne is in a similar place as his fellow “The U” product, Johnson. Wayne isn’t what he used to be, but he still could be a valuable weapon for the Patriots as a No. 3 receiver.

Wayne has experience playing outside or in the slot, and the Patriots showed interest in him when he was a free agent two offseasons ago.

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Reggie Wayne had surgery, mulling Colts future

Reggie Wayne will have plenty of time to ponder his NFL future over the next few months.

Two months after revealing that he would require surgery to repair a torn triceps, Wayne has undergone the procedure, reports NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, via a source informed of the situation.

Wayne is now rehabbing as he contemplates retirement, adds Rapoport.

Along with knee and elbow injuries, the torn triceps rendered Wayne a drop-prone blocking specialist unable to make plays over the final two months of the season.
Last we heard from the 36-year-old in early January, he was leaning toward returning for a 15th season -- provided the Colts leave the door open. Wayne has no interest in playing for another team.

Even if Wayne returns, the Colts realize they need a reliable No. 2 receiver opposite T.Y. Hilton. General manager Ryan Grigson is reportedly eyeing the open market for an upgrade on free agent Hakeem Nicks.

Whether or not Wayne plays in 2015, Chuck Pagano's squad has a better chance of winning if the venerable wide receiver's role is reduced.

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Big questions ahead for Colts and Reggie Wayne

Whether we've seen the last of Reggie Wayne isn't yet known.

But if the Indianapolis Colts great decides to return for a 15th season, it will set in motion a series of difficult decisions for the franchise.

Among them: Can it find a place for an aging receiver coming off one of his worst seasons? And what's a fair price for a player who clearly would have a greatly reduced role but who also is one of the franchise's greatest players?

Those are complicated matters that must be dealt with in a manner that doesn't disrespect an Indianapolis icon.

Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano said this week at the NFL Scouting Combine that neither has had any recent discussions with Wayne, whose contract expires next month.

The team already has acquired CFL standout Duron Carter, son of Hall-of-Fame receiver Cris Carter. He's expected to be an important part of the rotation, though that's still a projection because of his lack of NFL experience.

Whether we've seen the last of Reggie Wayne isn't yet known.

But if the Indianapolis Colts great decides to return for a 15th season, it will set in motion a series of difficult decisions for the franchise.

Among them: Can it find a place for an aging receiver coming off one of his worst seasons? And what's a fair price for a player who clearly would have a greatly reduced role but who also is one of the franchise's greatest players?

Those are complicated matters that must be dealt with in a manner that doesn't disrespect an Indianapolis icon.

Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano said this week at the NFL Scouting Combine that neither has had any recent discussions with Wayne, whose contract expires next month.

The team already has acquired CFL standout Duron Carter, son of Hall-of-Fame receiver Cris Carter. He's expected to be an important part of the rotation, though that's still a projection because of his lack of NFL experience.

He finished with a respectable 64 catches for 779 yards but was significantly less impactful late in the season than early on. Wayne's partially-torn triceps was certainly a factor, but his legs seemed to also lose a gear as the season wore on.

Wayne's triceps required surgery, meaning much of his offseason will entail rehab. But if he can regain his form from early in 2014, Wayne would have some definite appeal to the Colts. For example, flash back to September, when Wayne had nine catches for 98 yards against the Denver Broncos and seven catches for 119 yards against the Tennessee Titans.

Wayne's situation remains fluid for the Colts. At some point, there will be some difficult conversations. That time is coming.

"He's got my number," Pagano said, "and I've got his."

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Reggie Wayne's playing future in question

Colts GM Ryan Grigson indicated at the Combine that he's unsure of free agent Reggie Wayne's desire to keep playing.

Wayne's performance fell off a cliff in 2014 as he attempted to return from a torn ACL at age 36. He had a negative impact on Indianapolis' offense. Grigson acknowledged Wayne still means a lot "to the organization," but his future is "up in the air." We would not expect Wayne back in Indy.

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Reggie Wayne Will Have Offseason Surgery

Wayne told reporters following Sunday's loss to the Patriots that he'll undergo offseason surgery to repair a torn triceps, reports. "I don't have a date set yet, but it's definitely on the calendar somewhere," he said. "At the end of the year, I felt the best I felt all year. Felt really good, felt really good tonight."

Wayne got off to a strong start in 2014, but his numbers tailed off toward the middle of the season, and it was later revealed that he was playing through a torn triceps. The veteran missed only one game, finishing the season with 64 catches for 779 yards and two touchdowns. Wayne, who will be a free agent this offseason, said he has not yet decided whether or not he'll return for a 15th NFL season.

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Reggie Wayne's decision: Retire or return?

Reggie Wayne won't let himself start thinking about it until Nashville. Up to that point in the ride, it's only music. A lot of very loud music.

The Colts veteran receiver will soon pack his car and make the same 16-hour drive he makes after every season finishes. He'll head home to Miami. On the way, after he blasts music the first four hours, he'll begin to think about whether or not he wants to return for a 15th season with the Indianapolis Colts.

"Once I hit Nashville, I'll figure out the rest," Wayne said Monday, a day after Indianapolis fell 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game to New England. "I'll make my outline and go from there. I don't have a plan. I've never had one. I just gotta make a couple phone calls, say a couple of prayers and see what route the good Lord sends me."

Wayne is a free agent come March. Retire or return? It's the decision he'll weigh while he drives home to his wife and three sons in South Beach and ponders if he's played his last game in the NFL.

While it's uncertain whether the Colts want the aging wideout back, Wayne reiterated on several occasions late in the season that he can't imagine himself suiting up for any other team. It appears he'll either play for the Colts or he won't play at all.

"I haven't talked to Reggie yet," owner Jim Irsay said before the divisional round of the playoffs. "We haven't started to really have any deep conversations with Chuck (Pagano) and Ryan (Grigson) and I in terms of how the roster's going to shape up after this.

"He's had an unbelievable career," Irsay continued. "For the future, we haven't decided yet."

But would Pagano – a friend of Wayne's dating back to their Miami days in the late 1990s – really be surprised if he saw No. 87 come the opening day of training camp in late July?

"Would I be shocked? No," said the Colts coach. "You guys know how Reggie's wired, you know his work ethic."

If Wayne does elect to return with the Colts, he may be in line for a pay cut. His production waned significantly down the stretch – the 36-year-old was never the same after he hurt his elbow in a Week 7 win over Cincinnati. Wayne just completed the third and final year of a $17.5 million deal he signed before the 2012 campaign.

His body of work through 14 seasons remains one of the most prolific by a wide receiver in NFL history: He's seventh all-time in catches (1,070), eighth in yards (14,345) and 22nd in touchdowns (82). Since 2001, no receiver in the league has caught more passes or hauled in more yards.

"I do have family (to call)," Wayne said of the impending decision. "I'll call them, sit down with them and we'll talk. A lot of times I make calls to them just to make sure I stay up on the road."

He's coming off his least-productive full season since 2002 – his second year in the league – and was nearly invisible down the stretch while the Colts advanced one game shy of Super Bowl XLIX. Wayne finished with 64 catches for 779 yards and two touchdowns but had just one catch on five targets in three playoff games.
His season started strong. Wayne was Wayne again, it appeared, after his 2013 campaign was lost seven weeks in last October when he crumpled to the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium one night with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

He worked his way back and resembled the Reggie of old early on in 2014: Nine catches for 98 yards in Week 1, seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. He was back.

When it soured, though, it soured quickly. Wayne injured his left elbow in a Week 7 win over Cincinnati. After missing one game, he returned to play in every one the rest of the way. Problem was: He wasn't the same player. He caught just 17 balls over the final six weeks of the regular season and didn't score a single touchdown.

That elbow injury turned out to be a partially-torn triceps – he'll undergo surgery soon – and he aggravated his groin in a Week 17 win in Tennessee. On Monday, a day after his fourth postseason loss to New England, he showed up at the team's 56th Street facility to clean out his locker and enter the unknown of the offseason.
Wayne was asked if Sunday's loss might've been the last time he steps foot on an NFL field.

"The last thing on my mind," he said. "The first thing on my mind (this morning) was, 'Who the hell is going to help me clean out my locker?' I haven't even thought of it. That's not something I go out of my way to even worry about. It's already written, man. There's nothing I can do about that."

Late this season, Wayne moved past longtime teammate Peyton Manning and became the franchise's all-time leader in games played. He's made the playoffs in 12 of 14 seasons. He's earned six Pro Bowl nods. He's played in two Super Bowls and helped the Colts to the 2006 world championship.

On Monday, as the team gathered to close the book on the 2014 season, he addressed his offensive teammates about how the little things always seem to catch up to teams in the playoffs. None could say for sure if Wayne's played his final game as a Colt.

"I'm not going to think about that right now, so I won't opine on that," quarterback Andrew Luck said.

"He already knows he's got to talk to me about it before he makes a decision," his understudy at receiver, T.Y. Hilton, said late in the season.

Wayne's in no rush – "I'll be somewhere warm thinking about it and I'll go from there," he said – while he swallows the reality of another season falling short of the Colts' ultimate goal. Regardless, his legacy is secure, his place in franchise lore undisputed.

He was one of the best ever to wear the horseshoe. Now he has a decision to make.

"The game will fade for all of us," Pagano said. "But the relationships will last forever."

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Reggie Wayne waiting for his moment to help Colts

Before the sentence was complete, Reggie Wayne interrupted the question.

The Indianapolis Colts' veteran wide receiver heard the word "rebuilding" and just had to chime in.

"We reloaded," Wayne said. "We didn't rebuild."

It's an important distinction for Wayne, the senior member of the Colts' offense and one of only a handful of players to bridge the Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck eras in Indianapolis. As a free agent in 2012, Wayne, too, could have been part of the exodus of veteran players.

If general manager Ryan Grigson or head coach Chuck Pagano had used that word -- "rebuilding" -- in their conversations with Wayne back then, Wayne would have been gone, following former core Colts players like Manning, pass rusher Dwight Freeney and center Jeff Saturday in signing with other teams.

"I don't have time for a rebuild," Wayne said Sunday night.

This playoff run very likely could be the final stage of Wayne's career. At 36, he's contemplating retirement after this season. His body failed him in 2013, when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and though he was able to play in 17 of Indianapolis' games this season – including two playoff games – he's no longer the focal piece of the Colts' offense.

And it's not just that he's no longer Luck's favorite target. Wayne's role has been so diminished that despite playing 57 of 77 offensive snaps in Sunday's divisional round win against the Denver Broncos, he had just one pass target (it was incomplete), while Luck completed passes to eight other players.

"I felt like I was coaching [Sunday] more than I was playing," Wayne said, laughing. "But you know, it's just part of it, man. This is a team game, I just want to do everything I possibly can to help this team win."

That Wayne is such a bit player in the Colts' offense, which finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NFL in passing yards, is a sign of just how much the offense has evolved in the three years since Luck's arrival. Luck finds himself relying now on speedy receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, all members of the 2012 draft class, and even running back Boom Herron, who had a game-high eight catches against the Broncos.

"I think everyone knows 87 is waiting, you know?" Wayne said. "I'm just doing my job, waiting on my number to be called, and between there I'm still doing all the blocking, I'm still being that leader as much as I possibly can."

The leadership role is now where Wayne can be most valuable. While the young players like Luck and Hilton have playoff experience, including playing at Gillette Stadium in New England in last year's postseason, Wayne is one of few Colts players who have reached a Super Bowl.

Receiver Hakeem Nicks, who signed with the Colts as a free agent this year, won one with the New York Giants in 2011. Luck's backup, Matt Hasselbeck, started for the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. Adam Vinatieri, of course, has rings with both the Colts and the Patriots.

But on the offensive side, Wayne is that reminder of the Colts' postseason legacy, something new players had to learn when they arrived for that rebuilding – ahem, reloading – process.

"I think there were high expectations; I remember the first day I walked in the building," Luck said. "It's a winning franchise and it seems to be in the DNA of the Colts that you win. It's good for us to be here now, but there's more work to do. But, definitely high expectations from the moment all of us walked in that building."

Wayne shared a quick moment with Manning on the field at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Sunday evening, before both headed to opposite locker rooms, where Manning told reporters he couldn't commit to returning in 2015.

Wayne understands that feeling. But unlike Manning, he doesn't have to face that decision yet.

"I have no idea. [Shoot], we're trying to figure out what Reggie's doing," Wayne said. "We're trying to figure out what's up with Reggie. Don't have time to worry about everybody else, you know. But I'm sure he's going to make the best decision for him and his family. As an old friend, as a teammate, I wish him well."

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Peyton Manning congratulates Reggie Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne had little interest in talking about former teammate Peyton Manning heading into their playoff match.

"[Manning's] on the other team right now," Wayne said last week. "I'll holler at him later. Right now, it's all about [No.] 12."

That time came Sunday.

After the Colts beat the Denver Broncos to advance to the AFC Championship Game, Manning found Wayne on the field and congratulated him on the victory.

"It’s family," Wayne said. "Even when you’ve played with him and they've moved on, you still have that relationship. Wish each other the best. I expect nothing less from Peyton by him coming over and congratulating and wishing us well. If it was vice versa, I would have done the same thing."

In what could be the final meeting between Manning and Wayne, the Broncos quarterback finished 26-of-46 for 211 yards, was sacked twice and had only one touchdown pass. Wayne didn't have any receptions, as he was only targeted once by quarterback Andrew Luck.

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Another proCane Super Bowl Ring Guaranteed This Year In Super Bowl XLIX

#proCane #Colts WR Reggie Wayne, TE Erik Swoope, Special Assistant Rob Chudzinski and Head Coach Chuck Pagano have advanced to the #AFCChampionship to take on DL Vince Wilfork and the #Patriots, while in the #NFCChampionship game #Packers DB Sam Shields, Senior Personnel Executive Alonzo Highsmith and Scout Glenn Cook will take on the #Seahawks and Practice Squad T Justin Renfrow and Scout Dan Morgan.

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Reggie Wayne goes catch-less Sunday

Reggie Wayne was held catch-less on one target in the Colts' Divisional Round win over the Broncos.

Wayne had some nice blocks in the running game, but was a non-factor as usual as a receiver. Peyton Manning looked washed up in Sunday's playoff game, and so does his old teammate. Don't expect 36-year-old Wayne to reemerge as a passing-game weapon in the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.

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Did Reggie Wayne just play his final home game?

In the closing moments of Sunday's game at Lucas Oil Stadium, something unsurprising happened: The crowd started chanting "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!"

You know the routine. Fans were paying tribute to receiver Reggie Wayne, which isn't a new phenomenon in these parts.

But the context on Sunday made this situation different than the countless other times you've heard adoration for Wayne.

Sunday's game could have been Wayne's last in Indianapolis.

Wayne hasn't offered any hints of his future intentions, but the signs are all there: His contract is expiring, his body is beat up, and the Colts are getting younger at wide receiver while Wayne is 36 and counting. Retirement is certainly on the table.

The Colts won't play at home again this season unless they beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the division round and the Baltimore Ravens upset the New England Patriots. That would set up an AFC Championship Game in Indianapolis.

So, after the game was over, the question was unavoidable. Wayne was asked whether he thought the chants were something of a sendoff.

"Well, they've (done that before)," Wayne said. "I appreciate them showing appreciation and I do everything I possibly can to show the love back. These people in Indiana have had my back since 2001. Fourteen years later, they still have my back. It's been awesome to be here. ... getting all the support I get week in and week out.

"I don't have the words. I wish I could buy everybody a hot dog or something."

Wayne faces offseason surgery on his torn left triceps and is fighting through other assorted aches and pains, including a sore groin muscle.

But give Wayne credit for bouncing back the past few weeks, when he's pushed through the pain to help the Colts win games. The drops that afflicted Wayne in the weeks after his triceps injury have subsided, and Wayne even threw a key block on Sunday, allowing running back Boom Herron to pick up a first down.

Will Wayne be back? He's not saying just yet. What he will talk about, however, is that he has at least one more game to play on Sunday against a Broncos team that defeated the Colts in Week 1.

"You just want another opportunity to play," Wayne said. "Regardless if it's a team we lost to or whatever. Whenever we lose, you just want another opportunity to play again. Denver is next on the list.

"I'm just glad I'm still working."

And he'll do so with those aforementioned fans in mind. The hot dogs might not be forthcoming. But Wayne offers something more important.

"I do everything I possibly can," he said, "to show the appreciation back in the way I play."

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Boy's dream to meet Reggie Wayne comes true

INDIANAPOLIS - A 9-year-old boy's life-long dream to meet Colts WR Reggie Wayne finally came true Tuesday night.

For one year and 10 days, Dylan Eickhoff has worn a No. 87 Colts jersey to school, practice and even to bed.

"We had a family wedding and he wore a bow tie around the jersey," one family member said.

Dylan wore the jersey in hopes of catching the attention of his favorite player, Reggie Wayne.

"There was this one kid who wore a Brett Favre jersey and got to meet Brett Favre. I was going to do the same with Reggie Wayne," he said.

The jersey has certainly seen its better days, but that didn't stop Dylan from meeting his idol.

"It's got holes in the back," he said.

Dylan stumbled as he walked up to meet Wayne, who was equally gracious.

"That's what it's all about; just seeing Dylan come in with a smile on his face," Wayne said.

While many predict this will be Wayne's last season, Dylan thinks otherwise.

He's predicting we'll see No. 87 on the field for at least another two or three years.

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Reggie Wayne planning 2015 return if the Colts will have him

Reggie Wayne caught a lot of passes from Peyton Manning over their years together in Indianapolis and his answer to a question about his future with the Colts suggests he might have received something else from his longtime teammate.

Wayne was on his weekly WNDE radio show this week when the subject of his impending free agency came up. The Colts won’t play at home again this year unless they and the Ravens advance to the AFC Championship Game, which means Sunday could be Wayne’s final game in Indy as a member of the team.

“If I had to answer that question right now, [the answer to] that question would be ‘I will be back,'” Wayne said. “If the Colts want me. Because I’m not playing for nobody else.”

It’s similar phrasing to Manning’s answer about his future with the Broncos — “I certainly plan on being back if the Broncos will have me” — but that’s about where the similarities end. There wasn’t any question about Denver’s desire to have Manning back after they’ve constructed their entire roster around having him as their quarterback.

Things aren’t as clear in Indianapolis. Be it because of injuries or age, Wayne has slowed down considerably this season and will have surgery on a partially torn triceps after the season. Wayne is a franchise icon, but the Colts may have the desire to move in a different direction rather than bet against father time in 2015 and Wayne might rethink his refusal to consider other teams if they do.

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Reggie Wayne, possible retirement in the air, hoping for more glory run with Colts

Reggie Wayne has won more games with the Colts than Peyton Manning, and stuck around Indianapolis longer than Marvin Harrison.

He’d rather pass his ex-teammates in an even more meaningful category: Super Bowl rings.

The 36-year-old receiver with the fun-loving personality and the blue-collar work ethic is intent on making his 12th, and perhaps final NFL play-off appearance, the most rewarding of his 14-year career.

“New Year’s Eve, I’m saying to myself, ‘Man, when was the last time a (Colts&rsquoWinking season ended before New Year’s Eve’?” Wayne said Friday. “I sat up there and said, ‘Well, it’s either go to a New Year’s Party or go practice football’. I’d rather practice football.”

Wayne has never willingly taken plays or practices off, which is why he remains one of the respected players in the locker room and around his adopted hometown.
And although Wayne doesn’t appear to be the kind of guy who wants to give up his dream job early, an expiring contract and an increasingly banged-up body might not leave him with a choice.

After ending 2013 on injured reserve with a torn ACL, Wayne insisted he could defy the odds and make a comeback in 2014. The Louisiana native reluctantly agreed to take occasional practices off at training camp and throughout the season to keep him in better health.

The plan seemed to work initially as Wayne got off to a solid start. But on October 19, against Cincinnati, Wayne tore the triceps in his left arm and hasn’t been the same since.

Things looked even bleaker last weekend when Wayne pulled his groin at Tennessee, an injury the former University of Miami star said won’t keep him out Sunday against the Bengals (10-5-1) in what could be Wayne’s final home game.

His stats are down, too. Though Wayne only missed one game, he wound up with the worst numbers of any season that he played 10 or more games – 64 catches, 779 yards and two touchdowns – since 2002.

Not surprisingly, the combination has led to increasing speculation about Wayne’s possible retirement.

Wayne has acknowledged he wants to speak with his family before making a decision, and on his weekly radio show this week, Wayne said he didn’t want to play for another team.

Colts owner Jim Irsay recently told The Associated Press he planned to wait until after the season to discuss Wayne’s future with general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano, but Wayne’s teammates are already lobbying him to return.

“I’m not going to let him leave me right now,” Pro Bowl receiver TY Hilton said Friday. “I’ll have a talk with him whenever that time comes. I told him ‘Talk to your family, talk to your kids, but when you’re finished with that, make sure you come talk to me’.”

A year ago, 41-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri found himself in a similar situation. The Colts (11-5) wound up re-signing the oldest player in the league to a two-year deal, and Vinatieri rewarded them with a nearly perfect season and an All-Pro selection.

This year the Colts will have to make decisions about Wayne, 34-year-old defensive end Cory Redding, who followed Pagano to Indy three years ago to help rebuild the Colts defence, and backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, a former Super Bowl starter who began his career by backing up Brett Favre and could end it by backing up Andrew Luck.

“I’ve got a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son and they’re all into sports, so I don’t want to miss out on that,” said Hasselbeck, who turns 40 in September. “But I’d be shocked if, after the season, I didn’t want to play next year.”

Wayne has plenty of other reasons to keep playing.

With eight more play-off catches, Wayne would join Jerry Rice (151) as the only players with 100 post-season receptions. Wayne also needs 48 yards to pass Cliff Branch (1,289) for third and 74 yards to pass Michael Irvin (1,315) for second on the career post-season list. Rice is the leader at 2,245.

Wayne also is within 33 receptions and 236 yards of breaking Harrison’s franchise records, and, of course, he’d take another shot at a ring – regardless of what happens this year.

“When you’re playing the game, you’re just telling yourself, ‘I’m not ready to go home. I’m not ready to pack my locker. I’m not ready to move into an off-season just yet’,” Wayne said. “So you go out there and you give it everything you’ve got. You go out there and you want to make sure you leave no stones unturned. Whenever my number’s called, I just want to make sure I shine.”

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Reggie Wayne might play less in last two games

With the Colts having locked up their division but unlikely to earn a first-round bye, receiver Reggie Wayne "might see less action" during the final two regular-season games, reports the Indianapolis Star. Wayne is playing with a torn triceps.

He played 52 snaps Week 15 after playing 63 the week before. If Wayne's snaps keep dropping, rookie Donte Moncrief and veteran Hakeem Nicks should see more playing time.

Moncrief played 37 snaps and Nicks 21 in last Sunday's win over Houston. The Colts visit Dallas on Sunday as 3-point underdogs.

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Reggie Wayne Talks What It Was Like To Break The Colts Franchise Record

INDIANAPOLIS – Reggie Wayneicon-article-link’s final radio show of the 2014 regular season took place on Tuesday night.

Wayne fielded several questions on game No. 209 and breaking a pair of historic Colts franchise records.

Here are some of the highlights from Wayne joining Query and Schultz:

On playing the most games in Colts history and having the most wins as well:
“It’s definitely humbling. Like you said, there’s so many great players that have been through this organization so it’s definitely humbling. I appreciate it and I appreciate all the support from the fans. They make it easy for me when I’m out there playing.”

On what the post game locker room was like after the game:
“By the time I got in the locker room, everyone was waiting on me and that’s when I got my brothers, my teammates, who want to be funny and do the “Reg-gie” chant. They made a big deal about it and I’m grateful for those guys. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. That’s my brothers, man. I love them to death. I’d do anything for him. Just to be a part of the whole speech coach Pagano gave and Mr. Irsay gave, it was humbling. It really was.”

On if he felt more comfortable physically against the Texans:
“I felt good. I finally got rid of that ugly brace. I talked my way to get rid of that so I was able to be me a little bit. I was able to get out there, get in the flow of the game. Andrew (Luck) threw me a couple of passes and I was able to catch them. Hopefully we can do more of that.

“I had to get clearance and consult the doctors to make sure it was the right decision (to take off the brace) and they ok’d it. That was like a breath of fresh air. Playing with that, it was definitely uncomfortable. It’s not receiver friendly. That’s why you don’t see many receivers wearing them. Just to get rid of it, I’m excited and now I can go out there and be the 87 that everyone knows.”

On winning another division title:
“It never gets old. They all have their own different feeling to them. I enjoy them all just like it’s my first time doing it.\

“It is (our first goal). We have that stepping stone and to win that division is that first box you can check off. You win the division, you are guaranteed to be in the playoffs. You are guaranteed to have a home game. That’s what you want. That’s what we fight for. We’ve conquered that first step and hopefully we can ride that journey and move on from that first step.”

On the next goal:
“If you still have room to move up into the seeding chart, you want to definitely do that. And you still want to finish off the season strong. We’ve been blessed to have conquer the division but we still have a couple of games left where you want to win those games. You want to win, so you have that feeling rolling into the playoffs.”

On the possibility of resting down the stretch:
“They pay me to play, man. The game is fun. Yeah, we understand there’s a lot of things that can happen during the game but you want to play as much as you can. Me personally, I can’t speak for anyone else, I enjoy the game. I love playing the game. So to go out there and play and compete, that means a lot to me. That’s what I want to do. At the end of the day, that’s not my decision to be made. I have to follow orders. I guess I just have to answer to the higher calling. If they tell me I’m going to sit down, there’s nothing I can do about that. But if it was up to me, I would want to go out there and play.

“Our offense, we haven’t started the last couple of games how we want to so we should want to play. We should want to go out there and kind of work out the kinks that we’ve been missing on.”

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Reggie Wayne Sets Colts Franchise Mark For Games Played, Wins

INDIANAPOLIS – In typical kneel down situations, substitutions are rare.

But this wasn’t your normal situation, and Reggie Wayneicon-article-link isn’t your average NFL player.

With just one final snap left in the Colts AFC South clinching win on Sunday, No. 87 trotted back onto the field.

He retreated behind the victory formation, in a game that was about to go final to give Wayne the Colts franchise record of 142 career wins and 209 career games played.

Those left in Lucas Oil Stadium, a number that far outweighed your typical kneel down scenario, knew what was happening.

“Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie,” was their response.

The fans were thanking No. 87, before he returned the favor a few minutes later.

“Since day one, the city of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, they've been the best when it comes to me,” Wayne said after the game.

“I appreciate them and I just want to do everything I can to keep them having a great time, just cheering for the Colts and not just myself, but these guys in the locker room as well. We just want to give it everything we have and whenever they’re out there, being that 12th man as they always do. It goes bigger than us, so I appreciate everything they've done for me.”

On Sunday, Wayne was the final name announced for the Colts and headed back towards his famed corner to acknowledge those fans.

This week was a little different week for Wayne.

In trying to bounce back from a one-catch performance against Cleveland, Wayne practiced on Wednesday, his normal rest day. He played with a slightly different sleeve on his injured left elbow.

Wayne is a pending free agent and, at the age of 36, he doesn’t know whether there will even be a 2015 season.

With all those questions being asked this week, Wayne got back to what has allowed him to pile up such lofty numbers.

“I just basically told myself that if I'm going to go down, I’m going to go down being me,” Wayne said after the Colts 10th victory in 2014.

“If I'm going to go down, I’m going to go down being me. Just give me the cello and I’m going to play the tune.”

Wayne’s song has Jim Irsay saying he's never been closer to a player than Wayne.

An emotional postgame locker room on Sunday had Wayne receive the lone game ball, with the Colts Owner thanking the man his organization drafted back in 2001.

“The Colts organization, Mr. Irsay and his family, they’ve been outstanding just helping me with my career, believing in me and just giving me an opportunity to be a Colt in the beginning. It's humbling and I’m truly grateful,” Wayne said after his 209th career game.

“I just want to continue on. We got a good team and like I told them in there (the locker room), ‘It’s about team. It isn't about me.’ I just want to do everything I possibly can to help this team out so we can achieve the biggest goal.”

Chuck Pagano and Wayne have known each for more than a decade, with their relationship extending well past the football field.

There was a reason Pagano wanted Wayne to get the ovation he deserved on the final play of the Colts playoff-bound victory.

“(Wayne) embodies everything that we talk about,” Pagano says.

“He represents everything that Mr. Irsay talks about: faith, family and football. Resiliency, put the team first, self-sacrificing, what he's sacrificed, what he's given to this organization, what he's given to this city and this community, he is one of the all-timers. He's going to be in the Ring of Honor at some point. He'll be in the Hall of Fame at some point. He's a very, very, special, special player and a special person."

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Reggie Wayne stands alone with 209 games, 142 wins

The chorus reverberated from inside the locker room, loud enough for the echoes to bounce around the bottom floor of Lucas Oil Stadium.

"Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie!"

This was a jubilant locker room, one packed with players dancing and shouting and basking in the glow of a well-earned triumph, the very first goal these Indianapolis Colts laid out 144 days ago on a Wednesday night at Anderson University. Nearly four months later, they're division champs, again. Playoff-bound, again. Ten-game winners, again.

But this day belonged to one man and his milestone. Chuck Pagano wanted to make certain of it, so he silenced his troops for a victory speech and gave his only game ball to a 36-year-old receiver who had four catches for all of 24 yards.

"If I had a son," Pagano told his team, "this is the guy I'd want him to be like."

"I don't have to say anything, anything," owner Jim Irsay added. "Because you know what this man means to this organization, this city, this team, to you guys."
His teammates answered: "Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie!"

Four catches for 24 yards in this 17-10 win over the Texans aren't the numbers that matter, not on this day. Sunday was about 209 games played. About 142 wins. About one Reggie Wayne.

"He embodies everything that we talk about," Pagano said. "He represents everything that Mr. Irsay talks about: Faith, family and football. Resiliency, team player, puts the team first, self second. What he's sacrificed, what he's given this organization, what he's given to this city and this community, he's one of the all-timers."

It's been nearly a decade and a half since a wide-eyed rookie out of Miami — dubbed 'Plan B' after he was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft when the Colts originally sought a defensive tackle — first stepped foot on the field with Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison. Hundreds more have worn the horseshoe in the years since. Wayne has remained the constant, a bedrock of stability and production.

Now, he stands alone in franchise lore.

Now, no Colt has played in more games.

Now, no Colt has won more games.

"I remember the first time," Wayne said, looking back on his first game with the Colts. That was on September 23, 2001. That was 4,830 days ago.

"It feels like yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like it's been forever."

Sunday also marked a return to form for the aging wideout. It was a week ago he sat on the team bus as it rolled out of Cleveland's First Energy Stadium, the Colts 25-24 winners, Wayne nonetheless appalled at his afternoon. Enough was enough, he told himself, disgusted after he staggered through nothing short of the worst outing of his professional career.

Eight targets. One catch. Three drops.

That wasn't Reggie Wayne.

"I just basically told myself, if I'm going down, I'm going to go down being me," he said.

Wayne had audibled his trusty routine of late, taking an extra day off during the week to heal his aging body and slipping on an arm brace to safeguard a partially-torn left triceps.

Whatever the cause, his play suffered. And sitting on the team bus in Cleveland after another dismal showing, he knew. Knew that wasn't Reggie Wayne.

"Getting a day of rest and all of that, that was never me," said Wayne, who during one stretch of his career went seven years without missing a single practice. "Playing with that big ol' J.J. Watt brace, that wasn't me. If I'm going to go down, I'm going to go down being me. Just give me the cello and I'm going to play the tune.

"I'm not going to do anything that I'm not used to anymore, so it's Reggie of 2001."

Reggie of 2001? Probably not. But Wayne was Wayne this week, teammates said. Every snap. Every practice. Staying after to catch balls, the sort of solitary slog that kept him in this league for 14 long seasons when the average career spans 3.5.

"He didn't do anything extra, because he's always doing something extra," left tackle Anthony Castonzo said.

"He carries himself in such a way that it doesn't show," offered receiver Hakeem Nicks. "He's a pro and he practices like it every day. He knows what he's capable of doing. We know what he's capable of doing."

He practiced every day this week, swapped the elbow brace for an elbow sleeve and caught four passes on five targets. He also drew two downfield penalties on the defense. Most important, he helped the Colts to their 12th playoff appearance in his 14 seasons here.

Wayne speaks and sounds like he's come to grips with the fact that he's amidst the sunset of his stellar career. Ask him about retirement, he talks family. Ask him if he thought Sunday was his final regular-season home game, he talks team.

"I've been down this road before, playing against the same team on a Thursday night three years ago," Wayne says of the 2011 season in which he nearly left in free agency. "That feeling was going through my head the whole game and I wasn't really able to focus on the game so (today) I just said I'm going to put it in God's hands, play the game the way it's supposed to be played and at the end of the season, we'll see what happens."

When will it happen? Wayne vows he doesn't know, says he'd doesn't have time to sit back and think about what 209 means to him or whether this is it. There's a season to finish. There's a playoff game to ready for.

Not until the season is over, he says, is he able to properly put things into perspective. That's when he packs his car and heads for the sun of South Beach, putting the season behind him and pondering what's next.

"That's when I'm sitting back on I-75 and I'm thinking about what we just achieved, how we can get better," he said before adding one last thing. "And what the future holds."

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Reggie Wayne catches four passes in win vs. Texans

Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne shared the team lead with four receptions Sunday but managed just 24 yards in his team's 17-10 win over the Texans in Week 15.

Wayne, who is reportedly playing through a triceps injury, has struggled to find big plays over the last four weeks, managing just 70 yards on 12 receptions with no plays longer than 11 yards during his team's last four games, all wins. He'll match up with the Cowboys in Week 16.

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Colts' Reggie Wayne on playing injured: 'I'm good. Point blank'

INDIANAPOLIS – Reggie Wayne will be on the field for his 209th game with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

How effective he’ll be is unknown. Wayne’s dealing with a torn triceps that he doesn’t enjoy talking about.

All that matters to him is that he’ll playing and he’ll be doing his best to help the Colts beat the Houston Texans so that they can wrap up the AFC South for the second straight season.

“If I’m out there playing, then I’m good,” Wayne said. “Point blank.”

End of story.

Wayne originally injured his elbow against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 19. He missed one game and he told coach Chuck Pagano that he was fine.

“I told him I was good; I could make it work. I’m not going to put myself in no danger,” Wayne said.

Wayne will not only pass Peyton Manning for most games played in franchise history Sunday. He could also pass Manning for most wins in franchise history. Both players have won 141 games with the Colts.

“The only thing I’m worrying about is going out there and competing, and being out there with my teammates and just knowing that we have another home game,” Wayne said. “We know how important defending our turf is and we’ve got a hungry Texans team coming in. That’s all I’ve been focused on; nothing more, nothing less. So yeah, maybe down the road when I’m sitting somewhere chilling, it will start to register then.”

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Peyton Manning on Reggie Wayne: 'One of the all-time great receivers'

INDIANAPOLIS -- If history is any indication, at some point on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans, the tears may start to slowly roll down the side of Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne's face.

It might be when he’s putting his jersey on. It might be when he pauses for a second and then sprints through the tunnel during pregame introductions. Might be during the national anthem, similar to at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants last month. Or they might not come until Wayne is acknowledged by the public address announcer for moving past Peyton Manning for the most games played in franchise history at 209.

It wouldn't be right if the tears didn't flow for Wayne.

Wayne joined the Colts as a wide-eyed rookie in 2001, simply wanting to fit in alongside Manning, Marvin Harrison and the rest of the offense.

“That’s all I wanted,” Wayne said with a smile that can easily light up a room. “I didn’t want to mess things up.”

Now, 1,061 receptions, 14,207 yards and 82 touchdowns later, Wayne is at the top of the record book for the Colts.

“The talent that he has, the work ethic, I think, combined with that talent has made him a special player, such a productive player. His durability, I think last year, I think it was against us, was the first time we’ve ever seen him get injured and miss any time, so he’s been a true tough guy out there,” Manning, now with the Denver Broncos, said this week. “He’s a Hall of Fame receiver, in my opinion, five years after he decides to retire, you know, go down as one of the all-time great receivers, all-time great Colts. Great guy to play with, great teammate, heck of a wide receiver, too.’’

It’s uncertain how many more games Wayne will add to his total with Indianapolis beyond this season. That's because as hard as it may be for some to admit, Wayne’s career is coming to an end, probably quicker than many want it to be.

Durability had never been issue during Wayne’s first 12 years. But his body has started to break down. It started with the torn ACL last season. He suffered an MCL injury in his surgically repaired knee earlier this season. Then there was an elbow injury that caused him to miss a game and he’s currently dealing with a torn triceps.

Wayne, a free-agent to be, will sit down with his family at the end of the season and weigh his options. One thing that will impact Wayne’s decision – outside of how his body feels – is his family. It’s not fun for Wayne to have to hear about his son’s football games via phone or text. He wants to be Mr. Soccer Dad; you know, the father who's in the stands cheering his children on and giving them tips while playing in the backyard.

Year round, not just during the offseason.

“It’s faith, family, football,” Wayne said. “I don’t think my family would say, ‘Hey, no more’ we still have bills. But at the same time, family is very important. You definitely have to listen to your body and then you weigh your options. All those things play a key role into it. It’s something you never can prepare for until it’s all over.”

Just know that when he decides to finally call it quits, Wayne won’t be one of those players who has second thoughts and comes out of retirement.

And playing for another team? Not going to happen. That’s not how he operates.

“If I’m going to make Corona commercials and put my feet in the sand, they’re going to stay in the sand,” Wayne said. “I’m just happy I’ve made it this far with just one team. That’s hard to do these days.”

Whether his career ends at the end of the season or in the next year or two, Wayne has no regrets. He approached each game, each practice, each offseason workout like he was auditioning for a job. He always wanted to make sure the front office never had any reason to let him go.

“Stability. Longevity. Playmaker,” Colts linebacker Robert Mathis said. “He’s good enough to hang around for 14 years and he’s someone that you want around for 14 years with your young guys. ... He set the standard. He’s set the bar pretty high as far as being a professional.

“He does everything right as far as stuff that needs to be done to be able to be in this game for so long. Fourteen years and only one hiccup, last year, and to come back, bounce back, full-go from it, it just lets you know the guy does the little things right.”

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Reggie Wayne: A Colt for life

The round table – that's what they came to call it, the Thursday night dinners that became a weekly tradition for a few tightly knit teammates. A decade later the ritual endures, the group bonded by a brotherhood that stretches beyond the field the men once shared.

Turnover became constant. Blame the ruthless reality of the NFL, which claimed a casualty or two every offseason, but sooner or later most of the round table's original members went from current Indianapolis Colts to former Indianapolis Colts. Raheem Brock was cut. Mike Doss was cut. David Thornton signed with Tennessee. Gary Brackett retired. Some would move away, replaced by younger counterparts.

One of the initial members has been there every Thursday of every season, and on Sunday afternoon inside the visitor's locker room at Cleveland's First Energy Stadium, he slumped in his seat as a crowd of reporters hovered a few feet away, oblivious to his existence. While television camera lights danced off the faces of T.Y. Hilton and Boom Herron, heroes of the Colts' stirring, last-second victory, Reggie Wayne's eyes remained fixed on the floor.

Never had it been so jarring, so apparent: They were the present, Wayne the past.

Wayne, the Colts' 36-year-old wide receiver, leaned forward, back to the world, and ran the palm of his right hand over his smooth scalp. While teammates howled around him, relishing in the joy of their triumph, Wayne dressed in silence. He lifted a tank top above his head and slid it gingerly over his shoulders. He grimaced.
A reporter approached and asked him what he thought of his performance.

"I played like s---," he said.

Most of the members of the original round table – started in 2003 – have moved on from football, their days in the game long expired. Wayne remains the outlier, a relic whose football pulse is still beating. He has played long enough to link two distinct eras of Colts history: He is the bridge between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.

But the hard-to-swallow truth is this: Wayne is not the player he once was. Take Sunday. Torn triceps. Sore knee. Bum elbow. In eight targets, the oldest receiver in the league proceeded to drop more passes (three) than he caught (one).

The hints have come – those uncharacteristic drops, the tears that flooded down his face during the national anthem last month, the lack of explosion and elusiveness and dependability he made his name on. His was a career built on blue-collar consistency, on showing up every Sunday, on squashing the doubts that have trailed him since he arrived in Indianapolis 14 years ago. Doubt Wayne? He'd earn the last laugh.

Could he fill the void opposite Marvin Harrison?

Could he become the team's No. 1 receiver after Harrison's exit?

Could he return from an ACL tear last season?

Wayne did it all, and did so without heeding the temptation to ply his trade elsewhere. Edgerrin James, a former college and pro teammate and close Wayne confidant, saw it a decade back. Jettisoned to Arizona after the Colts elected not to bring him back after the 2005 season, James saw the arc of Wayne's career before anyone else.

"I hope you're the one who stays here forever," James told him.

Forever on Sunday reads 209 – Wayne's career games in Indianapolis. It'll be more than Manning, more than Unitas, more than any player who has ever worn a Colts uniform in the 61-year history of the franchise.

A decision beckons. Wayne will become a free agent at season's end, and he's vowed he won't play anywhere else. Hang up his cleats or return for a 15th season? Wayne acknowledges his choice, this time, is as much about family as it is football. His three boys are growing, growing quickly, and he's tired of missing moments he can't get back.

"Whatever the decision is, that will be the decision," he says. "I won't do the whole Brett Favre thing."

Thick into the twilight of his gilded career, Wayne has answered every question but one.

How many Sundays are left?

"You want to squeeze the juice out of the orange as long as you can," he says of this season. "Hopefully, there's still a little bit more juice to squeeze."

The work – Wayne saw it early. Saw Marvin Harrison leave his receiver gloves on the sidelines during practice, because those gloves made catching the football easy, and Harrison wanted the toughest hands on the field. Saw Manning take every snap in practice. Saw Harrison run to the endzone after every catch. Saw Manning, Harrison and James treat practice days like game days.

These guys worked, Wayne thought. He would work too.

"He didn't want to be left out," James remembers.

"The quality of those practices was surreal," adds another longtime Colt, Gary Brackett. "Reggie saw that those guys were always in game mode, so that became his approach too."

Wayne went seven years without missing a practice, 11 without missing a game. He became a Sunday staple, the fourth triplet, mastering the middle the way Harrison owned the sidelines. He became the Colts' Iron Man.

Linger long enough after a Colts training camp workout and you'll find Wayne paired with his trusty companion, the Jugs machine. He'll toss his receiver gloves to the sideline, the way Harrison used to, and snatch a hundred balls under the blazing sun while teammates half his age trickle back to their rooms. It's the sort of work Wayne grew to love a long time ago.

"Marvin Harrison told me one time that you earn your money in practice," Wayne says. "The games? Those are for free."

It stems from his childhood. Ralph and Denise Wayne ran a tight ship for their three boys. Reggie's first love was baseball. Football? Nah. Not for him. He was scared of getting hit. That was until Ralph Wayne, a former college linebacker at Grambling, sat his youngest son down, opened his college yearbook and showed him a picture from his playing days.

"You can't be no chump," he told Reggie. "Because there are no chumps in this house."

From that point, it was always football. Wayne became a two-way star for Marrero Ehret High School outside of New Orleans. In one game, his team trailing 14-0 early, Wayne caught four touchdowns in the second quarter. By his senior year, college coaches were drooling. He chose the University of Miami and became the most prolific receiver in the program's proud history.

But his startling ascent reads smoother than it actually was. Wayne grew so homesick his first summer away that he ran up a $900 phone bill, calling his parents between every two-a-day. In his second start, Wayne played just days after learning his grandmother had died; he caught nine passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. It wouldn't be the last time tragedy touched in the middle of a season.

He left after four seasons and figured Indianapolis was the last place he'd end up. With Manning, Harrison and James all on the precipice of their prime, the Colts' offense was set to explode. Then-general manager Bill Polian sought defense in the 2001 draft.

"Talked to every team but the Colts," Wayne remembers.

But Polian couldn't land the bruising defensive tackle he sought. Four went before the Colts' selection, so Polian traded down and grabbed Wayne at No. 30. The move was met with a chorus of criticism in Indianapolis. Another wide receiver? That's the last thing this team needs.

"That's the first time I've heard his name," a surprised Peyton Manning said after the pick. "I was thinking defense."

The accompanying headline in The Indianapolis Star the following day: "Colts fall back on Plan B."

Hearing that all these years later, Wayne smiles. Plan B has lasted 14 seasons.

"Hey, I could've played safety if they wanted me to."
* * *

The trust – it came quickly. Wayne earned his keep by showing up every day, ready to work. Manning respected that, and steadily, No. 87 paired with No. 88 to form the NFL's most lethal pass-catching tandem over the next decade.

Wayne became a full-time starter by his third season and ran off seven straight 1,000-yard seasons beginning in 2004. He became a six-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champ, a bedrock of reliability, one of the most respected players in the league.

The world championship season of 2006 was darkened for Wayne in Week 3, the afternoon he returned to the locker room after a win over Jacksonville and was met with spine-shattering news: His older brother, Rashad – the same brother who'd regularly send him text messages of encouragement at halftime of games – had been killed in a car accident.

Wayne soldiered on, football serving as his retreat while he mourned the hole in his heart. He was on the field a week later – Iron Man, remember – and caught four passes for 41 yards. He bawled his eyes out on the sidelines after the win.

Four months later the Colts stared at a 21-6 halftime deficit in the AFC Championship game. Wayne said a prayer to Rashad. It was his way of texting, he would say later, his way of seeking his brother's wisdom like he always had in such moments. It calmed him. It inspired him.

Hours later, in the midst of the game-winning drive, Wayne caught a slant over the middle and lost the football. It hung above his head for a split second while every soul in the RCA Dome gasped.

Then Wayne swiped it, saved it, kept the drive beating. The Colts finished. Won 38-34. Two weeks later, Wayne caught the team's first touchdown in a 29-17 Super Bowl triumph over the Chicago Bears.

"There are a lot of guys that are just happy to be in the NFL, and Reggie's not one of them," James says. "It means more to him. We'd drive to and from every home game together, and if he'd drop a pass or something, he wouldn't say a word the whole way home."

Wayne could've found a new home following the disastrous 2011 season. With Manning sidelined, the Colts stumbled to 2-14 and promptly cleaned house. Brackett was cut. Dallas Clark was cut. Joseph Addai and Melvin Bullitt were gone. Manning's exit, too, came soon enough. Wayne was a free agent. He figured his time in Indianapolis had come to a close.

He packed his belongings in the locker room and had them shipped home to Miami.

"Did I want to move on? No," he says now. "But I was ready if I had to."

The calls came in, opposing teams chasing a veteran receiver and proven winner. Wayne locked himself in the office of his Miami home, his sons banging on the door while he waited for updates from his agent. He pondered life after the Colts.

"I was pretty darn close to leaving," he says. "I was prepared for the worst."

In the end, though, he couldn't. The Colts wouldn't allow it. Robert Mathis called him, texted him, begged him to stay.

"Quit bulljiving," Mathis remembers telling him. "Let's go. Let's get it done. Sign the contract."

Wayne's phone rang again. It was Chuck Pagano, an old friend from his Miami days who had just been hired as the Colts' new head coach. It was his job to pilot owner Jim Irsay's ambitious rebuilding effort.

"I can't do this without you, Reg," he told him.

It was all Wayne needed to hear. He took less to stay home, and alongside Mathis, became the backbone behind the Colts' improbable turnaround in 2012.

"His heart was always here in Indy," says former Colts linebacker David Thornton, a member of the original round table and now the team's Director of Player Engagement. "It was clear from the contract he took that he could've made more money on the market. But it wasn't about dollars for him. It was about him being a horseshoe guy his whole career."
* * *

Those orange gloves – they were everywhere that afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. On third-and-9, Wayne for 15 yards. Third-and-12, Wayne for 15 more. First-and-goal, Luck to Wayne one last time. He snatched the football with those orange gloves while three defenders converged. He twisted, stretched and leaned across the goal-line for the four-yard game-winner.

The crowd serenaded him once more: "Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie!"

The tension was thick, the pressure mounting, and Andrew Luck leaned hard on his trusty target, Wayne, on the most important drive of the 2012 season. They'd trailed Green Bay 21-3 at halftime of Week 3 while their head coach, Pagano, stricken with leukemia, sat confined in a hospital room of the IU Health Simon Cancer

center a few blocks away.
Wayne erased the deficit in those orange gloves – signifying leukemia awareness – with 13 catches for 212 yards. The game ball went to Pagano's hospital room. The win began a 10-3 run that delivered the Colts an improbable 11-5 season and playoff berth. Wayne was the catalyst. The Luck Era had begun.

"There's no better teammate around, and nobody's represented the 'shoe quite like Reggie Wayne has," Pagano gushes two years later.

Wayne knows his good fortune. He spent 10 seasons with Manning. He's on his third with Luck. Receivers rarely have it so good.

"I know guys who've been in the league seven years and are on their fifth quarterback," Wayne says. "I've been blessed. And I still love it. I'm still having fun, playing with these young guys in this locker room."

His staggering numbers are testimony to the breadth of his production. Few have done it better, and longer, than No. 87: He's seventh all-time in catches (1,061), eighth in yards (14,207) and 22nd in touchdowns (82). Only four wideouts in NFL history — Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Hines Ward — have played more games with one team than Wayne has with the Colts.

"Sometimes, you look at a guy and go, 'How has he stayed in the league this long?'" says Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, an 19-year veteran. "Well, follow Reggie around for a day and you absolutely know why. He still works like he's in his first year in the league."

"Stability, longevity, playmaker," Mathis says. "The ultimate professional."

"The face of the Colts," adds James. "He is Indianapolis. He didn't have to leave, he could just stay there and every time you look up, you're going to see that No. 87."

Sunday will be Game No. 209 for No. 87, and it could mark the final regular season home game for him. He came in with Manning and Harrison and James and will exit alongside Luck and his young protégé Hilton, two eras linked by one man.

Whenever it comes, whenever Wayne slips off his uniform for the last time, whenever he bids farewell to Indianapolis and retires to the sun of South Beach, he might as well plan to have these words emblazoned on his tombstone.

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Reggie Wayne continues to chase records

INDIANAPOLIS -- At age 36, Reggie Wayne could revel in the spoils of his success.

A poster-sized photo of the Colts' receiver hangs outside the front entrance of Lucas Oil Stadium. The hometown fans regularly serenade him with chants of "Reg-gie, Reg-gie." He's a respected leader and mentor in the locker room and a pillar in the community of his adopted hometown.

He also knows this is no time for a victory lap -- not with a playoff spot and two of the Colts' most revered records on the line Sunday.

"I put my hard hat on and go to work," Wayne said. "I just want to be here with my teammates. Being available is something I've always taken pride in."

Few NFL players have stuck around longer or been more consistent over 14 seasons than Wayne.

He goes into this week tied with Peyton Manning for most games played (208) and most wins (141) in franchise history. A victory over Houston (7-6) would break the ties and allow Wayne to celebrate his ninth division title.

Those who know Wayne aren't surprised by his resume -- 1,061 receptions, seventh in league history; 14,207 yards, eighth in NFL history; 82 TD receptions, tied for 22nd in league history; 82 consecutive games with three catches or more, an NFL record; six Pro Bowl appearances; two AFC championships and one Super Bowl ring.

Former Colts general manager Bill Polian is already lobbying for Wayne's Hall of Fame candidacy.

The numbers only provide a small glimpse into the everyday impact Wayne makes, though.

"I think what's really helpful about having a guy like Reggie in the locker room is that he takes such a big burden off the other guys," backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "He's the guy people want to talk to after a bad game, he's the guy the marketing department goes to, he's the guy they ask to do community outreach, he's the guy who can walk down to the coach's office or the GM's office and say, 'Hey, something's out of balance in the locker room,' and that allows the younger guys to just play football."

Sure, Wayne has some fun.

His grand entrances at training camp have become the stuff of legend -- driving a dump truck, showing up in a military convoy, riding on a helicopter with a recovering hospital patient. It's not just show. There's always a deeper message, like this summer when he arrived in an IndyCar -- demonstrating he had his wheels back after tearing the ACL in his right knee.

But Polian never doubted Wayne skills or personality would help him excel.

It was one of the reasons Polian defied conventional wisdom in the 2001 draft, taking Wayne instead of a defensive player.

The initial plan, Polian explained, was to choose a defensive tackle with the 22nd overall pick. When the Colts' turn came, the player they coveted was gone. With no consensus among the coaches and scouts about who to take, Polian dealt the pick to the Giants who chose cornerback Will Allen. Polian then took Wayne at No. 30.

"He was absolutely a terrific route runner, a clutch performer with a great work ethic and great football instincts," Polian said. "Everybody in that room was really convinced we had a good one."

At first, Wayne wasn't so good.

He spent the better part of two seasons working through injuries and developing a rapport with Manning.

In 2003, Wayne blossomed in an offense that featured Manning, Marvin Harrison and two-time NFL rushing champ Edgerrin James. By 2006, Wayne was emerging as the next big thing and wound up dancing in the rain after catching a TD pass in Indy's Super Bowl win.

Not long after that, Wayne supplanted the aging and injured Harrison as Manning's No. 1 target, a title he held until the Colts embarked on a massive rebuilding project after the 2011 season. When Manning was cut, Wayne considered leaving.

Coach Chuck Pagano, an old friend, urged Wayne to stay and the receiver gave Indy a hometown discount on a three-year deal so he could come back and work with rookie Andrew Luck.

"I don't want to think about that," Luck said when asked how different things might have been without Wayne. "He was so instrumental in my growth as a rookie. He's still instrumental in the growth of this team."

He was still his young self in 2012 and was playing well last year until the ACL injury.

This year has not gone according to the script.

After a solid start, Wayne tore his left triceps and injured his left elbow Oct. 19. He missed the next game and has caught only eight passes for 46 yards in the last three, prompting talk about possible retirement when his contract runs out after the season.

Yet Wayne has continued to be the consummate professional by never complaining and always showing up for practices and games and still making plays on bad days, such as the rub route that got T.Y. Hilton open for Luck's winning TD pass at Cleveland.

That's Reggie.

"It's just a testament to his passion and drive for the game, his love for this organization, this city, the community, his teammates, the locker room," Pagano said. "Availability means a lot in football. He's been available for a long, long time, and he's produced for a long, long time."

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Reggie Wayne Talks Playing Through Triceps Injury

INDIANAPOLIS – With a lot of interest in Reggie Wayneicon-article-link battling injuries, the 14-year vet joined his weekly radio show again on Tuesday.

Wayne was his normal self in giving extremely honest, candid answers.

Here are some of the highlights from Wayne joining Query and Schultz:

On the Cleveland game and finishing with just one catch:
“It was just lack of concentration. I just wasn’t focused the way I should have been when it’s time to catch the pass that’s thrown to me. It happens. Normally, I catch those balls with no problem but it was just one of those days. It was one of those bad games. You see it with athletes all the time. If people want to pick one or two games out of 208 then so be it. The key thing is we got out of there with a W. My teammates had my back after some drops.

“The same pain that you would think I had after that game is the same pain I had in the New York Giants game, the same game where I took a 40-yard touchdown to the house. It was just a lack of concentration. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

On playing through a triceps tear:
“Yes, I do have a partially torn triceps. That’s part of the reason you see me wearing a brace. I’ve been wearing a brace…since the Cincinnati game. I’m playing through it. We all got injuries. I appreciate Coach Pagano sticking up for me, or what not, but at the end of the day, I’m grown. This is the NFL. I just dropped the passes. That’s all it was.”

On if there was ever talk following the Cincinnati game to go on injured reserve:
“No. Like I said, nothing. N-O. I’m good. If I’m out there playing, I’m alright. I’m not going to be out there putting myself at risk to hinder me in the future. If I’m out there, I feel like I can get the job done with no problems.”

On how you go about treating such an injury:
“You just want to strengthen it. Keep it strong. Ice, stem, things like that. Stuff that you normally do as an athlete. The main thing is you just want to keep it strong.

“The more you rest, from what I found, the weaker it gets. Honestly, right now I have zero pain. As the game goes on and on, you get tackled, you’re hitting the ground, you get taken down, you start to feel it a little bit. But I also feel that in the other triceps. It comes with football.”

On if he’s thought about his future after this season in regards to his body:
“It’s too early to ask that. The way you judge that is once the season is over. Then you sit down and you put everything together and you say, ‘Alright, this is how I feel. This is what I think.’ Then you sit down with your family and say, ‘This is what I’m thinking. What are you thinking?'

“Right now, I still feel I got a couple of years, to be honest with you. I feel pretty good. Injuries come. Injuries happen. I’ve dealt with injuries throughout my career and just continued to get treatment and rehab and played through those injuries. That’s just what it is. That’s the situation we have now.”

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Chuck Pagano: Torn triceps is impacting Reggie Wayne’s performance

After Sunday’s victory over the Browns, Colts coach Chuck Pagano let slip that one of the injuries that’s been bothering wide receiver Reggie Wayne this season is a torn triceps muscle.

The admission came after Wayne dropped three passes and finished the day with just one catch for five yards in a performance that the veteran said made him feel like he was doing everything he “possibly can to throw this game.” Wayne has eight catches for 46 yards in the last three weeks, a total that’s well below what anyone has come to expect from him throughout his career, leading to questions for Pagano on Monday about whether playing Wayne was the right thing for the player or the team.

Pagano wouldn’t say whether Wayne would remain in the lineup, but did say he believes Wayne has more to offer the team. He didn’t argue with the notion that Wayne is struggling to play through his injury a year after a torn ACL, however.

“Is [his play] a byproduct of that? Would I say no? No, I wouldn’t,” Pagano said, via the Indianapolis Star. “There’s something there because we know the player that Reggie is, we know how he’s contributed and we know how he can make the clutch catch. He had a tough day.”

Wayne is one game away from passing Peyton Manning for the top spot on the franchise list of games played, which is a testament to how long he’s been a fixture in Indianapolis. That doesn’t mean that he’s the right player for the team right now if he’s less than 100 percent, though, and it’s also a sign that the end of the line might not be far off with Wayne’s body aching and his contract expiring at the end of this season.

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Criticism of Reggie Wayne personal to Coach Pagano

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Colts will get back to work on Wednesday as they prepare for a huge game this week against the Texans.

A win on Sunday and Chuck Pagano will have his team back in the playoffs for the third year in a row.

Recently Pagano has had to deal with a lot of criticism surrounding his star wide receiver Reggie Wayne’s play on the field. There’s no doubt the veteran has struggled lately and Pagano revealed just on Monday that Wayne has a torn triceps.

Regardless of the latest injury 24-Hour News 8 asked Pagano does he take the criticism about Wayne personal.

“Yea, and I think everyone else in this organization, starting from the top down, feels that way. All of his teammates feel that way. The entire coaching staff takes it that way. We’re talking about a special special player, a special guy. A guy who’s given everything that he’s got for 14 years to this city, to this community, this organization. He lays it on the line every time he straps that helmet on. It won’t be long before the naysayers, the boo birds, whatever you want to call them, they’ll be back jumping on the bandwagon.” said Pagano.

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Chuck Pagano says Reggie Wayne playing with a torn tricep

CLEVELAND -- Indianapolis Colts veteran receiver Reggie Wayne had one of the worst games of his career against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, catching only one pass for five yards and dropping three balls.

It turns out, according to coach Chuck Pagano, Wayne is dealing with an assortment of injuries.

Pagano said on the Colts' radio postgame show that Wayne is "fighting and playing through stuff; knee elbow and torn tri [tricep]."

All three of Wayne's drops were ones he has routinely made throughout his 14-year career. His biggest drop was in the fourth quarter when the Colts were in Cleveland territory.

"I basically told myself, 'You're doing everything you possibly can to throw this game,'" Wayne said. "Thankfully my teammates were able to have my back. ...You have to have amnesia. That's the way it goes. They happen like that sometimes. You have to put it behind you and keep going. Be thankful you have next week."

Wayne missed a game earlier this season with an elbow injury, suffered against Cincinnati on Oct. 19.

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Colts should let Reggie Wayne set record, then sit him until playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne will break Peyton Manning’s record for most games played (209) in franchise history once he plays a snap against the Houston Texans next Sunday.

But then the Colts will have a decision to make with Wayne.

Continue to play the 14-year veteran or rest him the final two games to get ready for the playoffs?

The latter is the better option at this point because as good as he’s been during his career, Wayne isn’t helping the Colts.

Not only did Wayne face an uphill battle after suffering a torn ACL last season, but he's also added some injuries this season. Coach Chuck Pagano revealed for the first time Sunday that Wayne is dealing with a torn left tricep, which goes back to when he got injured against Cincinnati on Oct. 19. He missed the Oct. 26 game at Pittsburgh.

The catches Wayne has routinely made during his career are now drops. He only had one catch for 5 yards and three drops against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. His streak of consecutive games with at least three catches ended at 82.

“The elbow, a lot of nagging stuff,” Pagano said. “It’s difficult for anybody to deal with, so is it a byproduct of that? Would I say no to that? No, I wouldn’t. We know how he can contribute and we know how he can make the clutch catches and all those things. He had a tough day and there are a lot of guys that had a tough day [Sunday].”

A sight that has rarely happened during Wayne’s career came in the fourth quarter when the Colts were trying to cut into the Browns’ lead. After dropping a pass across the middle that would have given the Colts a first down deep in Cleveland territory, Wayne was taken out of the game on third down.

You would have never thought that Wayne, Luck’s security blanket, would be taken out of a game where the Colts were trying to come back. But that's where things unfortunately stand with Wayne.

“I basically told myself, ‘You’re doing everything you possibly can to throw this game,’” Wayne said Sunday. “Thankfully my teammates were able to have my back.”

Wayne has eight catches for 46 yards in the past three games.

Pagano avoided answering the question, which is somewhat understandable considering their relationship, when asked if he thinks they should rest Wayne.

“We talk all the time, we communicate with the trainers all the time,” Pagano said. “The lines of communication are always open in regards to all the players, not just Reggie. We’re going to do the best thing for the team that’s going to give us a chance to win, and what’s best for player.”

Pagano was later asked how much he thinks Wayne, a free agent in the offseason, has left in his 36-year-old body.

“How much? I don’t know,” Pagano said. “I know he has more. He’ll deliver and he’ll be back.”

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Is an injured Reggie Wayne hurting the Colts?

Chuck Pagano was visibly uncomfortable addressing the delicate subject. He was, at times, tense and terse.

But talking about veteran receiver Reggie Wayne's disappointing performances has become unavoidable for the Indianapolis Colts coach.

The topic was front and center again Monday, one day after the Colts pulled off an emotional 25-24, come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Pagano confirmed a key point he let slip during a postgame radio interview, acknowledging that Wayne indeed has a torn left triceps muscle.

But now what? Can the Colts continue to pretend Wayne can still be effective in spite of an injury that played a major role in his three drops Sunday? Doesn't a performance like Sunday do more harm than good as it relates to helping the Colts win?

Pagano, whose relationship with Wayne dates to the University of Miami in the late 1990s, wasn't prepared to go there.

"We're just going to put the guys out there we think can win football games, period," Pagano said when peppered with questions about whether it was wise to continue playing Wayne.

Wayne finished Sunday's game with one catch for five yards, relatively invisible for a guy who has 14,207 receiving yards in his 14 seasons. The drops were painful to watch, with the typically sure-handed Wayne coughing up balls that hit him squarely in both hands.

On Monday, Pagano was asked directly: Is Wayne hurting your team? Pagano answered the question with one of his own.

"Did you guys talk to Reggie?" he said. "I think he answered your question (Sunday), did he not? I thought he did it pretty eloquently, to be honest. A lot of guys had tough days. A lot of guys. We all have stuff. I've gotta get better, coach better. Across the board. If we want to get done what we want to get done, we all have to do better. Not one guy. Can't ever single out one guy."

Pagano was referencing Wayne's postgame interview when he said, among other things, "I basically told myself, 'You're doing everything you possibly can to throw this game."

Pagano briefly stopped tap-dancing around the issue, conceding the injury is impacting Wayne's performance.

"Is (his play) a byproduct of that," Pagano said. "Would I say no? No, I wouldn't. There's something there because we know the player that Reggie is, we know how he's contributed and we know how he can make the clutch catch. He had a tough day."

The 36-year old Wayne, according to Pagano, suffered the injury on Oct. 19 against the Bengals when he sustained what the Colts originally described as an elbow injury. He missed a single game, at Pittsburgh, then returned for a Monday night matchup against the Giants, catching four passes for 70 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown.

Pagano was noncommittal on whether he'd continue to play Wayne, but he does have one potential option. Wayne is scheduled to play in his 209th game when the Colts meet the Houston Texans on Sunday. It would put him ahead of Peyton Manning for the most games played of any Colt in franchise history. The Colts would then have two regular-season games remaining. Perhaps Pagano would consider sitting Wayne at that point, though he wouldn't entertain that possibility on Monday.

"We communicate with the trainers all the time," Pagano said. "The lines of communication are always open in regard to all the players, not just Reggie. We're going to do the best thing for the team that gives us the best chance to win and, obviously, what's best for the player."

The conversation eventually turned to whether Wayne has much left in his tank. He's on the down side of his career, clearly. This is a fact that no one, most of all Wayne, will argue. He's in the final year of his contract and hasn't committed to anything beyond this season nor addressed his future intentions.

When addressing how much Wayne has left, the issue is complicated by the injury. He was contributing prior to getting hurt – he had nine catches for 98 yards against the Denver Broncos and seven catches for 119 yards against the Tennessee Titans. Maybe he's not done yet. Maybe he can't be fairly evaluated when hurt.

So, Chuck Pagano, how much does Wayne have left?

"How much? I'm not Nostradamus. I don't know," he said. "I know he's got more. How much, I don't know. But I know he's got more. And he'll deliver. And he'll be back."

For now, though, Wayne's injury is making that quite difficult.

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Reggie Wayne considering retirement after 2014

Reggie Wayne is going to be one of the trickiest Hall of Fame debates among this generation of wide receivers. That clock to Canton conversation could start as soon as this offseason. 

"Thirty-six, man. Kids growing up," Wayne explained to Mike Chappell of RTV6 in Indianapolis. "It's time for family decisions."

Wayne talked about wanting to spend more time with his three children, including his oldest, his 11-year old son who is playing football. He repeated the phrase "family decisions" a few times.

"It's real, man," he said of possibly retiring. "It's tough, it really is. You have to decide if you want to make that sacrifice again. A lot goes into it."

This is the first we've heard about Wayne possibly retiring, but it makes a lot of sense. He will be 37 years old next year, and does not have a contract for the 2015 season. Wayne is still productive, but he's no longer the same player. He hasn't had many big plays this season, and he's on pace for 848 receiving yards.

Wayne has returned from a torn ACL much better than a lot of other receivers in their mid-thirties, but he may not enjoy playing the game at a diminished level. It's also worth wondering if he'd be willing to take a reduction in pay from his average just under $6 million-per-season the last three years. (Or what kind of contract the Colts would give him.)

Wayne insists he is a Colt for life.

"I know what I'm not going to do is go somewhere else and play for one year, two years. Absolutely not. Nobody else. I don't have time to be dipping and dabbing, one year here, maybe one year somewhere else."

Add it all up, and it wouldn't be a surprise if this were Wayne's final run with the team.

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Reggie Wayne on criticism: 'You ever heard of toilet material?'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne extended his streak of games with at least three catches to 81 last week against Jacksonville.

How he did it, though, two catches that totaled two yards in the final three minutes of a game that had already been determined is what raised a lot of eyebrows.
Wayne and the Colts were criticized on their approach for the receiver to extend the streak.

"You ever heard of toilet material? That’s the category I put that in," Wayne said about the criticism. "People will have their own theories, their own opinions. All I can do is go out and do my job, run the plays that are called and keep it moving. Since I’ve been playing at the age of 7, everything hasn’t been peaches and cream. It’s my job to go out there and prove you wrong and keep going."

Wayne and quarterback Andrew Luck weren’t on the same page most of the game. That was obvious when Luck overthrew his security blanket on a pass attempt that would have resulted in a big gain for the Colts.

"It was totally me," Wayne said. "He did his job. Put the ball in the right area. I have to find a way to make that catch. I take pride in catching every pass that’s thrown to me whenever it touches my hand, whether it’s high, low, far (or) short. I was open, and if I would have caught it would have been a big play. That’s my fault."

Wayne had his worst game of the season against the Jaguars, finishing with three catches for 10 yards.

"I couldn’t tell you one game I had a good game in," Wayne said. "There’s always something you can take out and get better at. Things happen. It’s the NFL. Not every game is going to be your best, just be thankful that you have another game to rebound from. That’s just the way it goes."

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Reggie Wayne: 'I'm never going to beg for catches'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne won’t address the media until Friday, but he talked about his quick departure from the locker room following Sunday’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on his weekly radio show on 1260-AM WNDE in Indianapolis.

And it wasn’t because he was upset over only having three catches for 10 yards.

“If I don’t speak to the media, there’s a reason why,” Wayne said on his show. “I had to leave for a personal matter. I’m hearing about how I’m [Seattle running back] Marshawn Lynch now. I love the media, but I had to jet. I had to go home.”

There were quite a few questions raised about how Wayne got his two final catches to extend his streak of consecutive games with at least three catches in a game to 81.

With less than three minutes remaining and the game already determined, coach Chuck Pagano called consecutive short pass plays that totaled two yards gained for Wayne to get his second and third catches.

"I guarantee you nowhere in there did I say I wanted two more catches to extend the streak,” Wayne said on his radio show. “I'm never going to beg for catches, especially when we're winning."

Pagano said Monday that it was strictly his decision to call those plays for Wayne.

“I don’t think there would be one person that would argue my decision on what I decided to do,” the coach said Monday. “I called the play, I made the decision and those guys go run the plays, and Reggie would never come up to me, nobody on our team would come up to me. They just want to win football games. And do I have any second thoughts about what I did? Not one bit.”

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Reggie Wayne slams Indianapolis Colts display

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne has slammed his side's performance in their defeat to the New England Patriots.

Chuck Pagano's men were hammered 42-20 at Lucas Oil Stadium as they missed the chance to stake their claim for the number one seed in the AFC with their loss to Bill Belichick's side.

Wayne told reporters: "It stinks; it's terrible. Our main objective has always been to protect our home turf. We knew it was going be a tough fight, but we let this one slip, we let this one squander.

"It was a terrible display as a team. But right now we still control our own destiny in the AFC South. Who knows, we may see this team again, it might be a little bit chilly."

The Colts are 6-4 in their season, but have a one-game lead over the Houston Texans in the race for the AFC South title.

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Reggie Wayne leads Colts WRs with 91 yards in Week 11

Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne paced his position group Sunday with five catches on nine targets for 91 yards in his team's 42-20 loss to the Patriots in Week 11.

Tight end Coby Fleener led the passing attack with 144 yards Sunday but Wayne was the clear second option, with the rest of the Colts offensive players combining for just 68 yards. Wayne racked up his most yards since delivering a 119-yard performance in Week 4. However, the two touchdowns thrown by Andrew Luck went to offensive tackle Anthony Costanzo and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Costanzo's touchdown was his only catch of the day, while Nicks managed two catches for 15 yards.

T.Y. Hilton, the team's leading receiver, only managed to catch three of his seven targets for just 24 yards. His yardage was a new season low, and it was his second consecutive game catching just three passes. He now has 59 receptions for 961 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games.

The Colts have lost two of their last three games heading into a Week 12 matchup with the Jaguars.

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Vince Wilfork: Reggie Wayne Is Enemy On Field, Family Off It

FOXBORO, Mass. — Vince Wilfork and Reggie Wayne are among the last of a dying breed: Reminders of the Miami Hurricanes’ glory days.

The two University of Miami products will be enemies Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, but the New England Patriots defensive tackle and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver hold a close bond off the field.

“That’s family,” Wilfork said. “No matter what anybody says — I don’t care what anybody says: coaches, media, whatever it may be, we’re family, and that’s Miami Hurricanes, we always carry a chip on our shoulder no matter what.” Without that chip on both players’ shoulders, it’s possible that this matchup of former Hurricanes wouldn’t have taken place this season.

Both Wilfork and Wayne suffered career-threatening injuries in their 10th and 13th seasons, respectively, in 2013. Wilfork tore his Achilles while Wayne suffered a torn ACL. Both are back, playing at a high level despite their age and recovery.

“It’s good to see him still playing at the rate that he’s playing at,” Wilfork said. “It shows you a lot about what it means — what football means to him. He’s very competitive, I know him personally, so I know we’re gonna get his best. I know he’s gonna be ready to play. It’s always a good feeling, not only just because of the personal relationship that I have with him, but anybody coming off injury that’s coming back, and the guy can play the game still, show that they can play the game. It’s always awesome to see.”

Wilfork and Wayne were never teammates in Miami, but with former Hurricanes from the school’s last Big East dynasty, like Ed Reed, Willis McGahee, Ray Lewis, Kellen Winslow and Jonathan Vilma either retired or still trying to hang on as free agents, it becomes obvious that the days are numbered for Wilfork, Wayne and other active teammates from the school’s last championship run, like Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Santana Moss.

The list of Miami Hurricanes in the Pro Bowl has dwindled every year since 2009, when they had 11 representatives, to 2013 with just four.

Wilfork and Wayne briefly must forget their bond on Sunday night, however. “He knows between the lines, it’s time, we both have the same mindset,” Wilfork said. “We both want to win, so I’m gonna do everything I can to help my team win, and I’m pretty sure he’s gonna do the same thing. So, between the lines, we’re enemies, but off the field, it’s family. All love.”

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Colts/Patriots Means Something A Little Extra To Reggie Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS – One day, long after the cleats of No. 87 are stored away, Reggie Wayneicon-article-link could take pen to paper and write a New York Times best seller on the Colts/Patriots rivalry.

Another chapter will be written this weekend with Wayne once again playing a lead role in a rivalry that has shaped nearly every AFC race for the last dozen years.

Past history with Wayne and the Patriots indicates Sunday means a little more to the 14-year veteran, not to mention the current ramifications of this week’s contest.

“A lot of the guys on the team don’t really know the history with these two franchises as far as when we always play each other,” Wayne said on his weekly radio show on WNDE.

“What makes this game so important is this game could easily have playoff implications at the end of the year as far as home field, things like that. It’s a big game because it’s the next game, but for me there’s always a little added something to it.”

During the Colts bye week, Wayne “relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated” his 35-year old body knowing what was coming this week (he turns 36 on Monday).

In his early film study of the Patriots, Wayne sees similar Belichick tendencies with some particular impressive players now at the back end of the defense.

“I think this is the best secondary they’ve had in a long time,” Wayne says. “So they are able to do different things with their linebackers and defensive line up front than they normally do.

“(Belichick’s) going to have something different. He’s not going to be the typical coach Belichick you watch on film throughout the year in this game plan and it’s up to us to be able to find out what it is, figure it out and figure it out fast.”

Belichick and Wayne are two of the few mainstays throughout the bulk of this historic matchup.

Reports had the Patriots trying to pursue Wayne during the 2012 free agency process.

On a Wednesday conference call with Indianapolis media, Belichick called Wayne “one of the best route runners maybe ever in the game.”

The Patriots head coach, who always speaks highly of Wayne, detailed earlier this week what exactly he likes about the Colts wide receiver’s game.

“He’s still really good at everything,” Belichick said of Wayne. “[He’s] obviously a real smart and experienced guy; knows how to set up routes, make all of his routes look the same, does a great job of releasing and then at the top of his routes being able to create separation at just the right time when the quarterback is ready to throw.

“He’s been a key guy for them in critical situations and third down-type situations. I’m sure that there’s a lot of confidence that he’s going to be open and he usually is. Excellent hands; made a lot of tough catches. They move him around. He plays a decent amount in the slot, but also out on the perimeter where we saw him for so many years in their former offensive system. But he’s probably a little more in the slot now with [Hakeem] Nicks and [T.Y.] Hilton outside. But they move all those guys around so finding him is a problem. He’s still a very dangerous receiver, clutch player and a guy who really, when they need a play, they’re not afraid to go to him and he’ll deliver for them.”

Belichick has seen first hand Wayne thriving in those clutch situations.

Back in 2009, Wayne’s one-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds remaining gave the Colts a 35-34 victory over New England.

Following that 17-point comeback in the Colts last win over the Patriots, Peyton Manning said it was Wayne who called that slant route instead of a fade.

Wayne had 10 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns on that Sunday Night which also happens to be the last time the Colts have played host to the Patriots.

As Wayne looks back on his previous 15 Colts/Patriots matchups, he wants this rivalry to swing back to Indy’s side with the stretch run of the 2014 season beginning at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“We need to get that win-loss situation taken care of,” Wayne says of his 5-10 mark against the Patriots.

“We need to start winning some of these games against them. Let’s make sure we get that done this week.”

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Reggie Wayne says this Patriots secondary is the best he’s seen in Foxboro

FOXBORO – In 14 NFL seasons, Reggie Wayne has played against the Patriots 11 times in the regular season and three times in the playoffs. He’s matched up against all three defenses that won Super Bowls.

Wayne has run routes around players like Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison and most recently Aqib Talib – some of the best players the Patriots secondary has seen.  But in the wide receiver’s opinion, the best Patriots secondary belongs to this year’s squad.

“This secondary here, in my 14 years playing New England, is probably the best complete secondary,” Wayne said on Wednesday. “I think it allows them to do more things up front with their front seven games, that they probably haven’t done in the past years. They’re talented. They’re ball-hungry. It gives them a little bit of where they can be risk-takers with blitzes and things of that nature.”

The additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner have certainly changed the complexity of the Patriots defense. The secondary will need to be on point come Sunday against a dangerous Indianapolis Colts offense.

The defensive backs have done more than just open things up for the defensive line. According to Julian Edelman, the group is making the Patriots wide receivers better as well.

“They always try to beat us up at practice. We should have officials out there I feel,” Edelman said with a smirk on his face. “Our corners, all our guys, from Malcolm [Butler] to [Revis], Browner, [Kyle] Arrington, you’ve got Dax [Swanson]. Everyone on the squad is working their tail off. Go steel vs. steel and that’s how you sharpen tools.”

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Bill Belichick: Reggie Wayne Still Really Good At Everything

Q: Reggie Wayne has been a bit banged up, but what continues to make him an effective player at this point in his career?
BB: Yeah, he’s still really good at everything. [He’s] obviously a real smart and experienced guy; knows how to set up routes, make all of his routes look the same, does a great job of releasing and then at the top of his routes being able to create separation at just the right time when the quarterback is ready to throw. He’s been a key guy for them in critical situations and third down-type situations. I’m sure that there’s a lot of confidence that he’s going to be open and he usually is. Excellent hands; made a lot of tough catches. They move him around. He plays a decent amount in the slot, but also out on the perimeter where we saw him for so many years in their former offensive system. But he’s probably a little more in the slot now with [Hakeem] Nicks and [T.Y.] Hilton outside. But they move all those guys around so finding him is a problem. He’s still a very dangerous receiver, clutch player and a guy who really, when they need a play, they’re not afraid to go to him and he’ll deliver for them.

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Reggie Wayne: A Few More Yards to Gain for Colts

Just 511 receiving yards, that’s the amount separating Colts’ 14-year veteran Reggie Wayne from becoming the all-time leading receiver in Indianapolis (also Baltimore) Colts’ Franchise History. Currently, Wayne stands #2 on the Colts’ all-time career receiving yards list at 14,070 career receiving yards. Of course, #1 is being held by Colts’ future Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, who is on top with 14,580 career receiving yards, playing all 13 of his seasons in horseshoe blue.

To topple Harrison on the Colts’ all-time receiving mountain, Wayne will need to average 73 receiving yards per game in the next 7 games left of this season. A task that is hardly insurmountable given QB Andrew Luck and the Colts’ prolific passing offense.

For Wayne, it’s been about consistency and longevity. While some of his wide receiver contemporaries like Randy Moss and Chad Johnson may have had more dominant individual seasons, as well as off-the-field flare-ups, it’s Wayne that’s just been consistently consistent throughout his 14 seasons with the Colts. There’s something to be said for that. As it stands, he’s one of last few wide receivers of his era still playing, other than the Baltimore Ravens’ Steve Smith.

Wayne has always taken a workmanlike approach to the game of football, even showing up to Colts’ training camp in the past with a construction hardhat. He may not have made the off-the-field noise as some of his past wide receiver contemporaries, rather he saved it all for the field. Where it really matters, to the tune of 1,048 receptions for 14,070 receiving yards and 82 touchdowns. He currently sits 8th on the NFL’s all-time career receiving yards list.

For the first 8 seasons of his NFL career, he was often overshadowed on his own team by the aforementioned Marvin Harrison. Unlike Harrison though, Wayne has taken an active leadership approach with the Indianapolis Colts, particularly with T.Y. Hilton and the offense’s younger players:

“He’s always there, no matter what,” Hilton says of Wayne. “Andrew (Luck) trusts him, and we all trust him. He’s been here the longest and he knows the ropes. He knows pretty much every defense. He’s a great guy.”

“For me to be here now, playing with Reggie … the things I can learn from him and grow … I call him my big brother. He’s always there for me, always looking after me. Whenever I get a chance, I make sure to ask him any question that I have. With Andrew, me and Reggie, we have that same aspect that we can be good like they were. So that’s what we look forward to.”

It’s a stark contrast to the comments made by Reggie Wayne in a sit-down with Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks in February of 2010, regarding his lack of a personal relationship with the elder Marvin Harrison:

“Our lockers were next to each other and we very seldom talked then. It’s not like we were text message buddies in eight years. So I kind of figured it’d be that way. You’ve just got to understand his character. I think that’s just him,” said Wayne, who once played in No. 88’s shadow. “He’s to himself. He has a lonely soul. He’s anti-social. That’s what makes him. If you saw him talking to the media all of a sudden, that’s an imposter. That’s not him. He’ll keep the same makeup that he’s had since day one, and I guess that’s what works for him.”

In fact, one could make a strong argument of whether Reggie Wayne has been more instrumental in Indianapolis Colts’ history than his former legendary receiving counterpart, #88. However, that’s really neither for here nor there.

Quite frankly, it’s easy to forget that the Indianapolis Colts almost lost Reggie Wayne to the New England Patriots in March of 2012, as the team was initially more interested in re-signing the younger Pierre Garcon as a free agent, who left for greener pastures more money to the Washington Redskins.

From a leadership and production standpoint, it would have been a critical blow to QB Andrew Luck and the Colts’ budding young offense these past few seasons.

While he may have lost a step coming back from ACL surgery this season, he’s still the offense’s security blanket, the reliable set of hands that Luck can target on crucial 3rd downs and key moments of the game. He’s both one of the Indianapolis Colts and NFL’s all-time receiving greats.

For Wayne, simply put, what’s a few more yards in a renowned career that is already littered with them?

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Reggie Wayne explains crying during national anthem

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne was moved to tears during Monday night’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at MetLife Stadium. The national anthem was performed by trumpet player Chris Botti, and he did a fantastic job.

After the game, Wayne spoke about his emotions getting the best of him.

“An old wise guy told me you shouldn’t hold back your tears,” he said, via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. “If you’ve got tears coming, let them out. He also told me, ‘Let your farts go free and be like me,’ and he passed, so…”

At age 35 and in his 14th season, Wayne has no time for holding back tears. He may not have been streaming crocodile tears like this NFL running back, but that sure was raw emotion.

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PHOTO: Reggie Wayne was emotional during that beautiful rendition of the National Anthem

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Reggie Wayne now eighth on all-time receiving list

With his 11-yard catch in the first quarter Monday, Colts wideout Reggie Wayne passed James Lofton for eighth place on the league's all-time receiving yards list. Wayne has 14,070 receiving yards in his 14-year career.

Wayne made his 82nd career touchdown catch in the third quarter, turning upfield for a 40-yard score. Wayne caught four of 10 targets for 70 yards after missing Week 8 with an elbow injury.

He's on a bye Week 10.

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Andrew Luck on Reggie Wayne TD: “Old man’s still got some legs”

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes in Monday night’s win over the Giants, and the longest of those was a 40-yarder to Reggie Wayne. After the game, Luck said that was the one that he really enjoyed.

“To see Reggie run down the sidelines, the old man’s still got some legs left in him,” the 25-year-old Luck said of the 35-year-old Wayne.

Although Luck’s numbers (25-for-46, 354 yards, no turnovers) look great, Luck said he actually didn’t think he played very well.

“There were some plays I messed up, missed some throws, but a great job by our wideouts and tight ends making some catches,” he said.

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Reggie Wayne goes 4-70-1 in Week 9 return

Reggie Wayne caught four passes for 70 yards and one touchdown in the Colts' Week 9 win over the Giants.

Wayne drew 10 targets in his return from his elbow injury. Sporting a bulky brace, Wayne looked refreshed after the week off to rest his elbow and tired legs. He now gets to go on the bye before taking on the Patriots in Week 11. On Wayne's 40-yard touchdown, he walked right up the left sideline untouched into the end zone. He's a solid weekly WR3/4.

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Reggie Wayne Will Play Monday Night

INDIANAPOLIS – It was a chilly, but clear morning in Indianapolis as the Colts headed outside for the last practice of the week.

The Colts continued to get more good news on the injury front regarding Reggie Wayne and Vontae Davis.

Here’s a rundown of what Chuck Pagano and Dwayne Allen had to say to the media on Saturday:

Chuck Pagano on what he saw from Reggie Wayne at practice

“Looked good, he looked good. Ran great routes, caught the ball extremely well, blocking. He looks good.”

Bowen’s Analysis: Chuck Pagano said that Wayne is a go for Monday night. Wayne returned to practice on Friday and Saturday and was a full participant each day.

The elbow clearly hindered Wayne as the Bengals game moved along back on October 19 so these two days of practice were key to see how that has improved. The blocking aspect of things is another area to watch for Wayne trying to extend his arm/elbow to engage blockers.

Reggie Wayne on trying to move into the bye week at 6-3:

“This Monday night couldn’t get here fast enough.

“I think I can speak for the team on that. After the game last week, we would have played when the plane landed.”

Bowen’s Analysis: For the third time in the Chuck Pagano era, the Colts will be on the spotlight of Monday Night Football. They will face a Giants team that is in dire need of a victory to maintain striking distance within the NFC East.

The Giants are a difficult bunch to read. With nearly half of NFL games being decided by one possession or less, the Giants are a true outlier. None of their seven games (3-4) have been within 10 points. The Giants begin a stretch of three straight Indianapolis opponents who will be coming off of bye weeks before taking on the Colts.

Dwayne Allen on what he saw from Reggie Wayne at practice:

“It’s great to have him back.

“He’s one of our leaders, one of our offensive leaders. He’s always able to lend some veteran insight on things.”

Bowen’s Analysis: Chuck Pagano said on Saturday that besides the obvious on-the-field implications of having Wayne back, the 14-year vet brings something that players continually feed off of.

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Reggie Wayne gets day of rest on Thursday

Speaking after Thursday's practice, Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Reggie Wayne (elbow) could have suited up, but was given a day of rest.

It sounds like the Colts tentatively expect Wayne back for Monday's game against the Giants, but what he's able to do on Friday will be key. Wayne will slot in as a mid-range WR3 if he can return after missing Week 8. His status will be updated some time in the next 24 hours.

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Reggie Wayne ahead of schedule, could practice this week

Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Monday wide receiver Reggie Wayne is ahead of schedule and the hope is he will return to the practice field this week. Wayne missed Sunday's loss against the Steelers due to an elbow injury. The Colts are set to play the Giants in Week 9.

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Reggie Wayne misses practice for second straight day

When the Colts held wide receiver Reggie Wayne out of practice on Wednesday, it was difficult to know how much of a role his injured elbow played in their decision.

Wayne typically gets a veteran’s rest day on Wednesday and both he and coach Chuck Pagano downplayed the significance of the injury after he sat out the session. Still, the team was concerned enough to send Wayne for an MRI early on the week and even a relatively insignificant injury can be enough to keep a player out for one week.

The possibility of that outcome seems a bit likelier now that Wayne has missed practice on Thursday as well. Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star reports that Wayne watched his teammates go through practice from the field and that he didn’t have a wrap or anything other than a compression sleeve on the injured elbow.

If Wayne doesn’t play, it could mean an expanded role for Hakeem Nicks. Nicks signed as a free agent in the offseason after a disappointing year with the Giants in 2013 and has 17 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns so far this season.

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MRI shows no damage to Reggie Wayne's elbow

INDIANAPOLIS – The MRI done on Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne’s left elbow didn’t show significant damage, coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday.

Wayne didn’t practice Wednesday because that’s his normal rest day and the Colts are calling him day-to-day when it comes to his availability for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pagano said they’ll be fine if Wayne, who missed the final nine games of the 2013 season with a torn ACL, is forced to miss any time.

“I feel great,” Pagano said. “You have a guy like [Hakeem] Nicks who has been on a Super Bowl championship team. Caught a lot of passes in his career. We all know what Donte [Moncrief] is capable of doing. I feel really good.”

Nicks, who has gotten off to a slow start in his first season with the Colts, would slide into the No. 2 receiver role if Wayne doesn’t play.

“He comes here every day with his hat on, lunch pail, ready to work,” Pagano said about Nicks. “He’s a competitive guy. We have a ton of competitive guys in that locker room. They all want to contribute and they all want to make plays. He understands that. He’ll be ready no matter when his number is called. He knows his stuff; he practices hard, prepares hard.”

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Reggie Wayne expected to miss a game or two with elbow

Apparently, the “adult beverage” wasn’t enough to take the edge off Reggie Wayne’s elbow.

According to Mike Chappell of RTV6 in Indianapolis, the Colts wide receiver is expected to miss a game or two because of an elbow injury suffered early in Sunday’s win over the Bengals.

He fell after a play, bracing himself with his left arm as he fell. He had an MRI yesterday, but no results were announced.

Wayne suggested he wasn’t that concerned after the game.

“I’m good now,” he said. “I just kind of fell on it, fell on my arm. Go home, have an adult beverage and see how it feels in the morning.”

The veteran receiver’s numbers have been down in recent weeks (eight catches for 50 yards the last two games), but he was playing well prior to that (14 for 196 against the Titans and Ravens), an impressive comeback for a 35-year-old who tore his ACL last year.

But if he’s not back for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh, Hakeem Nicks will have to take on a bigger role.

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Reggie Wayne could miss one or two games

Colts wideout Reggie Wayne, who had an MRI on his elbow Monday, could miss one or two games, reports WRTV in Indianapolis. Wayne sustained the injury in the first quarter of Sunday's win over the Bengals.

The MRI results have not been released.

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Historic Day For Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne planned to use an old-fashioned remedy Sunday evening to get a sense of how his injured arm was doing.

"I'm good right now," Wayne said after the Colts' 27-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. "Just kind of fell on it. I'll go home, have an adult beverage and see how it feels in the morning."

Coach Chuck Pagano said that Wayne wrenched his left elbow after falling awkwardly on it and Wayne was seen wearing a bandage around it late in the game. But he said afterwards that "it's a little bit of everything. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."

It was a big day historically for Wayne, who became the ninth receiver in NFL history to surpass 14,000 yards. But due in part to his injury and in part to the fact quarterback Andrew Luck has so many other receivers to throw to, it was a quiet day statistically.

Wayne finished with four catches — and two drops — for just 15 yards (3.8 average). He extended his streak of games with three or more receptions to 78, but it didn't happen until midway through the fourth quarter. The 14-year veteran has at least one reception in 126 consecutive games.

He wasn't complaining about it one bit after such a dominating performance against the Bengals. The Colts' defense got the shutout, but the offense was pretty good as well, rolling up 506 total yards and picking up 27 first downs.

"We've got something special," Wayne said. "We felt that way going into the season. Got a lot of guys back healthy and these last five games are an indication of what we can do. Like I said earlier, I'm sure there's a lot of corrections to be made, but if we continue to ride this wave, we can keep this streak going.

"This is what we envisioned. Hopefully, we can keep guys as healthy as possible. ... We're pretty loaded offensively."

Wayne wasn't about to be draw into comparisons. He demurred when asked if this was the most loaded the Colts have been offensively since the mid-2000s — when Wayne was part of a legendary offense that included quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, tight end Dallas Clark and running backs Edgerrin James and later Joseph Addai, among others.

"I'll let you decide that," he said. "I'm here to play with this team right now. Once I hang up my cleats, I'll think about that. But right now, this team is starting to gel pretty well and go out and play Colts football, which we did today."

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Reggie Wayne Talks His Bond With T.Y. Hilton

INDIANAPOLIS – With a short week last week, Reggie Wayneicon-article-link did not appear on his weekly radio show.

The 14-year veteran was back on it this Tuesday though for a more in-depth conversation.

On WNDE, Wayne talked his relationship with T.Y. Hiltonicon-article-link, the play of Pat McAfeeicon-article-link, the retirement of Pat Angerer and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here are some of the highlights from Wayne joining Query and Schultz:

On T.Y. Hilton and the relationship he has with Wayne:

“He has that playmaking ability and he was able to show that Thursday night.

“T.Y. comes and he’s always asking questions. He asks, ‘What do you think I should of done there? Should have I gone inside or should have I gone outside?’ That’s the way you learn. That’s the way I was with Marvin Harrison. I would ask him things what I could do to run this particular route better. Whenever you have a guy that’s played a little longer I think you should use that. T.Y., he’s taken advantage of that opportunity. He’s asked me a lot of questions in his three years. He’s a true professional already. He’s a student of the game. He takes a lot of notes. He asks questions in meetings and you don’t see a lot of young guys that do that. He’s a guy that really wants to be good and whenever you see a guy that wants to be good, you want to do everything you can to help. At one point in time, I used to say in his rookie year, ‘You might want to think about doing this or doing that.’ Now I don’t have to do that much. He has that experience under his belt. He knows defenses. He understands his role. If we are talking anything football, it’s probably a question he comes and asks me and it’s probably pretty minor.”

On the first quarter against the Texans and if he remembers a time when the Colts had an opening quarter like that:

“That’s a good question. I’ve got a lot of games under my belt in 14 years (laughs). I don’t think there’s any to be honest with you. We were hitting on all cylinders. We went out and scored fast, had a surprise onside that worked and were able to take that turnover and score real quick. We saw early that things were going to be all right for us and that’s kind of the way it goes. I really believe that football is a game of momentum and it seemed like everything we dialed up was the right choice. We need to figure out a way to just continue to ride that wave, even though we know it’s going to be tough.”

On the play of Pat McAfee and special teams in 2014:

“I believe he’s changing the whole mindset of the way team’s think of that. If you look at what he’s already done this season, and the way he’s punting the ball, he’s punting the ball outstanding. He’s doing things that we aren’t really used to seeing on the special teams side as far as the Indianapolis Colts. He’s definitely become a weapon for us. He can make any kick that you can ask him.

“You’ve got a Hall of Famer in Adam Vinatieriicon-article-link always in his ear and I think Pat has taken his game to a whole ‘nother level. I think he’s realized how good he can be. He’s playing phenomenal.”

On Pat Angerer retiring from the NFL:

“Pat was a feisty guy. He was kind of an undersized guy. It was funny because he always played with a little chip on his shoulder and he brought a lot of energy to that locker room, to that team. I saw he shut it down and retired due to injuries and things like that. That just makes you realize that Pat was a young player and it seemed like he was doing so well, but the injuries kind of took over and forced him to retire.

“I enjoyed Pat. He was a great teammate, a great person. We spent a lot of time together laughing. Unfortunately a lot of that time was in the training room, getting healthy but that’s the way it is. We call the training room, the “barbershop.” Everybody is going to be in the barbershop trying to get back to 100 percent as close as they can and we had a lot of laughs in that training room.”

On the Bengals:

“They are always right in the mix, especially the last few years since they got the quarterback in Andy Dalton. He’s really had them in the fold of the AFC race. At one point in time in my career, you kind of looked at Cincinnati and figured, alright they are going to be one of the bottom echelon teams in the AFC but now you can’t do that anymore. They are a team that’s going to make you come out and play a good game or they will embarrass you.”

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2000 Miami Hurricanes squad to have mini-reunion at NRG Stadium on Thursday

At the end of ESPN's 30 for 30 film 'The U', a group of Miami Hurricanes players sum up their program's successful history and culture in one sentence.

"It's a Canes thing."

On Thursday night at NRG Stadium, 'The U' squad of 2000 will be well represented, as several former players and coaches will converge as the Texans host the Colts.

Undoubtedly, the most recognizable names are a pair of former Hurricane receivers Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne. Johnson and Wayne are two of the most accomplished wide outs in NFL history and are quite used to sharing the same turf on a football field.

In addition to their years battling against each other in the AFC South, the two were teammates on the 2000 Miami squad that went 11-1 and finished second in the nation according to the AP poll. Wayne, a senior on that squad, caught a team-high 10 touchdowns. Johnson, a redshirt freshman, played in 11 games as a wide receiver and kickoff return specialist (imagine that!).

The connections don't stop there. On the Colts sideline watching it all unfold on Thursday will be head coach Chuck Pagano, who was the Hurricans defensive backs coach on that same 2000 squad.

Imagine how fun his job must have been in practice, going against Wayne and Johnson (and Santana Moss) every day. 2000 was Pagano's last year at Miami, as he advanced to the professional ranks en route to being named the Colts head man in 2012. Pagano talked at length about Johnson and Wayne in a press conference earlier this week.

"I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and recruiting that school and recruiting Andre. Very, very; I mean we all know his talents. He’s a great player, but he’s a better person," Pagano said. "The relationships are for life. I’m fortunate enough to be coaching and playing alongside Reggie Wayne here, but being able to stay close to the guys you were around in college and guys like Andre is very special to me and my family."

Not done yet.

On the same 2000 squad, there was a relatively unknown redshirt freshman center. That center would go on to have a strong collegiate career and be selected in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Nine years later, he has started over 100 straight games for the Houston Texans, and is now viewed as one the NFL's top centers.

Chris Myers.

If all those connections weren't enough, there is one more that Texans fans will know all too well. During the great Miami run of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the voice of the Hurricanes was...Marc Vandermeer.

Vandermeer (@TexansVoice on twitter), who has been the voice of the Texans since the franchise's inception, spent several years in Miami calling Hurricane athletics for their radio network.

So, while there will be Deep Steel Blue and Colts white on the field at NRG Stadium, there will be a lot of Miami green and orange in the heart of many. 

Rock and Roll indeed.

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Reggie Wayne gets the day off

The Colts gave wideout Reggie Wayne the day off to rest as Indy prepared for Thursday's game at Houston, according to the team's website. Wayne, 35, has 30 catches for 384 yards and a touchdown in five games.

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Reggie Wayne: 'Deepest we've ever been at receiver'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Look at the top-10 receiving leaders in the NFL and there's a noticeable absence by the Indianapolis Colts despite them leading the league in passing yards and points a game.


Nope. Reggie Wayne is 13th.


No, again. Wayne is tied for 14th.


You guessed it, nope. Wayne is 16th.

Average yards per reception?

Not even close. They don't even have a player ranked in the top 40.

The only category the Colts have a player ranked in the top 10 is receptions of at least 20 yards, as Wayne is tied for eighth with five.

They're fine with that because quarterback Andrew Luck doesn't rely on one player when it comes to passing the ball.

He prefers to spread it around.

The Colts have nine players who have at least six receptions through the first four games of the season. They're so deep that Da'Rick Rogers, who was released following his arrest earlier this week, was a healthy inactive those four games after starting three games last season.

"Like I tell everybody, this is the deepest we've ever been at receiver," Wayne said. "We've always had three and a possible. We've always had an average spade hand. It's better now. We have four to five guys we can plug in there at any time. We're loaded in there. Everybody always feels like I'm outta of my mind when I say that. No matter who is in there, you can plug guys in there at any position and they can get it done. We have to take advantage of that."

The breakdown of pass distribution through four games goes like this:

Receivers: 65 receptions, 3 touchdowns

Tight ends: 27 receptions, 6 touchdowns

Running backs: 25 receptions, 4 touchdowns

Luck's ability to not key in on one receiver over and over again makes it tough for opposing defenses. Focus on stopping Wayne and Luck will find T.Y. Hilton. Lock in on Wayne and Hilton and the quarterback has tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. The Colts enjoy running play-action where Luck hits running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson out of the backfield. Bradshaw already has a career-high four touchdown receptions this season.

"That's something that we have in our arsenal that a lot of teams don't have," Wayne said. "Like I've been saying, you go into each game asking defenses to pick their poison. You can't just focus on one or two guys. We've got, as they say, a plethora of guys that can go out and make things happen. Knock on wood, keep everybody healthy and we'll take that any time of day."

Luck is 60-of-80 throwing for 763 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception in the past two games. He's completed passes to nine different players in those two games.

"He's doing a great job of taking what the defense is giving him and not getting greedy, so to speak, and spreading the ball around," coach Chuck Pagano said. "They've got to make a decision defensively who they want to identify like we do as game-wreckers and take those guys away, but it's going to open it up obviously for somebody else either in the run game or the pass game."

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Reggie Wayne on Pace for a Historic Season

On September 28, 2014, Reggie Wayne played in his 200th career regular-season game, the third player to do so in an Indianapolis Colts uniform (after Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas).

Less than two months from his 36th birthday, the veteran receiver took the field as a starter for the Colts in their game against the Tennessee Titans. 

On the surface, this matchup was simply another early-season divisional battle. Maybe it was just that. Maybe the Colts' 41-17 domination of the Titans was just another blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things. 

But for Reggie Wayne and his seven-catch, 119-yard, one-touchdown performance, it was something else entirely. 
It was historic, for one. 

In addition to playing in his 200th game, something just 17 active players have done (including Adam Vinatieri and Manning), Wayne surpassed a few other benchmarks during his big day. 

Wayne passed Henry Ellard to move into the top 10 on the all-time career receiving yards list, with 13,873. At his current pace, he'll gain over 920 more yards this season, passing Cris Carter, James Lofton and former Colt Marvin Harrison for sixth on the list. Carter and Lofton are just 26 and 31 yards ahead, respectively, and could be passed next week in the Colts' matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. 

Wayne also passed former St. Louis Ram Isaac Bruce to move to seventh on the all-time career receptions list, with 1,029. On pace for 69 more receptions, Wayne has a chance to pass Terrell Owens (1,078) this season as well. 

With his touchdown, Wayne tied Art Powell for 22nd on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list. Given the logjam on the list, Wayne needs just five more to move into the top 15. 

Of course, Wayne continued his streak of at least three receptions in the game, extending it to 75. The second-longest streak was Cris Carter's 58-game streak from 1993 to 1997; the longest active streak is Wes Welker's 36-game streak, which began in 2011. 

Where Wayne's place in history will be is yet to be determined, but he'll finish in the top 10 in at least yards and receptions, and touchdowns is definitely a possibility. Is he a top-10 wide receiver? Critics will point to the fact that he played with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck and most likely wouldn't put him among the top 10 most talented receivers to have ever played the game. 

But nobody can take away production. Regardless of who he's played with, the fact is that Wayne has done his job, every day, week and year since being drafted 30th overall in 2001. He produced top-10 numbers despite the fact that he was the No. 2 receiver on his own team for the first six seasons of his career. He oversaw the potentially tumultuous transition from Peyton Manning and Bill Polian to Andrew Luck and Ryan Grigson (with some Curtis Painter in between), smoothing the road for the young, inconsistent team. 

Sunday's game, with all its momentary greatness, was historic in Wayne's ascension on the all-time lists, but it was also a reminder of the smaller picture: 2014. 

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Reggie Wayne A Week 4 Winner

Reggie Wayne: In case you were wondering if the 35-year-old Colts wideout was all the way back from his ACL reconstruction, he snared seven of Luck's passes for 119 yards and a TD. With 1,029 career grabs, Wayne moved into seventh place all-time, and his 13,873 career receiving yards now rank him in the top-10 in NFL history. (He'll move past Hall of Famers Cris Carter and James Lofton into eighth place with 132 more yards.)

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Reggie Wayne goes for 7-119-1 in victory

Reggie Wayne caught seven passes for 119 yards and one touchdown in the Colts' Week 4 win over the Titans.

Wayne was targeted eight times on the day and dominated a third-quarter drive that ended in a 28-yard touchdown for Wayne on a back-shoudler throw that beat CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson. The 35-year-old is on pace for 1,228 yards and four touchdowns on 92 catches. With the Colts turning up their offense in recent weeks, it's sustainable. Wayne is a back-end WR3.

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Reggie Wayne making his mark in the record books

Reggie Wayne added milestones for his career Sunday, footballs for his basket at home.

All in another day's work for the Indianapolis Colts' 14th-year receiving wonder.

Wayne had seven catches for 119 yards – both game-highs – in the 41-17 victory over Tennessee, strengthening his status in the NFL record books.

He's now seventh in career receptions (1,029), 10th in receiving yardage (13,873) and extending his record of consecutive games with at least three catches (75). He's caught one pass in 123 straight.

Of course, by now Wayne has made it clear he's playing more for the enjoyment of the game, especially in light of last year's season-ending knee injury.
But he'll take two balls – one for catching a touchdown, another as an honor from his team – home to the pile of inflated leather he's accumulating.

Toys for the kids, he calls them.

"They're going to go in there at some point and say, 'Let's play catch,'" he said, smiling. "A lot of times I look at (the ball) and be like, 'Damn, this is my 30th touchdown ball.' But if they want to play with it, they can play with it."

Wayne played like a kid Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, dancing around defenders, never more so than in the third-quarter drive that sealed the game. If his 21-yard catch wasn't good enough, his 17-yarder on third down was. Two plays later, he outsmarted cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, pivoting to the left as he extended the ball to the pylon.

No matter that this was his 81st career touchdown; it was his first since the injury.

"A long time coming," he said.

Wayne remains one of the most confident players in this league, but he also realizes the realities of life. He doesn't have the speed he possessed as a first-round draft pick out of Miami in 2001. His body still has days when it requires an ice bath and a massage. But the challenge of overcoming the obstacles is part of the game's pleasure.

"There's quite a few things that are undefeated in this world; we know Mother Nature is one of them," Wayne said as his 36th birthday looms Nov. 17. "You're not going to win that battle.

"I do understand where I'm at right now, (and) I do understand I'm getting up there in age. That just goes to show you I'm going to have to watch more film, have to know my opponent a little better just to find ways to get open."

Having hands of gold helps. It's likely Wayne leads the NFL in that category, too, and listening to him frame a defensive back is worth all the money he's paid.
"He's not looking back at the ball, he's playing (my) hands," Wayne said of how defenders are taught. "I want to wait as long as I possibly can to stick my hands out there."

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck didn't know what else to say about No. 87.

"Open up one of y'all's tape recorders (and) replay the same things I say about him every week," he said. "He's a pro. He makes plays. He shows up in third down. He shows up in the red zone. Obviously, his hands are incredible. He's a phenomenal football player."

Luck finished by calling Wayne "a technician."

"For that reason I think he's an incredible role model for any young kid, any rookie," he said. "How do you work on your cuts? How do you work on body control? He sees coverage extremely well. He knows what (is) zone (defense), man (defense), where the blitz is coming from. He understands football."

"I won't say I haven't skipped a beat," Wayne said of his recovery. "I wish I was a lot faster; I wish I was a lot (of) everything. But this is what I have, and I'm going to play the hand I'm dealt.

"I have a pretty solid poker face, and I'm going to play; I'm not going to fold. I'm going to give everything I've got, and I think everybody in this locker room has some trust in me as far as going out there and delivering."

That why Pagano handed him a game ball. At this rate, more are on the way. The basket at home probably isn't large enough.

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VIDEO: Reggie Wayne scores first TD of the season

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With 200th game, Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne joins exclusive club

INDIANAPOLIS - Peyton Manning. John Unitas. Come Sunday afternoon, Reggie Wayne makes it a threesome.

"That's good company," the Indianapolis Colts veteran wide receiver said. "It's exciting, man.

"Hopefully after it's over with, get a W …  and I can celebrate in style."

The topic of discussion was Wayne being on the verge of reaching yet another milestone on an NFL journey that began in 2001. 

He’ll make his 200th regular-season appearance Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The only Colts players who have played more are Manning (208) and Unitas (206).

"It means that I've played a lot of games," Wayne replied when asked the significance of reaching 200. "You want to get 200 more. You want to play as much as you can. It's a credit to my strength coaches just to keep me healthy, giving me the right workouts to keep my body right.

"Hopefully the 200th game will be the best one yet."

Wayne would have put No. 200 behind him in 2013, but his pursuit was put on hold when he suffered a season-ending knee injury Oct. 20 against Denver. It snapped a streak of 189 consecutive appearances, which was the NFL's longest active streak among receivers.

Being there, Wayne insisted, always has been paramount.

"Absolutely. I really feel like being able to answer that bell each week, that's what it's all about," he said. "Getting the respect from my teammates, knowing that I’ll be there.

"That's bigger than touchdowns. That's bigger than catches. That's bigger than yards. At the end of the day when it's all said and done, I want that respect of my teammates, let them know I was there and I was a good teammate."

Along with being on the verge of his 200th game, Wayne needs three catches to move past Isaac Bruce (1,029) into the No. 7 spot all-time and 24 yards to move past Henry Ellard (13,777) into the No. 10 spot.

Coach Chuck Pagano has become numb to Wayne's continued excellence.

"…if you tell about milestones or somebody else tells me about the numbers, the number of games he's gone with three or more catches, all those type of things, am I shocked? No," he said. "He's the consummate pro. You can't have enough guys like Reggie in your locker room."

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Pep Hamilton Talks Production For Reggie Wayne

Pep Hamilton on Reggie Wayne’s production the last two weeks:

“Within the flow of the game, there are times where teams kind of scheme, rotate, take away certain guys.

“We feel like we have the flexibility within the system to keep everyone involved.”

Bowen’s Analysis: It speaks to the Hall of Fame type of volume for Wayne when questions come up at press conferences on a lack of production from Wayne after back-to-back 3 and 4 catch games. The crazier stat is that Wayne and T.Y. Hilton have been held out of the end zone, even with Andrew Luck leading the NFL in touchdown passes (9).

This is simply a byproduct of the weapons around Luck. Wayne himself said it best on his weekly radio show. He compared it back to his days with the likes of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison and how the touches might not be what most first round picks expect. Wayne doesn’t get too caught up in such things, knowing that wins and losses is the ultimate deciding factor. He also knows that when the game is on the line, the ball is in all likelihood coming towards Wayne.

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Local artist’s Reggie Wayne painting to hang in Conrad Hotel

As part of the Conrad Hotel art experience, local artist and Colts fan Constance Edwards Scopelitis created a portrait of Reggie Wayne. The Portrait will be available for the public to view at the Conrad Hotel.

Constance graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University and was a student of legendary American Figure painter Isabel Bishop.

In 1993 she established a studio in the exceedingly creative environment in the historical Stutz Building downtown Indy and promptly went to NYC and studied at the Art Students League. It wasn’t long before Constance gained representation in the national gallery scene including Hawaii, California, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas.

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Reggie Wayne drops 4-62 stat line on Jaguars

Reggie Wayne secured 4-of-5 targets for 62 yards in the Colts' Week 3 win over the Jaguars.

Nine different Colts caught passes against Jacksonville. None of them topped 80 yards as Andrew Luck spread the ball around. Wayne has been held scoreless in each of Indy's first three games, and has only 88 yards over the last two combined. He's settling in as a low-upside WR3 option week to week.

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Reggie Wayne speaks on NFL's domestic violence incidents

The legal scandals that have engulfed the NFL in recent weeks haven't directly touched the Indianapolis Colts.

But that's not to say players and coaches aren't paying close attention to the headlines associated with Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and others.

Among those watching the events play out is veteran receiver Reggie Wayne. Has he, as a leader, been more vocal with teammates about the importance of staying out of trouble? Actually, it hasn't been necessary.

"To be honest, I don't think anybody has to say anything," Wayne said. "Just watch TV. Flip through the channels. You'll see it. Look what teams are doing to those people who are getting in trouble. You see guys on the exempt list, deactivated. That's what they're doing. So, what makes you think that you're going to be different? I think it's already understood, if you do something like that, especially right now, you already know what's going to happen. You better walk away."

Wayne stopped short of condemning the actions of others, choosing instead to focus on what happens in his own home.

Domestic violence "is not allowed in the Wayne household," he said. "One thing you can't do is question what other people do or what they're going through. Only thing you can do is better yourself and use what they're going through as an example. It's not something that you wish on somebody and it's not an example that you're excited to follow. But (I) don't have no worries about that. We have a strong grip on what goes on in our household.

"So far, so good."

Asked whether the team has considered what it would do with a player accused of acts similar to Rice or Peterson, coach Chuck Pagano said it would be dealt with appropriately.

"Really that's for the organization, Ryan (Grigson), I and Mr. (Jim) Irsay to (decide) how we're going to deal with things," Pagano said. "We understand the landscape. We understand what's going on. The league's going to have its policies. We're going to continue to educate. I think our players know exactly how our GM feels, how I feel, how the organization feels about that type of stuff. And we'll just continue to educate our guys on making the right choices and doing the right things."

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Reggie Wayne catches three passes in loss

Reggie Wayne caught three passes for 28 yards in the Colts' Week 2 loss to the Eagles on Monday night.

Wayne was targeted seven times on the night, but couldn't shake free for any big gains. Andrew Luck also couldn't complete any passes downfield with OC Pep Hamilton dialing up run play after run play mixed in with short throwing plays. Wayne should rebound next week against Jacksonville. He's a WR3/4.

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Reggie Wayne: 'Everything went into slow motion'

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne made his first appearance on his weekly radio show on WNDE-AM 1260 in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Wayne talked about what caused a lot of concern in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. He slipped after catching a screen pass from quarterback Andrew Luck. Wayne was slow to get up, causing Luck to sprint over to see if his go-to receiver was OK. Wayne returned to the game after going to the sideline for one play. He finished with nine catches for 98 yards.

Wayne tore his ACL against Denver in Week 7 last season.

“As I’m slipping, going to the ground, it seemed like everything went into slow motion. It seemed like I could see everything happening all over again,” Wayne said on the show. “I do understand why there are four preseason games because my whole body hurts. I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack Truck because I didn’t get many reps [in the preseason].

“Then you realize it’s almost been a year since I put pads on and played a full game, and I can tell you it was tough sleeping [Monday] night, but it’s a great soreness just on the strength that I’m back in action. I’m back out there with my teammates. I feel great now. I feel a thousand times better, but at the time, it did affect me a bit.”

Wayne on the Ray Rice situation:

“I do not know Ray Rice, at all,” Wayne said. “Two, to the video that everyone has seen, it’s real disturbing. It really is. It’s something you don’t want to see with anybody. I don’t condone that. I don’t think you should put your hands on a female. And three, as far as if he was a teammate of mine, I honestly don’t know how I would respond. I would be disappointed, but at the same time, I know he’s a brother. I wouldn’t completely just cut him off. I’d find a way to be there with him. I’d still want to talk to him just to see what’s going on. At the same time, we don’t know what he told his teammates, either. I don’t know what I would do, but I’d definitely find a way to be there for him because at the end of the day he’s still a teammate, he’s still a brother and that’s what we do; we stick together and we figure it out together.”

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#NFLU Week 1 proCane Wrap Up

Every Tuesday we will wrap up the all the action from the previous week’s NFL action.

The Streak: Four proCanes scored (Allen Hurns (2 TDs), Greg Olsen (1 TD), Travis Benjamin (1 TD), Lamar Miller (1 TD)) to extend the TD Streak to 7 straight weeks a proCane has scored an NFL touchdown. As reminder the record is 149 straight weeks.

Allen Hurns, Jaguars: Hurns caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first undrafted rookie to catch two touchdowns in his first game since the New York Giants’ Bobby Johnson in 1984. Two catches, two touchdowns, Hurns became the second NFL rookie to ever do that, joining Detroit’s Charles Rogers. Hurns also ended up playing the 2nd most amount of snaps among WRs behind Antonio Brown. Hurns has out-produced both receivers the Jaguars selected in the second round of the NFL draft in May. Not bad for an undrafted rookie

Andre Johnson, Texans: Johnson moved past Redskins legend Art Monk into 16th place in NFL history in receiving yards. Johnson, who hauled in six passes for 93 yards, has 12,754 yards in his 12 professional seasons.

Frank Gore, 49ers : Gore just the 29th running back in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard mark, and just the 10th to eclipse the milestone with one franchise. With a four-yard run in the third quarter, Gore became one of just three active running backs in the 10,000-yard club. He is also just the second #proCane to do it; Edgerrin James ranks 10th all-time with 12,279 yards.

Devin Hester, Falcons: The Falcons promised to use Hester also as a WR this season, and so far they have fulfilled that promise. Hester caught 5-of-6 targets for 99 yards in the Falcons' Week 1 win over the Saints.

Seantrel Henderson, Bills: Henderson, who was drafted in seventh round of the year’s NFL Draft started his first NFL game in week 1 beating out 2nd round Bills draft pick Cyrus Kouandjo.

Greg Olsen: 8 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD
Allen Bailey: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL
Reggie Wayne: Back from injury: 9 catches, 98 yards
Vince Wilfork: Back from injury: 2 tackles

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Is Reggie Wayne back? It took one play to answer that question

DENVER — The Indianapolis Colts weren't able to finish the job Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but Reggie Wayne finished.

And that, in the end, was one of the primary objectives of the team's relentless and rehabbed receiver.

In his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury Oct. 20 against these same Denver Broncos, Wayne made up for lost time. He finished with nine catches for 98 yards.

But again, the important aspect was he finished.

"Just to finish the game, show my teammates that I was back out there,'' Wayne said after the Colts' 31-24 loss to Denver. "Like I've been saying, I don't have anything else to prove to anybody else.

"I just wanted to show my teammates I was ready to go in the foxhole with them, go back out there and go to battle. I wanted to finish the game and that's what I was able to do.''

Wayne dealt with pregame jitters, but started quickly. On the Colts' first offensive snap, quarterback Andrew Luck found a crossing Wayne for a 22-yard completion.

"It was good to have Reggie back,'' Luck said.

Added coach Chuck Pagano: "It's like the Reggie of old. We didn't have to monitor how many plays here or there.

"He just went out and played. It was great.''

Wayne, 35 and in his 14th season, continued to establish milestones. He's now had a catch in 191 games, setting a club record he had shared with Marvin Harrison. He had at least three receptions for the 72nd consecutive game, extending his own NFL record.

All that was missing was a suitable closing kick. With the Colts in furious comeback mode but facing a fourth-and-6 at the Denver 39 with 1:57 remaining, Wayne was unable to gather in a Luck pass.

Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby was credited with a defended pass on the play. It appeared Roby might have jostled Wayne before the football arrived, causing Wayne to slip.

"Yeah, let's just say I slipped,'' Wayne said with a wry smile and not interested in drawing a fine from the NFL for questioning an official's non-call. "I've gotta keep my feet. I (usually) catch that ball. That's something we work on every day.''

As stirring a return as Wayne enjoyed, he forced Colts fans to hold their collective breath midway through the third quarter. He went down awkwardly, twisting his right knee. Wayne trotted to the bench for a play, then returned.

Was he concerned?

"Yeah, man. (But) it held up,'' Wayne said. "It scared me more than anything. It kind of aggravated it a little bit but I was able to tough it out.''

Wayne noted he's not the most flexible player on the team.

"When your leg goes back like that and my heel touches my butt, that's going to hurt regardless good knee, bad knee, anything,'' he said. "It kind of woke the knee up a little bit.''

Wayne considered the season-opening loss a bittersweet moment. Being dropped into a 24-0 second-quarter hole by the defending AFC champions was discouraging.

The second half comeback, though, once again revealed the Colts' resilient nature.

"I know what we're capable of doing,'' he said. "I know what kind of team we have. As you can see, no one gave up. Everybody continued to fight.
"That's what we've always done.'

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Drafting Reggie Wayne could pay off late in the season

Time for another buy-low asset from the Indianapolis Colts. Ahmad Bradshaw was the first subject; now, Reggie Wayne.

Before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, Wayne was on pace for about 87 catches and 1,150 yards last year. Though the five-touchdown projected result would've been another disappointing total, the first two categories are ripe for point-per-reception utility.

Consider history: From 2009-2012, Wayne averaged the seventh most points per game (15.7) among wide receivers in PPR formats. He basically was continuing that excellence before hitting the sidelines.

In preseason action Saturday, Wayne had two catches taken back because of penalties. That plus the fact he was on the field for the first time in 10 months say he could show his vintage form sometime in October.

Don't overpay for a football player that turns 36 in November and is coming off a knee procedure. Wayne's current ADP of 33rd among non-PPR wideouts and 34th among PPR is a tad rich.

However, depending on how far he falls, those placements aren't outlandish. He's a borderline WR3 best drafted as a fourth.

Hakeem Nicks could steal a lot of Wayne's thunder early on. But if Wayne regains his stride, Nicks would more firmly inhabit the role of wideout No. 3 and have to compete with the tight ends, who remain a big factor for Andrew Luck.

If someone else takes Wayne and he tanks in the first half of the season, calling his frustrated owner would be a good idea. As his leg strength comes back, he could rack up receptions once again for one more useful fantasy stretch.

What this means for daily fantasy

At a $5,200 FantasyScore cost (10.4% of cap), Wayne is priced to play. Unfortunately, his knee probably won't be up to par yet, so he won't capitalize on the attractive Denver Broncos matchup. You're better off picking someone who's 100 percent.

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Reggie Wayne Returns To Game Action

INDIANAPOLIS – The anticipation began building about 90 minutes before kickoff when Reggie Wayne’s name did not appear on the Colts “Will Not Play” list.

Through pre-game warmups and player introductions, the building grew as the thousands began to pour into Lucas Oil Stadium.

And finally the crescendo came when No. 87 ran out with the first team offense to mark his return to the playing field, 10 months removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee.

“It was good to see some real live bullets flying,” Wayne said after the game, with the normal media hoard back around 87’s locker.

"This is what all that hard rehab work was about, to get back out there with my teammates."

Wayne’s return lasted seven snaps on Saturday night as the 35-year old receiver got word from Chuck Pagano on Friday that his debut would come against the Saints.

A pair of catches by Wayne were nullified due to penalties, but he certainly didn’t show any limitations in his 2014 game action debut.

Andrew Luck knew during offseason work that whenever Wayne got back on the field, No. 12 would be looking his way on that initial snap.

“I had a really good idea on Thursday night there was a chance of that,” Luck said of his first toss going to Wayne on Saturday night.

“He always has that great look in his eye when he’s on the football field. It’s very, reassuring might not be the right word, but it’s great to play with.”

The small sample size for Wayne on Saturday night provided a brief glimpse of what the Colts offense hopes to look like come September 7.

A play like Coby Fleener’s touchdown, with the tight end running free down the middle of the field, shows the type of attention defenses will have to pay towards Wayne and the other Colts receivers.

The impact of Wayne’s return was felt during pre-game, too.

The 65,565 fans inside of Lucas Oil Stadium weren’t the only ones rejoicing at the return of Wayne.

When Wayne was introduced last on Saturday, the defensive starters were waiting at midfield for their leader.

“It was good to see the old man back,” Colts defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said after the game.

“I had chills before waiting for them to call his name. To see him back, we ride off his energy and you know his energy is never down.”

In typical Wayne fashion, the Colts 14-year receiver ran towards the north end zone after being the final starter announced on Saturday.

Wayne thanked the fans at each corner of the end zone while they rang down with chants of “REG-GIE, REG-GIE.”

What has continued to drive Wayne during his ACL rehab is how much he valued being able to ring the bell for 189 consecutive starts.

To have the game he loves taken away from him, put into perspective what nights like Saturday mean to one the NFL’s most prolific receiver.

And to do it at home, made it all the better.

“I’ve always loved Indy,” Wayne said in thanking the fans.

“They’ve showed me nothing but respect, always treated me like this was home for me. I want to do everything I possibly can to show that respect back to them.”

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Sean Payton tried to recruit Colts' Wayne in H.S.

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne go way back. Well, sort of.

Wayne, a New Orleans-area native, was among the ones who got away when Payton was recruiting the area for the University of Illinois in his final year as a college coach in 1996.

Payton brought up that memory Tuesday when asked for his general impressions of Wayne throughout his stellar 13-year career and what he thinks of Wayne now trying to come back from a torn ACL at the age of 35.

It's possible that Wayne will make his preseason debut against the Saints on Saturday night, though that hasn't been decided yet.

"He's an extremely talented player," Payton said. "I know him a little bit uniquely because I was here in Louisiana recruiting high school players for the University of Illinois, C.J. and I."

That "C.J." refers to Curtis Johnson, the current Tulane head coach and former Saints receivers coach, who had a recruiting stranglehold on the New Orleans area back in those days. Johnson helped woo Wayne and safety Ed Reed, among others, to the University of Miami. Johnson also helped lure Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk to San Diego State, where Johnson and Payton first worked together.

"We spent a better part of a week going in and out of these schools," Payton continued. "I would say we got to about 30, 35 schools. Had I been just solo with a map, I probably would have gotten to 12. But Curtis would drive in, parking lot, back door, in a gymnasium, right to the coach, where normally you might go to the front desk and get a pass and go through all the correct steps. But that year, Reggie Wayne was coming out, that year Ed Reed was coming out. There was another good player coming out of St. Augustine High School, I think a defensive tackle, I can't think of his name. There were a handful of good players coming out. So I remember his recruitment, I remember hearing what I heard from Curtis and then over the years followed him.

"Look, he is very competitive. He's the type of player that could do that, that could recover from an injury like that. And he has had a great career."

I asked Payton if he ever beat out Johnson for a New Orleans-area prospect.

"Not while he was at Miami. No," said Payton, who remains close with Johnson and the Tulane program. "Every year there is great talent (in the New Orleans area). And one of the things he is doing so well at Tulane is identifying, recruiting, and those guys are winning their battles. It starts with the procurement of talent. He is very good at that."

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Reggie Wayne opens up about returning to the game

ANDERSON, Ind. - Reggie Wayne opened up to Eyewitness Sports about returning to the field this year after last year's injury to his ACL.

He said the biggest motivating factor to work through the injury was his son.

"Reggie Junior came up to me and he said, 'Daddy, so are you going to play football again? Is this it?' I told him, 'No, man. Dad's gonna be out there next season. Dad will be just like you've seen him since you've been born.' That alone was motivation because at the end of that, he said, 'Good, 'cuz I want to see you play.' So that was motivation for me to go out there with the team and play, just so my kids can see it. I didn't want the last thing for them to see was me being helped off the field."

13 WTHR Indianapolis

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No definite answer on when Reggie Wayne will play

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the biggest question marks still remaining with the Indianapolis Colts is: How will receiver Reggie Wayne look when he plays in a game?

The other question is: When will Wayne play in a game?

There’s no answer to either one of those questions yet.

Wayne has said a number of times during training camp that he wants the first tackle on his surgically repaired knee to be in a preseason game. With that said, you have to believe Wayne will play in Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints because the starters are expected to get extensive playing time in the first half.

“There’s a possibility,” coach Chuck Pagano said when asked if Wayne will play against the Saints. “We’re managing that thing and keeping a close eye on him. From a physical standpoint, make sure there’s not too much wear and tear on that knee early on and coming back and all those things. We’re going to monitor him this week and see how he goes. If things go according to plan, there’s a possibility there, but again, we’ll make sure he’s ready for action.”

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Colts should play Reggie Wayne during preseason

Reggie Wayne wants to be on the field in the preseason. He needs to be on the field in the preseason. If the Indianapolis Colts don't put him out there, they're making a mistake.

Wayne missed most of last season after his severe knee injury required surgery and months of rehabilitation. He's done the work, no question. He has looked good back at wide receiver in public training camp sessions at Anderson University, which ended on Wednesday.

Wayne has said all along he'd like to play in the preseason, if only for one game. The Colts play the New York Giants at 7 p.m. Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium, the New Orleans Saints at home on Aug. 23 and the Bengals in Cincinnati on Aug. 28.

“(We're) just kind of playing it by ear,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said on whether Wayne will play Saturday. “He looks really good out there, running around good. Obviously, we're keeping a close eye on him, watching his reps and things like that. We'll just play it by ear.”

Wayne seems itching to get on the field in a real game situation.

“I'm just following orders,” Wayne said. “As we always say, we're just here to serve. I'm just here to serve. Whenever they tell me it's time, I'll get ready. I'm going to do the same thing I have been doing, prepare like I am going to (play) and then once he gives me the bad news, I am going to sit it on down.”

If Wayne is back to full health, they should put him back in the rotation for the second and third games of the preseason. That will allow him to be comfortable with contact again, as well as work with the offense in game situations.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and the first-team offense are expected to play one quarter against the Giants, possibly less if they generate a couple of early scoring drives.

Typically, NFL teams play their starters into the third quarter in the third preseason game and that's been the Colts' routine in the first two seasons with Pagano in charge. If Wayne is only used in one preseason game, it should probably be the third. But if he can play in one, why not two?

The only benefit to holding Wayne out of preseason games would be if he needs more time to become fully healthy. That doesn't appear to be the case. He has run through every drill, taking days off only as determine by Pagano for veterans. During camp, Pagano believes in a two-on, one-off style of practicing for the veteran players to keep them fresh. Wayne has looked fresh.

The downside to holding Wayne out of the preseason entirely would be the fact he'd have to take his first hit in a regular-season game.

Now, that first hit will matter. Regardless of how confident a player is, nor how many years he has played, there remains uncertainty in testing the surgically repaired body.

The knee is so essential to Wayne's play, as he makes his living out of running crisp routes with sharp cuts and moves to find openings. He's not a speed demon. He's receiver-as-artist, painting the field canvas with precise strokes.

Wayne said he would prefer to have his first hit in the preseason.

“That's the mindset, but at the same time if the big dog tells me to sit it down, I am going to sit it down,” Wayne said. “Like I said, I am just here to serve. I am just a servant. I'm Semmi in 'Coming to America.' I'm just here to do my job and when it's time and the time comes, I am going to be ready, ready to perform the way I have been performing.”

Set aside the fact Wayne shows his age with his reference to a 1988 Eddie Murphy movie. He has been in the league long enough to know his own body.
Play Wayne. Let him work out the initial apprehension, presuming he has to have some, in the preseason. Then he'll be relaxed and ready to be his usual reliable self when it counts.

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Reggie Wayne exceeding expectations

The Indy Star's Stephen Holder says Reggie Wayne has exceeded his expectations in Wayne's return from an ACL tear.

Beat writer reports on Wayne have been glowing, even as the Colts limit his reps. Per Holder, the 35-year-old has "looked fresh and fast," and his "hands are as reliable as ever." If Wayne can keep this up, he should reemerge as the favorite to lead Indianapolis in catches. His ADP is in the middle seventh round.

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Chuck Pagano interviews Reggie Wayne

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano had some time to kill before it was his turn to address the media Tuesday morning.

So rather than sit back and wait until receiver Reggie Wayne finished talking, Pagano decided to join in the interview session.

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

Pagano: Have you forgot how to play the game, Reggie?
Wayne: I have not forgotten how to play. It’s been some months, been since October. I’m excited about this opportunity to be back out here with my teammates. After you have been playing since you were 7 years old, I don't think you can forget.

Pagano: Is it like riding a bike?
Wayne: I think it’s even easier than riding a bike. I have probably played football more than I have ridden a bike the last nine years of my life. It’s easier; it’s like waking up and brushing your teeth.

Pagano: When it is taken away from you, how much do you miss it?
Wayne: It puts everything into perspective; it really makes you think about going out there and treating it like it could be your last one. One thing it did, it made me understand and respect it even more. When you’re out there on a daily basis, you always think I am going to be alright, I am going to be here "X" amount of time. But then when it’s pulled from right under your feet, it’s humbling. Last year was rough for me, it really was. I took that time to get back right and at the same time it made me respect it, it made me understand it, it made me even hungrier to take each day that I’m out here practicing with my teammates. It made me want to be out there even more because you never know, so you have to treat it as such.

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Reggie Wayne looks like he wants to push it

ANDERSON, Ind. — Rolling through town to catch some Indianapolis Colts action, anxious to see just how good this team looks with some fairly lofty expectations this season.

Media access was this morning, so I didn't get to talk to players after practice Monday, but I'll do that tomorrow. In lieu of that, I thought I would pass on some general observations from what I saw at Anderson University.

The team was in shorts and shells — head coach Chuck Pagano is said to be limiting the full contact the team will have in camp — but there still was plenty to take in. Here goes:

Reggie Wayne is the most beloved Colt. More than Andre Luck even. Crazy, right? Fans cheered Wayne when he jogged toward them. They cheered when he ran away from them. Even catching a ball running at three-quarters speed in individual drills elicited applause.

Wayne is coming off an ACL injury, and he's not quite full go yet, although he was involved in plenty of team work Monday and looked good. I thought he geared up as the practice went on, starting cautiously when he was cutting, planting and pivoting — all the things you worry about post-ACL reconstruction — but looking smoother and more confident.

Wayne caught two notable passes in seven-on-seven work: one a tumbling sideline grab that he bounced up quickly from and another down the seam that would have been a touchdown, both of which (you guessed it) got the crowd amped. They love Reggie, and they are happy he appears to be on his way back nicely. Wayne plans to play in the preseason, and you can tell he wants to rev it up a little bit more. The Colts, meanwhile, appear to be holding him back a bit, wanting to be sure he doesn't press back into action too quickly.

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Reggie Wayne: ‘Nothing has set me back’

Despite yet another run to the playoffs last season, you could tell that the Indianapolis Colts missed having veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne in the fold on offense. Missing last season with a knee injury that required surgery was a tough break for one of the best veteran players in the NFL, but he’s back in 2014 to help lead the Colts on another playoff charge.

And in even better news, he’s feeling great out there on the field again.

“Like I’ve been saying, so far, so good,” Wayne said following Thursday morning’s walkthrough at Anderson University. “I haven’t had any problems, nothing out of the norm.

“I haven’t had any pain. Nothing has set me back.”

So far in camp, Wayne has been looking like his old self once again as he was pulling off amazing catches on balls from quarterback Andrew Luck. Even head coach Chuck Pagano seems pleased with the way his star has looked thus far.

“That’s the way it looked to me,” Pagano offered last week after watching Wayne go through his first full-squad work since having his knee repaired. “When you go back, you watch it live and then you go back and watch it on film. It’s really incredible.

“But again, it probably doesn’t shock anybody here. It certainly doesn’t shock me. We all know his mindset, his work ethic and his determination, and how bad he wanted to get back.”

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Reggie Wayne Recaps Week One Of Colts Camp

Reggie Wayne on his first week of Training Camp:

“I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do. I’ve run every route. There’s nothing that’s holding me back. Nothing that keeps me from doing whatever it is that they want me to do.”

Bowen’s Analysis: Wayne has looked very, very solid so far in camp. He’s taken his fair share of reps as the coaches keep him on a pitch count through the first week in Anderson. The red zone has been an area where Wayne has shown up on several occasions for Andrew Luckicon-article-link. One interesting thing to watch going forward will be if Wayne participates in the preseason games. Wayne says he would like to not have his first tackle be in a regular season game, but at the same time he looks at guys like Ballard and Thomas going down and quickly sees the big picture.

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Reggie Wayne “Looks Amazing” in Camp

The Indianapolis Colts lost star wide receiver Reggie Wayne to a torn ACL last season, and they were very nervous about how he would return this year. He has been a pleasant surprise in training camp, and according to reports “looks amazing” on the field. Wayne is going to be a vital piece for the Colts’ success this season, and it appears that he is 100% healthy and ready to be a difference maker once again.

Wayne played in just seven regular season games with the Colts last season before going down with injury, but did catch 38 passes for 503 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers alone show that he is more than capable of being a playmaker, and even at the age of 35 has some good football left in him. Hopefully he will be able to have complete confidence in his knee when he gets back out on the field against full speed competition, and will have the same impact that he has had on games throughout his entire career.

It will be very intriguing to see where the Colts end up using him this season, especially with how much competition there is at the wide receiver position this season. The Colts signed former New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks this offseason, and he is expected to make a big impact now that he has been given a fresh start. Indianapolis also has another up-and-coming star in T.Y. Hilton, who is looking to make an even bigger mark on the game this season.

No matter how Chuck Pagano decides to use Wayne this season, he is going to be on the field making plays for Andrew Luck once again. The Colts need his veteran leadership and dependability, and he is ready to get back out there and give them just that. He may end up getting some rest with all of the talented pieces that the Colts have put together, and that actually would end up being a very good thing for him in the long run.

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Reggie Wayne Healthy

The only sign of receiver Reggie Wayne having any kind of knee issue was the ice bag wrapped around his right knee as he caught passes from the Jugs machine after practice Sunday. Turns out the ice wrapped around Wayne’s knee was just a precaution. Besides that, as he hauled in passes during a red-zone drill in practice, Wayne looked like the player who terrorized defenses for many years prior to tearing his ACL last October. He caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Luck between two defenders and another one from Luck that was tipped by the defender. There’s still more than a month before the Sept. 7 opener against Denver, but Wayne is continuing to make steady progress toward regaining his form from the torn ACL.

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Reggie Wayne: "Today felt Pretty Doggone Good"

Nine months ago this past Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were closing out a massive Sunday Night Football win over the previously undefeated Denver Broncos in Peyton Manning's return to Indy.  In the fourth quarter of that game, star wide receiver Reggie Wayne went down to get a low pass and went to the ground clutching his knee.  And just like that, Reggie had torn his ACL and was lost for the season.

As he lay on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, realizing that his season was likely over, the crowd began the famous "Reggie!" chant, but Reggie was convinced to get back to hear that chant when he was scoring touchdowns, not laying on the field injured.

Today, after nine hard months of rehab, Reggie Wayne was back on the field for the Colts, and he couldn't be happier.  "This is what I work hard for," Reggie said.  "This is all the two and three-a-days and rehabbing and stuff like that. This is what it's about. Today felt pretty doggone good."  When he ran out on the practice field for the first time today, with his jersey tucked halfway up his stomach like normal and while strapping on his gloves, the fans watching practice today gave the star receiver a pretty nice ovation.  In response, Reggie turned toward the crowd and gave a fist pump.  And throughout the practice, Reggie got back to being Reggie.  He said that, other than being limited a bit and having to do what the coaches say, he "felt like the old Reggie."

He certainly looked like it, too.  The highlight of the day with Reggie came via a perfect pass from quarterback Andrew Luck, as Reggie was running down the left sideline with Darius Butler close behind, and Luck threw the ball perfectly over Butler's head and hands and right into Reggie's hands, perfectly in stride.  What was clear was that, even though missing half of last season, the timing between Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne was still there and that Reggie will be a big factor this year.  It was hard to tell exactly how effective Reggie will be, but there was really nothing I could tell when watching practice today that would suggest that Reggie had lost a step - other than, of course, the fact that he was limited, but he'll gradually get more playing time as camp goes on.

Reggie had talked back at minicamp about how he was going to bring his boxing gloves to camp in case Chuck Pagano wouldn't let him go to start training camp, and he said the same thing yesterday.  It sounds like Reggie thinks that his coach won round one of the imaginary fight.  "We want to stay the course, even if I don't agree to it. I give Coach Pagano the first round, he won this first round."  Reggie said that he did over half the practice and wanted to do the rest, but that Pagano told him to take it easy.  Reggie's eager to get back to a full go, but that'll come with time and it's the right thing to take it slow.  From what we did see from Reggie Wayne today, however, it's clear that he will be a factor and it was great to see him back.

When asked about whether any emotions came flooding back today when reflecting on the long road back, Reggie gave a perfect answer that is totally a Reggie Wayne answer: "No, I'll leave that for retirement. I'm good."

Luckily for the Colts, that retirement is probably still a few years away.  Reggie Wayne is back.

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Football Was Briefly Taken Away From Reggie Wayne, Now No. 87 Wants It Back

INDIANAPOLIS –For nearly a decade and a half, Reggie Wayneicon-article-link’s vacation in sunny Florida has ended near the end of July.

This signifies the start of a grind, with humid training camp practices awaiting a player that has called Indianapolis home since 2001.

Training camp days can drag and become draining with family members away, along with the regular season seemingly still too far away.

But that’s not the case for Wayne, especially as he enters his 14th NFL Training Camp at an age where nearly every NFL player has already hung up the cleats.

“I’m a little bit more hungrier now. I hear Coach Pagano talk about all the time having something taken away from you and there’s nothing you can do about it. It was taken away from me since October. So yeah, it will be different,” Wayne said on Wednesday upon reporting for duty to Anderson University.

“It kind of feels like I’m a rookie all over again. I’m just anxious to go out there and prove what I can do. It’ll be fun. I’m excited and hopefully you can see the Reggie of the rookie times.”

Ever since Wayne began giving updates on his ACL injury rehab, he has stated that he was well ahead of schedule.

He reassured that notion on Wednesday morning, after exiting a two-seater IndyCar for his entrance to training camp.

“I’ve been cleared, yes I have. I am ready to go,” Wayne said.

“So we’ll just see from that point on. Hopefully everything stays the course and I’ll be out there (Thursday).”

Wayne is a realist.

He knows that an initial training camp practice on July 24 pales in comparison to a Sunday night matchup in Denver on September 7.

Sure, he’s packed the boxing gloves to “duke it out” with Chuck Pagano trying to keep Wayne from rushing back too quickly, but the veteran wide receiver knows the head coach has the best interest of the Colts oldest skill player in mind.

“I have to be smart, listen to my body, not try to prove any points,” Wayne says.

“The main objective is to be out there for the first game. The one thing I do understand is (the Denver game is) a little bit something more serious I need to look at and just take it day by day.”

As Wayne enters training camp at the age of 35, he reiterates how difficult it was to stand, at times hopelessly, on the sidelines for the better half of the 2013 season.

It was a place Wayne wasn’t used to spending his game days.

A racecar entrance to Anderson is an indication from Wayne that he is ready to steal a phrase from Ricky Bobby and “go fast” again.

“I’m eager to get out there and pick up where I left off,” Wayne says. “We already know what’s at stake here. It’s time to punch in and go to work.

“Fourteen years later, it’s the same intensity. It’s the same objective, and that’s to come out here and get better as a team. Let’s try to hoist that Lombardi after the season is over.”

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Check Out How Reggie Wayne Arrived At Colts Camp

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Reggie Wayne cleared for practice

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne’s 2013 season ended early with an ACL injury. Wayne’s rehab has gone well and been ahead of scheduled and heading into training camp he said he has been cleared and is ready to go.


“I’m eager to get out and pick up where I left off,” Wayne said, via the team’s website.

“I’ve been cleared. I am ready to go… We will just see from that point on.”

Wayne also made a dramatic entrance to the Colts’ training camp, showing up in Indy Car, which was driven by Ed Carpenter, the Butler University product who has been the pole sitter at the last two Indy 500s.

Wayne said the big arrival had a special meaning to the team.

“It’s a sign for the Colts. We need to come out fast. We need to have a sense of urgency. We need to come out moving with some speed. This is one way of entering camp with the motto for the team,” Wayne said.

Plus it was just plain fun.

“I enjoyed every single bit of that,” Wayne. “I’m a guy that likes speed and this is one way to get that into you.”

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Reggie Wayne's return could spark maturing team

Colts almost literally hit the ground running after leaving the womb, so maybe it should come as little surprise that the Indianapolis Colts' rebirth as an NFL power has taken almost no time at all.

Heading into Year 3 P.M. - post-Manning - head coach Chuck Pagano, quarterback Andrew Luck and a roster mostly devoid of thirtysomethings have helped guide this franchise to 22 regular-season wins, two playoff berths and its first postseason triumph since Peyton Manning led a come-from-behind victory in the 2009 AFC Championship Game.

But the Colts will run their next derby with the welcome return of an old warhorse, wideout Reggie Wayne, whose absence clearly impacted the offense last year after he suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament Oct. 20.

Though Wayne will turn 36 in November, his coach can't stress his value to the program enough.

"When I got this job, Reggie wasn't under contract," Pagano told USA TODAY Sports, reflecting back on the 2-14 outfit he inherited after the 2011 season. "I asked Reggie to take a leap of faith because everybody was gone. This whole organization was blown up - rookie quarterback, rookie GM, rookie head coach. But he's so loyal to the (team) and to this community and this city."

Though he caught his last pass from Manning in 2010, Wayne has remained highly productive, averaging 72.3 receiving yards per game over the past three years, a figure that equates to 1,156 yards over a full season.

Perhaps more important, Wayne is the old soul of a young team, the mentor Luck and other up-and-comers lean on.

"He can still play. You know he's gonna get open, you know he's gonna make the catch," Pagano says of Wayne, whom he's known since their days together at the University of Miami (Fla.) two decades ago.

"And you know what he brings to the table as far as the locker room and your facility with the type of leader and type of man that he is. It's gonna be great to have him back in there."

Maybe not so great for opposing defenses.

Despite issues running the ball and safeguarding Luck - not to mention losing Wayne for half the year - the Colts scored nearly a field goal more per game in 2013 than they did in 2012.

Now there are new parts on offense, and Pagano says his defense is "better than ever. We're looking to wreak havoc. Going into Year 3, guys are really comfortable."

Then there's the expected progression by Luck, who's now one ring behind 2012 draftmate Russell Wilson.

"He's maturing as a leader and growing into that role," Pagano says of Luck, the No. 1 pick two years ago. "You can start to see that part of it coming out.
"We feel really great about where he is in his progress and look for him to lead us to a championship."

With the league's easiest schedule based on opponents' 2013 winning percentage (.430), expectations in Indianapolis are hitting a full gallop.

Saddle up.

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Reggie Wayne praised

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) can still play, get open and make a catch, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano said it will be great to have Wayne back (from injury) not only because of his on-field ability but because of the leadership he brings to the locker room.

Fantasy Tip: The boat has sailed on the prime of Wayne's career and the Colts wide receiver corps is stacked with WRs T.Y. Hilton, Hakeem Nicks, Da'Rick Rogers and rookie Donte Moncrief all in the mix. Wayne should be considered a WR4 or flex option in standard leagues.

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Reggie Wayne Remains On Track For Training Camp

Wayne has been running routes at the team's facility and his most recent checkup with doctors didn't show any fluid in his surgically-repaired knee, which Wayne says are signs he's ready to return from a torn ACL. "There's no reason why I shouldn’t be ready [for training camp] in July,” he told ESPN.

Wayne was cleared for football activities in late April, but hasn't practice with the team this spring as he'll play it safe until training camp. We'll get a better read on his health in training camp and see how he'll fit into the mix with fellow wideouts Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton.

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Reggie Wayne Ready To Go

Reggie Wayne was in full uniform and pads Thursday afternoon.

Unfortunately, this came well after the Indianapolis Colts were finished with the final day of mandatory minicamp, and Wayne was only in full regalia for a photo shoot inside the team's practice facility.

In time, though, he will be fully outfitted for the July 23 start of training camp in Anderson, at which time he will endeavor to answer the big question on everybody's minds: "Can a 35-year-old wide receiver come back from a full ACL tear and return to the same form he's shown through more than a decade of unbridled excellence?"

Look, we root for Wayne, one of the best players and best guys ever to come through Indianapolis. We root for him to come back like the old Wayne — not an old Wayne — running precise routes, taking over games, catching almost everything thrown his way.

If anybody can hold back the hands of time, it's Wayne.

But this is no sure deal.

Didn't we say the same thing about Marvin Harrison before a knee injury at roughly the same time in his career left him in a dramatically diminished state? Isn't 35 a little bit old, in football years, to be fighting back from major knee surgery?

"The bones and joints are a little older," Wayne said, comparing this ACL surgery with the ACL work he had done in 1998 while he was at the University of Miami. "You know that myth, they say you can tell when it's going to rain? It's true. So yeah, (rehabilitation) has been harder. In '98, I was a young buck. And I knew I had some time. I knew I had two more years, possibly a third because I never red-shirted.

"Now, I'm 35. I don't think I have any red-shirt eligibility left. Now I'm married, have kids, it's different all across the board … But for some strange reason, I seem to be hungrier than I was back then. I know I don't have that time now. I know what my age is. So I'm geeked to show everybody what I can do at age 35 (36 in November)."

The odds are against Wayne, and while the Colts won't acknowledge that, they've responded by adding at least two wide receivers, Hakeem Nicks and rookie Donte Moncrief, to the roster. At the very least, general manager Ryan Grigson and the Colts had to protect themselves. There's just no guarantee Wayne will be his old productive self when he returns. And they had to protect themselves in the future, knowing full well Wayne has less than a handful of good seasons in front of him.

So how does Colts coach Chuck Pagano know Wayne will return as his old self?”

"He just told me he will," Pagano said with a smile. "That's all I needed. Knowing him long enough (they were both at the University of Miami at the same time), that's all I needed to hear. I mean, you look at him, he looks phenomenal. You guys probably haven't seen him work out and run, but he looks great. Again, I'd be shocked if he wasn't ready. The only reason that he might not get reps early will be because of me if we decided to hold him back."
When that latter piece of information was shared with Wayne, he shook his head.

"I plan on bringing some extra boxing gloves for me and Chuck, so whenever he tells me I can't go, we're going to lace them up," he said. "I feel great. I can't wait until camp."

Wayne actually tore an ACL in high school but it was never diagnosed and he played two more years on it. Then he did it again at the University of Miami. This is roughly the same injury — a complete tear — but in the other knee. And that's a good thing, in a sense: Wayne has been through the rehabilitation process, knows what to expect. He said he's not going to need that feeling-out period when an athlete wonders if he can make the kind of violent cut necessary to elude a cornerback.

"Once you realize, 'Hey, it's probably the healthiest joint in your body,' you're good," he said. "I went through that in '98 when I wasn't sure, there was a little uncertainty, but I don't have that now."

So Wayne rehabs and watches and shares information with young receivers … and waits. In little more than a month's time, he will make his annual grand entrance into Anderson — how do you beat a helicopter arrival? — and will get back to work, insistent on beating back the ravages of time and injury.

"The most motivating thing for me now is my teammates," Wayne said. "I felt like I left them hanging last year a little bit. … Do I have to prove anything else? It's been 13 years. I have a resume. I can email it, mail it, whatever you want. I don't have anything to prove to anybody. I know what I can do; the guys in the room know what I can do. But I want to show the first-timers what I can do, the ones who call me 'Mr. Wayne' and say they played with me on Madden, I've got to show those guys.

"I'm excited, man. I feel great. There's no reason I shouldn't be ready in July."

If Wayne can make it back from this injury, at this stage of his career, it will be one heck of a second act.

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Colts reining in Reggie Wayne at minicamp

The Colts are 58 days into their offseason work, and two days of mandatory minicamp remain before they hit the pause button.

Players report July 23 to Anderson University for the start of training camp.

The closing objective: make the most of what time remains.

"Each week in the offseason you can be here there's a lot of importance to," quarterback Andrew Luck said following Tuesday afternoon's first minicamp session. "(There's) a limited amount of work time as a team in the offseason.

"It is minicamp. There's a little extra energy, vigor in there. We're looking forward to getting out and running full speed and getting better, getting a lot of plays in.''

The opening minicamp session unfolded under bright sunlight and with temperatures reaching the high-80s.

In team exercises, it was the starting offense vs. the starting defense. It was non-contact, but play appeared crisp and on a few occasions tempers flared.

"We want to finish this minicamp strong going into training camp come July 23," coach Chuck Pagano said.

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Colts have no concerns over status of Reggie Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Reggie Wayne watched anxiously as the Colts' offseason workouts rolled on without him Tuesday.

He's not permitted to be in the huddle and wasn't even allowed to be on the sideline as the Colts' mandatory three-day mini-camp opened. For a 35-year-old Pro Bowl receiver who has preached the importance of practice for more than a decade, it was pure agony.

Yes, Wayne would have preferred to be out on the field on this warm, blustery afternoon.

"Yeah, he was ready to run in there right at the end of that team drill. He looks great," coach Chuck Pagano said when asked about Wayne occasionally poking his head out from the team's indoor practice facility to catch a glimpse of practice. "Again, we're going to have to have plenty of security around him so he doesn't sneak out in pads come training camp time and try to get in there too soon."

Indianapolis has clamped down hard and with good reason given the league's spate of offseason injuries this year.

While Wayne has been cleared to do essentially everything on his own, including running, team officials have held him out of team work as he attempts to recover from a torn ACL in his right knee at an age most of the league's top receivers ponder retirement. There's no rush to make it happen now anyway because the Colts expect Wayne to be healthy during training camp.

But there's no doubt Wayne has made an impression on those around him.

He's continued his usually rigorous offseason routine in Miami's scorching heat in hopes of proving all the doubters wrong, and he's served as a mentor to teammates and coaches whenever he's been in town.

Last week, Indy's assistant coaches appeared ready to draft him onto the staff even though they know he'll be more valuable catching passes from Andrew Luck, and Wayne has been popping up in strange places around the team complex, too.

"He's like another coach, and he's not just in the wide receivers room," said tight end Dwayne Allen, who missed most of last season with a hip injury. "He's been in a lot of different rooms, showing you how to come back from an injury, how to run different routes and stuff like that."

It was originally thought Wayne would speak with reporters Tuesday, something he hasn't done since April. Instead, he left that task to his teammates and Pagano. Wayne is expected to talk either Wednesday or Thursday.

But he's only part of the story at this week's final offseason mini-camp.

Three of Indy's defensive starters sat out Tuesday — cornerback Vontae Davis, safety LaRon Landry and defensive end Cory Redding.

Pagano said Redding was excused to tend to deal with "family stuff," while Davis was out with a groin injury after signing a four-year, $39 million deal in March.

Landry, meanwhile, was undergoing team physicals after skipping all of Indy's previous offseason workouts following a season in which he did not meet his two-time Pro Bowl pedigree.

"He (Landry) works probably as hard as anybody, but we wish he was here more time," Pagano said. "But he's working, probably too hard."

The Colts also are trying to fill holes after losing defensive end Fili Moala and safety Corey Lynch with season-ending injuries last week.

They recently signed former Broncos safety Mike Adams, who hopes to compete with Delano Howell for a starting job, and brought in two more players for workouts Tuesday — defensive tackle Brandon McKinney and linebacker-safety Jonathan Sharpe. Sharpe was in camp with Seattle last season as an undrafted rookie. McKinney ended up on the Colts' injured reserve list for the second straight season and made the two-hour drive from Dayton, Ohio on Monday to work out for the coaches.

"My main thing is show them I can still move around, still cut on it," McKinney said, referring to his surgically-repaired left knee. "I'm just trying to prove I can come in and play the game."

Wayne doesn't have to prove he can play the game — just that he can be his old self.

And there's no shortage of motivation.

He needs 97 receptions and 1,015 yards to break Marvin Harrison's franchise records, he's in the final year of his contract and has made no secret of his desire to demonstrate he's no ordinary 35-year-old football player.

Luck expects nothing less.

"I leave that up to the doctors and coaches to decide how much we do, but it's always nice to have him in the building," Luck said. "He's a great presence. He's also a great learning tool for a lot of young guys. He's always willing to share his thoughts if you ask him. So it's just nice to have him around."

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Reggie Wayne sits on sidelines as Colts open mini-camp

An injured right knee has kept Colts receiver Reggie Wayne on the sideline the entire offseason.

Team doctors weren't even willing to clear him for Tuesday's opening practice in the team's mandatory three-day mini-camp.

But the Pro Bowler is still making an impact around the team complex.

Wayne is instructing younger players such as tight end Dwayne Allen on how to deal with injuries, run crisper routes and make progress when nobody else is paying attention. Allen says he's been showing up in other meeting rooms, not just with the quarterbacks and receivers. He's been so active that the Colts assistant coaches are ready to make Wayne one of their own.

By August, though, coach Chuck Pagano expects Wayne back where he belongs - catching passes.

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Reggie Wayne impacts Colts by just showing up

INDIANAPOLIS -- Wide receiver Reggie Wayne has not taken a snap during the Indianapolis Colts' OTA workouts this year. But the veteran is expected to be ready to go when the 2014 regular season starts in September.

Wayne suffered a torn ACL in last season's winicon1 over Denver and missed the remainder of the year. He underwent surgery in late October and has been cleared to return to the practice field.

But Indianapolis officials have decided to take it easy on the 35-year old for the time being. They aren't worried about his return to the starting lineup. But they are being cautious in an attempt to avoid any potential issues heading into training camp.

Still, just having Wayne around has been an educationalicon1 experience for all the other Colts receivers and tight ends. Seeing the work ethic that he has put in to return to action hasn't been lost on players like tight end Coby Fleener.

"He's an unbelievable player and I think that's due to his work ethic," Fleener said recently. "When it comes to him being injured, he wants to be on the field so bad. He's going to work as hard as possibly he can to get back.

"I think the amount of leadership and experience that Reggie brings to the table is something that is kind of understated. People don't talk enough about it. They talk about the amazing catches that he makes and the plays on the field. But really, he's like a coach on the field as well. Whether it's in practice, teaching the young guys or in the gamesicon1, helping me out with a call (that) I didn't hear. He's an amazing player and an amazing guy."

Quarterback Andrew Luck would agree.

"He's a freak," Luck admitted. "I'm not a doctor or a trainer, but I don't have any concerns about Reggie being ready to go when the season starts."

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Reggie Wayne has been cleared for football activity

Although Reggie Wayne (ACL) is not participating in OTAs, he has been cleared for football activities.

The Colts are taking it slow with Wayne, who is roughly seven months removed from his knee reconstruction. He's expected to take the field with his teammates when training camp opens on July 23. It's an aggressive timetable for a 35-year-old receiver that relies so heavily on sudden cuts and precision route-running, but people within the Colts are calling Wayne a "freak." We'd like to get a look at his progress in a preseason game before painting a rosy picture.

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Luck on Reggie Wayne: 'He's a freak'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne has already let it be known that he wants to prove the doubters who question whether he can return to form at age 35 following ACL surgery wrong.

Wayne isn't taking part in the team's organized team activities as expected, but quarterback Andrew Luck has seen enough of his go-to receiver to make him believe that Wayne will be just fine.

"His attitude is awesome," Luck said. "He's around, he's coaching, he's talking football. I feel like I know Reggie. He's going to be back better than ever doing things that the 35-plus years olds shouldn't be allowed to do on this earth. He's a freak."

The plan all along was to bring Wayne, who tore his ACL in Week 7 against Denver last season, back slowly. He was cleared for football activities in late April but he's not expected to take the field with his teammates until training camp. Players report for camp in Anderson, Indiana, on July 23.

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Reggie Wayne (ACL) running on the side at OTAs

Reggie Wayne is barely six months removed from ACL surgery, yet yesterday’s progress (running along the side) was another step in the right direction for the 14-year veteran trying to make a comeback in 2014.

Fantasy Impact:
Wayne tore his ACL in late October, so he'll be 10 months removed from the surgery by the time the season starts in September. We're not optimistic that the 35 year-old Wayne is going to look like his old self anytime soon. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.

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Reggie Wayne to miss minicamp?

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne is recovering from a torn ACL. While there have been no indications that Wayne has had any setbacks that does not necessarily mean that he will participate in the teams minicamp next month.

Wayne is expected to be ready to go and in the lineup come Week 1 so there should not be a lot of time spent dissecting this decision.

ESPN Colts blogger Mike Wells believes that the team could wait until training camp to work Wayne into the offense.

Wayne’s 2013 season was caught short after seven games. He caught 38 passes for 503 yards and two touchdowns. Given his 1006 career catches for 13,566 yards and 80 touchdowns it should only be a few minutes before Wayne gets back into the habit of the Colts offense.

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Few doubts about Reggie Wayne in locker room

INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, Reggie Wayne said he's using "naysayers" in the media as motivation during his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The 35-year-old wide receiver has 1,006 receptions for 13,566 yards and 80 touchdowns over 13 professional seasons. He's a six-time Pro Bowl selection and one day might have a spot in the Hall of Fame.

If there are outside doubts about whether he can return to that form because of his age and the severity of his injury, few are shared inside the Indianapolis Colts' locker room.

"I think there are exceptions to every rule," third-year quarterback Andrew Luck said. "I think Reggie Wayne is an exception to a lot of rules. We know he's going to come back and produce at a very high level, and we're all very excited about it."

Former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was signed to a one-year deal in part to provide insurance against another setback for Wayne. But his name can be added to the list of those predicting a full comeback for the veteran receiver.

"He's working while we're working," Nicks said. "He's always still one of the first ones here. So I think, from that aspect, he's not losing anything. It's just a matter of when he can get back on the field and pick up where he left off at."

Third-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton became a star in Wayne's absence last season. He caught 82 passes for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season, then set franchise records with 13 recepetions and 224 yards in the playoff victory against Kansas City.

A healthy return by Wayne and the addition of Nicks could cut into his production, but Hilton is excited about the possibilities.

"We're a team," he said. "So when one guy is having fun, then we all have fun. As long as we're winning and doing the right things, we should be good."

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Frank Gore, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Vince Wilfork named to CBS Sports' Under-25 vs. Over-30 teams

This year's prolonged stretch between the end of the 2013 season and the 2014 NFL Draft has left media outlets with a little more room to get creative with ideas in trying to fill the time until actual football happens again.

One of the main strategies in this endeavor is to put out a series of NFL All-Something teams. In an original wrinkle, CBS Sports took this a step further by having two of their football writers come up with an All-Under-25 team and an All-Over-30 team and then comparing them side-by-side with the goal of seeing who could come up with the better roster.

For the matchup, CBS Sports enlisted columnist Pete Prisco to come up with an Under-25 team to go up against columnist Pat Kirwan's Over-30 team.
As expected, both writers think their team is superior. Regardless, proCanes were represented on the Over-30 team with six. Zero proCanes made the under-25 team which speaks to the State of The Hurricanes teams the last few years.

Here's where they landed:
Over-30 Team, Pat Kirwan

Running back: The claim is never let a 30 year old in your backfield. Well, think again. My top choices are Frank Gore, DeAngelo Williams, Fred Jackson and Darren Sproles. I'll start Frank Gore but have Sproles ready for third down.

Wide receiver: I found 10 receivers I would like on the ol' boys team; Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Roddy White, Wes Welker and Steve Smith. I can't have them all but I'll take Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall with Welker in the slot.
Starters: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (30) and Brandon Marshall, Bears (30)
Reserves: Wes Welker (32), Andre Johnson (32), Vincent Jackson (31)

Defensive tackles: Good luck running the ball against Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork with 700 lbs. of beef inside. When they need a rest or its time to rush the passer I have to decide between Kyle Williams, Justin Tuck and Darnell Dockett. Those three had 26 sacks between them last year.
Starters: Haloti Ngata, Ravens (30) and Vince Wilfork, Patriots (32)

Safeties: Guys who play safety for 10 years may lose a step but they can read a quarterbackand get him to do things a young safety hasn't even though of yet. My starters for the clash of the young and old will be Troy Polamalu and Antrel Rolle. If I want to go "big nickel" and bring an extra safety, Dashon Goldson and LaRon Landry are available.
Starters: Antrel Rolle, Giants (31) and Troy Polamalu, Steelers (32)

Special teams: Stephen Gostkowski just turned 30 and he was five for six on 50+ attempts but I could always call up Vinateri or any number of the kickers. Jon Ryan, punter for the Seahawks, only allowed 21 returns for a total of 82 yards the whole season and 28 punts inside the 20. Devin Hester can handle the returns with his 13 for touchdowns over his career.
Starters: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (30), Jon Ryan, Seahawks (32), Devin Hester, Falcons (31)

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Reggie Wayne to naysayers: 'You guys motivate me'

On the same day Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck called Reggie Wayne a "freak in terms of health and what he can do at his age," the veteran receiver promised his surgically rebuilt knee wouldn't hold him back in 2014.

"You can believe I'm that dog that keeps jumping over the fence," Wayne told reporters Friday at a charity event, per The Indianapolis Star.

"You guys say that I can't do it. I'm 35. I'm over the hill. No way I can come back the same," said the 13-year veteran. "I wasn't a big newspaper reader, but I've become one. Next time I read it, maybe you'll be saying I've found the fountain of youth."

Wayne spoke repeatedly of his "naysayers," telling the group: "It's you guys. You guys motivate me."

Wayne also has his believers, including Luck, who knows firsthand what losing the Pro Bowl wideout in October meant for Indy's passing game. With Wayne back in the mix alongside T.Y. Hilton and the newly signed Hakeem Nicks, the Colts are well-equipped to assault teams through the air.

It's not just the starting wave. Wayne's absence also led to increased snaps for LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and the intriguing Da'Rick Rogers. The Colts are deep at the position, not to mention Indy's pair of pass-catching tight ends in Coby Fleener and the returning Dwayne Allen.

Add it all up, and this passing game has the chance to make some serious noise in the AFC.

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Reggie Wayne Back In Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday marks the sixth-month “anniversary” of Reggie Wayneicon-article-link limping off the Lucas Oil Stadium turf with a torn ACL.

It’s not an anniversary any NFL player hopes to have but Wayne’s approach to a strenuous offseason is what you would expect from a six-time Pro Bowler entering his 14th NFL season.

On Friday night, Wayne hosted a charity event to benefit the American Cancer Society and he shared his thoughts on his rehab and the 2014 season with OTAs beginning on Monday.

On if the rehab process is “easier” after going through it during his sophomore year at Miami:
“I don’t think it ever gets easy. I really believe that going through it before, it gives you perspective on what’s next. People that really never had that particular surgery don’t know what to look forward to or what’s next. I kind of already had my foot in the door. But it never gets easy. It’s always tough. Everybody knows the first three weeks is tough then you are going to plateau a little bit. Then you are going to go down and you’ve got to find a way to get yourself back up. It’s been challenging but at the same time I’ve taken it in stride.”

On what motivates him to return to the playing field:
“They say whatever you’re doing you need to find something that motivates you. I could easily say my kids, my family, my boys. When I told them I was done for the year, I could see their shoulders just sink. I could easily say that’s my motivation but that’s understood. You look outside the box. You guys (the media) are the ones that say I can’t do it. ‘You’re 35. You’re over the hill. No way I can comeback the same.’ I wasn’t a big newspaper reader but I’ve become one. Hopefully I can get you guys to kind of sing another tune and next time I read it, you can say I finally found my youth.”

On the key to having a successful rehab process:
“I think being disciplined is the main thing. You are going to have them days when you really don’t want to get out of bed and rehab but you have to be disciplined to go out there and do it. I really look at is as life. My definition of life is what happens when you expect something else. You’ve got to deal with it. I just get back and if I want to continue to play football then I’ve got to go out and grind. If I want to prove some naysayers wrong, I’ve got to get out and grind. I do understand that’s part of it. I’m excited. I feel great and hopefully they let me loose a little bit. I know they are going to hold me down a little bit, which is probably the right thing to do. But they can believe I’m that dog that keeps jumping over the fence. Hopefully they can contain me.”

On his thoughts on the 2014 Colts:
“I feel great. I’m excited. I’m excited about the team we are building. I feel like we are going in the right direction so hopefully the new additions we’ve added, get them on the same program, get everybody just going upward. We know that we are close but we still have a long way to go. Hopefully we can use this offseason to get better and better and go from there.”

On what OTAs mean to him:
“I really believe that this is the time where teams take that next step. If you take this time here and take it for granted, you take a down step. I really feel the early part of the offseason is where you get better and hopefully everybody has that same mindset and can take advantage of it.”

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Reggie Wayne says he is “way ahead of schedule” on return from torn ACL

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne says he expects to be cleared for football activities on April 25th after tearing his ACL last October, according to Chris Wesseling of

Wayne told Indianapolis’ 1260 WNDE that he “felt great” and that his recovery was “way ahead of schedule.” The longtime Colts receiver also said he was looking forward to playing with the team’s newest offensive weapon, Hakeem Nicks.

“I’m a fan of (Nicks). We can combine all the winning he’s done and we’ve done and come out with a nice mixture,” Wayne said. “He’s a big target, great skills, big hands … I really don’t think there are a lot of guys that can cover him.”

The Colts will look to have one of the nation’s most potent passing attacks next season with Nicks and a healthy Wayne joining T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener, who combined for 134 catches and 9 touchdowns in 2013.

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Luck: Having Reggie Wayne back will be ‘awesome’

The one pass Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck wished he had back last season didn’t necessarily result in an interception. It might have just been a ball that he threw behind a wide open Reggie Wayne against the Denver Broncos. Wayne turned to make a play on the ball and ended up tearing his ACL. recently released parts of an interview Luck had with Rich Gannon on Sirius XM NFL Blitz where he talked about the impact Wayne’s loss had on the team.

“It was tough with Reg out.  Obviously he’s (had) so much production and third downs and red zones and everything,” said Luck.  “It was a great opportunity for other guys to step up, for myself to get better as a quarterback.  Having him back is going to be awesome.”

While Wayne is healing from injury, Luck said he will be working on his footwork which should help with his accuracy.

“I think footwork, just making sure my feet are right,” said Luck.  “Pep Hamilton’s big on footwork.  Clyde Christensen, the quarterback coach, is big on getting your feet in the right place. I think that’s where all the throws start – making sure your body is in the right position.  It gives you a fighting chance.”

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Reggie Wayne (knee) expected to be ready for camp

Colts GM Ryan Grigson said Reggie Wayne (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

"From all the reports that I’ve been getting from our trainers and from the doctors in the meetings we’ve had, everyone’s going in the right direction. We’re optimistic about everyone," Grigson said. That includes Dwayne Allen (groin), Vick Ballard (knee), and LG Donald Thomas (quad). Wayne began straight-line running last month and is about four months removed from right ACL surgery.

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Reggie Wayne Eager to Re-Join Young Receivers

INDIANAPOLIS— As the Colts ran out of the southwest tunnel at Lucas Oil Stadium during the second half of the 2013 season, something was missing.

The chants of “Reggie, Reggie Reggie,” were faint from the north end zone.

Wayne wasn’t running to his customary end zone to acknowledge the fans reciting his name.

Instead, Wayne would head straight for the Colts sideline before positioning himself next to head coach Chuck Pagano for the National Anthem.

Following the anthem, a street-clothed Wayne would offer a final “good luck” to Pagano before watching a young Colts receivers group try and replace No. 87’s elite numbers.

Now as Wayne looks back on the 2013 campaign, he could not be prouder of what he witnessed from his position group.

“You saw that whole (wide receivers) room grow,” Wayne said on his radio show last week.

“It was good for them to see that they could go out there and play at this level, at a high level. Those guys really did a great job. I’m proud of them. They had some nicks and bruises that they played through all year.”

Wayne watched T.Y. Hilton re-write the record books for Colts receivers after two seasons.

Hilton caught 82 passes for 1,083 yards in 2013. His 10 career 100-yard receiving games are the second most after a player’s first two NFL seasons since 1970.

“T.Y. Hilton is a young player but he’s a young player that understands what it means to be a pro,” Wayne said.

“I was actually sitting down with him (last week) and we looked at the season and I told him, ‘I’m proud of you, man. You put us on your shoulders and you did your best.’ At the end of the day, that’s all that you can ask for, ask for your teammates to lay it on the line and give you everything they can give you.”

Wayne was also impressed by what he saw from LaVon Brazill, who has his locker right next to No. 87 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Brazill had six catches for 127 yards in the playoffs, including the Colts two touchdowns in the Divisional Round loss to the Patriots.

“Being in a big game of that magnitude and being able to score two touchdowns against a good New England…I think if Brazill can just bottle that all up and just continue to save it and work on it, and work on it, then I think next year will be a breakout year for him,” Wayne said

Come training camp, Wayne is hoping to be back out there with the likes of Hilton and Brazill leading the receivers through positional drills at Anderson University.

Chuck Pagano says “you can’t put a price” on what Wayne meant to the Colts young receivers this past year.

Hilton has spoken highly of Wayne’s guidance and the pupil earns his own praise from No. 87.

“He’s going to be very good and the only thing that you can tell (Hilton) is to keep it up, get better, never stay the same and he’s one of those guys that I know will work hard each offseason, and go out there and want to be better the next year.”

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Reggie Wayne is 'ahead of schedule'

It’s an anniversary that Reggie Wayne doesn’t want to be celebrating but he knows brighter days are ahead. A week from Saturday will mark three months since Wayne had surgery for his torn ACL.

Wayne is looking forward to Jan. 25, as it will be the next phase in his rehab process. “I’m going to do straight ahead running (then),” Wayne said on his weekly radio show on WNDE.

“I’m looking forward to doing that. I’ve been walking quite often lately. I get to run on a treadmill and that’s basically it.” Through the early phases of Wayne’s rehab, the 13-year veteran says that he’s “ahead of schedule”.

Fantasy Impact:
It's hard to get excited about a 35 year-old WR coming off of an ACL tear, but Wayne is a pro and could return to a solid possession role in the Indianapolis offense. He's entering the final year of his contract, which means it will likely be his last year with the Colts.

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Grigson: Reggie Wayne “doing great” in recovery from ACL injury

Reggie Wayne is three months removed from the ACL tear that ended his 2013 season.

Wayne went down in the Colts 39-33 victory over the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20 and was placed on injured reserve.

Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson joined Alex Marvez and Vic Carucci on Sirius XM NFL Radio and discussed Wayne’s recovery on Tuesday night.

“He’s doing great,” Grigson said. “The first thing about Reggie was the guy refused to use crutches. He was at the (Houston) Texans game (two weeks after the injury), flew from Miami, Mr. Irsay took care of him and flew him on the plane and everything and got him there and you know the guy refused to use crutches. That’s the kind of tenacity and mindset he has in terms of getting well and he will not take a day off. He doesn’t stop grinding.”

Wayne is 35 years old and coming off a major knee injury. However, Wayne said he believes he’ll be better than he was before the injury. The player Wayne was before the injury was stellar. Wayne posted eight 1,000-yard seasons in nine years before going down in Week 7.

Grigson says he believes Wayne is using the doubt that he can return to the same level as motivation in his recovery.

“I think he loves, right now, that people might be doubting him and his age and things like that,” Grigson said. “I think he uses that to create a chip on his shoulder, which I think is great because the first thing I thought of when it happened was I looked up how many years Jerry Rice played after he got hurt and I believe it was actually eight more seasons. So I texted him that and he’s got a long way to go before he’s going to hang it up because I feel if anybody is going to be ready for training camp and ready to roll it’s going to be Reggie Wayne.”


Ballard uses Reggie Wayne as motivation in rehab

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lost in Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne's road to recovery from his torn ACL stands the 5-foot-10 running back with his locker right next to Wayne's. And just like the future Hall of Fame receiver, Vick Ballard is trying to regain his form from a torn ACL.

Ballard didn't need any extra motivation once his recovery started, but watching the 35-year-old Wayne grinding it out on a daily basis in his rehabilitation pushes him even harder.

"Reggie, he comes here and stays all day, gets two or three rounds of rehab in," said Ballard, who is 12 years younger than Wayne. "Once I saw him do it, I was like, 'Hell, why can't I do it, too?' When I leave here, I go home and sit on the couch, so it definitely changed my perspective on it."

Ballard, who rushed for 814 yards during his rookie season in 2012, tore his ACL while taking part in a running back's drill in practice just days before their game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.

"It was very tough, especially in the big games and the big victories and stuff like that," Ballard said about missing the season. "I know I'm still part of the team, but I wanted to be sore on Monday mornings and stay late on Wednesdays, stuff like that. God had a different plan for me, so I'm just playing the cards I was dealt."

Ballard said he expects to be ready for the start of training camp in late July. He'll have an opportunity to push Trent Richardson -- and Donald Brown if he re-signs -- for snaps because nobody pulled away from the pack this season to be the clear starter next season.

"I think we had like four running backs on IR," Ballard said. "It'll be interesting to see how they handle it. But I really don't try to think about things like that. I was telling my mom the other day, she asked me what I thought, and I was like the only thing I can do is worry about my knee and let everything else handle itself."

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Reggie Wayne to take next step in rehab

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne is on the verge of taking the next step in his rehabilitation.

Wayne, out for the final 10 games of the season with a torn ACL, will start doing straight ahead running the week of January 25. He gave the update on his weekly radio show on WNDE 1260-AM in Indianapolis.

“Feel very good,” Wayne said on his show. “Ahead of schedule and that’s all I can ask for ... I’ve been walking quite often. That’s basically the next phase, I get to run on the treadmill.”

Wayne knows people doubt his ability to recover from ACL surgery. The 35-year-old Wayne used to let those comments fuel him, but not anymore. He doesn’t need the extra motivation.

“At one point in time in my career it would have really upset me but I’ve been hearing stuff like that so much whether I’m able to do it, can I come back from it,” Wayne said on WNDE. “I’m to the point I don’t really need that stuff to fuel me. I’m already self-motivated.”

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When does Reggie Wayne Expect to Start Running Again?

INDIANAPOLIS— It’s an anniversary that Reggie Wayneicon-article-link doesn’t want to be celebrating but he knows brighter days are ahead.

A week from Saturday will mark three months since Wayne had surgery for his torn ACL.

Wayne is looking forward to Jan. 25, as it will be the next phase in his rehab process.

“I’m going to do straight ahead running (then),” Wayne said on his weekly radio show on WNDE.

“I’m looking forward to doing that. I’ve been walking quite often lately. I get to run on a treadmill and that’s basically it.”

Through the early phases of Wayne’s rehab, the 13-year veteran says that he’s “ahead of schedule”.

Head coach Chuck Pagano has echoed the same sentiments.

In the day following Wayne’s season-ending injury, Pagano addressed the media in saying there was no doubt in his mind that No. 87 would return to his old form.

On Tuesday, Wayne recalled his own feelings when trainers surrounded around him early in the fourth quarter of the Colts Oct. 20 win over Denver

“There was not a breath, anything, in my mind that said this is it,” Wayne said of his feelings when he went down.

“I feel like I still have something left to offer. I just felt like this was maybe an opportunity for my body to heal, just a weird way of doing it. In no way did I feel like this was my last hurrah."

As the extremely early preseason projections for 2014 begin to hit national websites, the common theme around the Colts receivers is “Will Reggie Wayne return to 100 percent?”

A younger Wayne would have been fuming while reading such statements but at the age of 35, he has bigger reasons to prove people wrong.

“I’m already self motivated. I have my family, my kids, who I just want to really show them that whenever adversity hits, if you put hard work into it, things will get back to the way it used to be, or things can get better,” he said.

Wayne is entering his 14th NFL offseason and one unlike any other he has had to encounter.

The Colts training room has been a frequent home for Wayne the past few months.

In order for Wayne to return to the form that puts up him in the discussion for Canton, it’s going to a busier than normal offseason.

“I’m all about rehab,” Wayne said about the upcoming months.

“It’s offseason for a lot of guys but this might be the first time in my career that I really don’t have an offseason.”

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Reggie Wayne: I’m confident I’ll return “better than I was”

Colts wide receiver isn’t sure when he’ll resume football activities after tearing the ACL in his right knee in October, but he’s sure he’ll be back on the field for the 2014 season.

Wayne says that his knee feels “great” and that rehab is “so far, so good,” which has left him with an optimistic view about how things will go once he is back on the field.

“I can tell you that Reggie Wayne, as I’m speaking in the third person, has never lacked confidence,” Wayne said, via the Indianapolis Star. “I’m very, very, very confident I will come back better than I was. One thing about this time: It was an opportunity for my body to heal up a little bit so hopefully I stole a year. We’ll go from there.”

Wayne turns 36 in November, which makes it pretty unlikely that he’s going to reach new heights when he returns from a serious knee injury. With T.Y. Hilton blossoming in Wayne’s absence this season, though, that shouldn’t be a problem for the Colts. Hilton can be the big hitter while Wayne moves into a role that calls for more reliability than explosiveness to an offense that needed such a receiver when Wayne was lost for the season.

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Reggie Wayne confident he'll return

Reggie Wayne tackled the question at issue as directly as he would have run a go-route.

"Knee is great. Knee is so far, so good. It's moving forward from there," the Indianapolis Colts six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver said Monday while he and his teammates cleaned out their lockers and moved into the offseason.

Wayne tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the fourth quarter of an Oct. 20 victory over the Denver Broncos. He was placed on the injured reserve list and underwent reconstructive surgery five days later.

He declined Monday to speculate on when he will resume full football activities, but he made it clear he expects to play next season and play at, and even above, the level that has made him a 1,000-yard receiver eight of the past 10 seasons.

"I can tell you that Reggie Wayne, as I'm speaking in the third person, has never lacked confidence," he said. "I'm very, very, very confident I will come back better than I was.

"One thing about this time: It was an opportunity for my body to heal up a little bit so hopefully I stole a year. We'll go from there."

Wayne, 35, has played 196 games over 13 NFL seasons. He has made the best of his forced rest, but he has not taken the injury lying down.

"He beats the trainers here," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "I hear it all the time, that he beats those guys into the training room. He's way ahead of schedule in the rehabbing."

Wayne's season didn't end when his knee folded under him Oct. 20 because the Colts season didn't end.

"He told us: 'I'm going to be around. I'm going to be doing my rehab. I'm still going to help you out,' " second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton said.

Training room treatment and work in the weight room aside, Wayne has been a constant in coordinator Pep Hamilton's sessions with the offense and in the receivers meeting room, mentoring, tutoring and helping receivers coach Charlie Williams prepare the young receivers tasked with filling the gaping hole left by Wayne's absence.

Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and Da'Rick Rogers all made progress, some of it remarkable.

Through it all, Wayne maintained his well-established spot in the back of the receivers room, where Hilton sits up front, eager and attentive, if not always in full grasp of the subject.

"Whenever I've got a question, I just look back," said Hilton, who caught 82 passes for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season and 17 more for 327 yards and two touchdowns in two playoff games. "He knows I've got a question. We've kind of got that thing going."

Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has been with four teams through 16 NFL seasons but he has seen few players accorded the respect Wayne quietly commands.

"Coach Pagano, he'll give the team a talk, and he's like, 'Reggie, you got anything?,' " Hasselbeck related. "Or Pep, when Reggie wasn't playing, he was traveling with us to games, and Pep would say, 'Hey, I've asked Reggie to speak tonight, to say a few words.'

"That's happened maybe three times. Rarely do you see someone have that much respect inside a locker room, in the building, really."

Wayne noticed.

"It humbles you. It really does," Wayne said. "A lot of stuff in life, just period, you take for granted but this was a time for me to sit back and appreciate. I was (placed) in a certain role or a different role than I'm used to but it was cool, man, it was fun.

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to. We know we've got a lot of work to do and hopefully next year will be a different outcome."

Wayne ranks eighth in NFL history with 1,006 receptions and 11th with 13,566 receiving yards. He is under contract through next season.

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Reggie Wayne: 'I will come back better than I was'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne was around on a regular basis.

Team meetings, constantly talking with offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, in practices, joking with teammates in the locker room, on the sideline during games and even walking around the field with them during warm ups.

The only place you couldn't find the veteran receiver was on the field in uniform running routes for quarterback Andrew Luck.

But Wayne believes he'll be back out there next season. No, he's confident he'll be back playing next season after a torn ACL limited him to only seven games this season.

"I can tell you that Reggie Wayne, as I'm speaking in the third person, has never lacked confidence," Wayne said. "I'm very, very, very confident I will come back better than I was.

"One thing about this time: It was an opportunity for my body to heal up a little bit so hopefully I stole a year. We'll go from there."

Wayne -- and coach Chuck Pagano -- said from the start that the 35-year-old receiver would prove any doubters wrong who don’t believe he can return from the knee injury.

That’s why Wayne is so committed to his rehabilitation.

"He beats the trainers here," Pagano said. "I hear it all the time that he beats those guys into the training room. He's way ahead of schedule in the rehabbing."

Wayne did not give a timetable on when he’ll return to doing full football activities. He said the “knee is great. Knee is so far, so good. It’s moving forward from there.”

Wayne ranks eighth in NFL history with 1,006 receptions and 11th with 13,566 receiving yards. He traded in the catches, yards and touchdowns this season for being a hands-on mentor for the young receiving group, led by T.Y. Hilton, who stepped up to be Luck’s primary target in Wayne’s absence.

"It humbles you. It really does," Wayne said. "A lot of stuff in life, just period, you take for granted but this was a time for me to sit back and appreciate. I was [placed] in a certain role or a different role than I'm used to but it was cool, man, it was fun.

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to. We know we've got a lot of work to do and hopefully next year will be a different outcome."

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With mentoring from injured Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton brings a youthful energy

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts had just finished one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, and the young man who capped it off stood in the corner of their locker room, with a neon green "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" backpack slung over his shoulders.

"I knew I was going to need a Ninja Turtle effort today, so I brought my Ninja Turtle bag," T.Y. Hilton said earnestly, with nary a touch of irony.

Hilton, the Colts’ second-year wide receiver, brings a different backpack to every game, and attaches personal meaning to each one. For instance, when he brought his Superman bag, it signified that "somebody gave Superman his cape," he said.

"It depends on the mood I’m in," Hilton said. "That’s what type of super hero I put on my back."

Hilton, 24, has delivered youthful energy and wonderment to an offense that required him to produce more after superstar Reggie Wayne, the 35-year-old veteran receiver and Hilton’s mentor, tore his right knee’s anterior cruciate ligament in Week 7.

Hilton had the finest game of his career in last Saturday’s AFC wild-card victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, who led 38-10 with 13:39 left in the third quarter. The Colts stormed back for a 45-44 victory — tied for the second-largest comeback in NFL history, and the biggest in a non-overtime game.

Hilton caught 13 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns, including the 64-yarder that put the Colts up for good with 4:21 remaining in the game.

The duo of Hilton and second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is peaking as the Colts prepare for tomorrow’s divisional game at New England, which ranked 18th this season in passing yards allowed per game, but fourth in lowest completion percentage surrendered.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano dubbed Hilton "a game-wrecker," and it’s hard to dismiss that as hyperbole after Hilton’s past two games. In the regular-season finale against Jacksonville, Hilton had a career-best 155 receiving yards. It was his fifth 100-yard game this season, following five last season, when he did not start as a rookie.

Hilton, a third-round draft pick from Florida International, arrived in Indianapolis and became teammates with Wayne, who ranks eighth in NFL history in catches, 11th in receiving yards and helped the Colts win their first Super Bowl in 36 years, after the 2006 season. Hilton grew up in Miami. Thirteen miles south of Hilton’s high school, Wayne starred at the University of Miami from 1997-2000.

Hilton turned 8 years old during Wayne’s freshman year with the Hurricanes.

"I kind of was nervous at first," Hilton said of meeting Wayne. "You know, I’m in a meeting room with Reggie Wayne. After that, whenever I got a chance, I would pick his brain. Whatever I could ask him, I made sure I asked him."

From defensive tendencies to route-running techniques, Hilton sought Wayne’s advice. They developed "a big brother-little brother relationship," said receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, in his first season with the Colts.

Hilton is still very much a kid, carrying not only those backpacks, but also the name from his childhood. Hilton’s given name is Eugene, which could not sound more adult. But his parents, Tyrone and Cora, long ago nicknamed him Little T.Y., after his dad. It stuck.

Playing in Wayne’s shadow last season, Hilton had 50 catches for 861 yards, second on the team behind Wayne. Hilton ranked first with seven touchdown catches. Before Wayne’s injury this season, Hilton averaged 58 receiving yards per game. Since, he has averaged 89. In the regular season, he led the Colts in catches (82), yards (1,083) and touchdown catches (five). All the while, Heyward-Bey noticed some of Wayne’s freelancing style rubbing off on Hilton.

"T.Y. just knows how to get open," Heyward-Bey said. "That’s what Reggie does. So many guys are so by the book. They’re going to run (the route) just the same way they put it up on the diagram. But that’s not how football’s going to be. There’s going to be people in the way. (Wayne and Hilton) are really good at just knowing how to get open and catching the ball."

A receiver "can earn that" right to run a route differently than planned, said Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Wayne has long since earned it. With each impact game, Hilton is earning it, too.

"I’m always freelancing," Hilton said. "You can’t be too detailed in your routes, because defenders watch film and they know how you do this or do that."

Hilton will sometimes "give you the mailbox signal," Hasselbeck said, quickly lifting his arm to form an L, in the manner of an up-turned mailbox flag, or a receiver waving to a quarterback that he is open.

"It means, like: ‘I’m gone. Forget whatever the play was. I’m gone,’ " Hasselbeck said.

However Hilton gets open, the Colts desperately needed him to do it after Wayne’s injury — a sight Hilton described as "painful." But even as Wayne went on injured reserved, he assured the Colts’ other receivers that "I’m going to be around, and I’m still going to be able to help you out," Hilton said.

So now, during the Colts’ receiver meetings, Wayne sits in the back of the room, a few rows behind Hilton, who is up front.

"Whenever I have a question, I look back," Hilton said. "And he knows that once I look back, I’ve got a question."

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Some proCanes Advance in the NFL Playoffs, While Others Are Sent Home Packing

With the first round of the NFL playoffs complete, some proCanes were sent home packing while others continue their quest for a Super Bowl ring.

With the New Orleans Saints defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, Jimmy Graham and Jon Vilma (IR) advance to the next round of the playoffs to take on the proCane-less Seattle Seahawks. Go Saints! The Eagles lost because they didn’t have any proCanes. Happy

Two proCanes were sent home with the Kansas City Chiefs losing a thriller to the Indianapolis Colts. DL Allen Bailey and TE Richard Gordon were sent home while Reggie Wayne (IR) will continue to help his team from sidelines in their next game versus the New England Patriots who have proCane DL Vince Wilfork who is also on IR.

The San Francisco 49ers behind the solid running of proCane RB Frank Gore ended up defeating the Green Bay Packers who lost proCane DB Sam Shields in the first quarter of their defeat. The 49ers will face the Carolina Panthers who have proCane TE Greg Olsen on the field and QB Coach Ken Dorsey on the sidelines. The Packers also have scouts Glenn Cook and Alonzo Highsmith on their staff as well as Winston Moss.

The Chargers who don’t have a proCane and defeated the proCane-less Bengals (boooooring), will face the Denver Broncos with their solid proCane offensive lineman Orlando Franklin.

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How Reggie Wayne worked behind scenes in Colts' epic win

INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne offered a sheepish smile when a reporter approached the injured, six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver inside a euphoric Indianapolis Colts locker room after Saturday's epic 45-44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC wild-card game.

The 35-year-old who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 20, zipped up his backpack and politely answered a question before excusing himself.

He deferred the spotlight to Andrew Luck, record-setting receiver T.Y. Hilton and his teammates. Yet others cited Wayne's role as a vital motivational coach to Luck's young receivers, contributing with words the way he long has with yards and big catches during 13 seasons in Indianapolis.

"I'm proud of how those guys never wavered, kept making plays and just found a way to get it done," Wayne told USA TODAY Sports. "They just wanted to get this playoff win.

"Talk to them, boys, they deserve it."

It took Luck's unflinching playmaking and a lot of resolve for the Colts to roar back from a 38-10 deficit 1:21 into the third quarter to cement the second biggest comeback in postseason history.

Yet Luck couldn't have done it without Hilton, Wayne's second-year protege, posting a franchise-record 13 catches for 224 yards with two touchdowns, including the 64-yard game winner with 4:21 left.

Although it wasn't Wayne catching the passes, his impact was felt on the offense.

"Reggie's been on injured reserve, didn't necessarily have to be helpful or be around. But he spoke to the offense Friday night about his feelings and perspective on playoff football," backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "Reggie and T.Y. are very, very close. And T.Y. has had to step up to be that go-to guy for us.

"Having Reggie there to share some of that load has been very helpful."

Hilton, a third-round pick in 2012, had 82 catches for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns this season as he helped fill the void left by Wayne. He has 24 catches for 379 yards the past two games as the Colts head into next weekend's divisional round riding a four-game win streak.

"I can't put a price tag on it," Pagano said during Sunday's conference call referencing Wayne's influence. "For him to come into this building day after day going through the circumstance that he went through … he spends more time here than anybody between rehabbing, going to meetings, staying with the offense, then mentoring those guys.

"It's meant the world to all of us, especially those young guys. They should be forever in debt to Reggie Wayne."

Wayne's injury ended his consecutive games streak at 189, the third longest for a receiver in league history. He has 1,006 catches for 13,566 yards for his career, and 92 receptions in the postseason for 1,242 yards.

Hilton's play Saturday was reminiscent of Wayne's, especially when he split safeties Kendrick Lewis and Quintin Demps to track Luck's 64-yard winning strike with 4:21 left as Lucas Oil Stadium erupted in a raucous roar.

"He has helped me a lot," Hilton said of Wayne. "He helps all of us in the receiving group.

"We all came in and made big plays. One thing Reggie told us: 'When your number is called, make sure you're ready.' We all stepped up and made plays in our own special way."

Wayne has tutored a young receiving group of Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and Da'Rick Rogers on opposing defensive back tendencies. And he knows just when to provide a pep talk.

"One thing he told us before the game even started and at halftime, 'Hey, leave it out on the field,'" Hilton said. "That's what we all did. We're all dead tired right now."

And yet they never felt more elated.

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Reggie Wayne Ahead of Schedule

The 8-5 Indianapolis Colts have looked vulnerable of late, and much of that can be contributed to the loss of Pro Bowl wide receiver Reggie Wayne.

Wayne tore his ACL and Meniscus in a non-contact injury in a Week 7 win against the Denver Broncos. The injury is a major hurdle for the potential Hall of Fame wide out, as the seriousness of the injury, coupled with his age (36), represents a difficult path of return.

According to Dan Hanzus of, Wayne is "ahead of schedule," and hopes to be "full throttle" in slightly over 4 months. In a separate conversation with 1260-AM, Wayne had the following to say in regard to his time-table:

"I doubt I'll participate (in OTAs)," Wayne said on Tuesday. "I got to do it right. Training camp is the goal."

The Colts are fresh off a 42-28 loss to Cincinnati that saw their defense allow 430-yards of total offense. The secondary has been decimated by injuries, most notably the lingering groin injury of  cornerback Gregory Toler.

Toler has missed seven straight games, but will likely to test his tender groin in the warm and sheltered confines of Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday against division rival (is this still considered a rivalry?) Houston.

Wayne will be needed on the sidelines for more than just motivation, as the 13-year veteran will factor into the "coaching up" of certain players, primarily wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers. Wayne has been pleased with his progress, and has stated that he will assist with his growth in any capacity.

With wide receiver T.Y. Hilton struggling to separate against the increased amount of defensive attention, any contributions from Wayne will be a welcome addition. For now, Wayne is rehabilitating in Miami, and is taking the necessary steps to ensure a healthy and satisfying 2014 season.

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Reggie Wayne hopes to be 'full throttle' for camp

While his Indianapolis Colts teammates chase a first-round bye, Reggie Wayne is going about the business of getting back to full health.

The veteran wide receiver recently underwent a checkup in Miami and was told he was ahead of schedule as he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.

Wayne expects to start running in a month and a half, and he hopes to go "full throttle" in four and a half months. It's an aggressive timetable that could have Wayne ready for the start of training camp in July.

"I doubt I'll participate (in OTAs)," Wayne told 1260-AM in Indianapolis on Tuesday. "I got to do it right. Training camp is the goal."

Wayne tore his ACL and meniscus during the fourth quarter of a Week 7 win over the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20. The non-contact injury is a major career hurdle for Wayne, who will turn 36 during the 2014 season.

The Colts have struggled to fill Wayne's void in the offense. T.Y. Hilton has slumped in the face of increased double-team coverage, though Wayne praised the progress of Da'Rick Rogers, who caught two touchdowns on Sunday.

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Colts aren't the same without WR Reggie Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts aren't the same team without Reggie Wayne.

In the five games since Wayne tore his right ACL against the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis is averaging 19.6 points. In the seven games Wayne played, the Colts averaged 26.7 points.

The offensive line has failed to protect quarterback Andrew Luck. T.Y. Hilton, the new No. 1 receiver, is adjusting to being double teamed, and the other receivers haven't made up the difference.

Indy's offense hit rock bottom in a 38-8 loss to St. Louis on Nov. 10 and a 40-11 loss at Arizona on Nov. 24.

Though the group hasn't looked like the one that derailed Denver earlier this season, Indianapolis has won three of five since Wayne's injury. Indianapolis (8-4) can wrap up the AFC South title with a victory Sunday at Cincinnati.

"As of late, we've been like the Rocky Balboa of the National Football League," Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said. "We get bloodied up, but we find a way to finish on top."

It's questionable whether that approach will work in the playoffs. The Colts have been particularly bad in the first half. In the five games without Wayne, Indianapolis has scored 24 points before halftime. The Colts have scored 75 points after the break in those games.

"We have our moments where we're hot and we're able to move the ball and we're able to score touchdowns," Hamilton said. "We've got to make it a point of emphasis, as we always have, to find a way to get started a lot faster."

Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was supposed to fill some of Wayne's productivity, has struggled with drops. Despite starting four of five games since Wayne's injury, Heyward-Bey has just nine catches for 96 yards during that stretch.

Heyward-Bey's troubles are starting to affect Hilton's production. In the first two games after Wayne's injury, Hilton caught 14 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns. In the next three games, he caught 15 passes for 128 yards and no scores. With no other viable outside threat, teams are more focused on Hilton.

Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck (12) is sacked by Tennessee Titans' Kamerion Wimbley (95) and Derrick Morgan (91) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

"T.Y. is still a very effective receiver for us," Hamilton said. "They've started to double-team him more. I've got to do a better job of moving T.Y. around and making sure we find creative ways to get him in space."

Luck has tried to compensate for Wayne's absence at times by holding the ball too long. He has been sacked 14 times in the past five games after being sacked 15 times in the first seven.

Before Wayne's injury, Luck was completing 61 percent of his passes and had 10 touchdown passes and three interceptions. Since the injury, he's completing 55 percent with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

Luck accepts his share of the blame for the way the offense has played.

"Oh yeah, I make my fair share of mistakes," Luck said. "It might not be as obvious to the common fan. Drops happen. Holdings happen. Pass interference happens. Not that it's ever excusable, but it's part of human error, part of playing any sport and doing anything I think."

The running game has struggled so much that the Colts finally made Donald Brown the starting running back over Trent Richardson this past Sunday.
Even with all the criticism, the Colts are coming off a 22-14 win over the Titans that put them in control of the AFC South. The Colts didn't score a touchdown against the Titans until Brown reached the end zone with 1:56 remaining, yet they were in position to win.

"Again, we're never going to apologize for winning no matter how you get it done," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "Ugly, whatever you want to call it, a win is a win. It was critical. We all know the magnitude of that ball game. It was a game we had to get the win and get it done."

Brown's late touchdown run against Tennessee capped an 11-play, 92-yard drive and left the Titans in desperation mode. It was a preview of what the Colts hope to accomplish for the rest of the season.

"When you look at it, by the time you get to the fourth quarter of games, defenses are worn down a bit," Hamilton said. "That's what we're built for. We're built for the fourth quarter of the football season where defenses are tired and worn and playing with guys that are a bit hobbled and it's not as easy to take on double team blocks. That's our formula."

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Reggie Wayne: Trent Richardson felt rushed to play

It hasn't been an easy season for Trent Richardson.

Since being acquired by Indianapolis in a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Browns, the second-year pro plodded to the tune of 2.8 yards per carry before the Colts benched him in favor of Donald Brown last week.

Indy's front office has said it wouldn't hesitate swapping a first-round draft pick all over again for Richardson. And it's fair to wonder if a full offseason will help this player, especially after Richardson told Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne he felt thrown into the fire after the swap.

"He came to me, (but) he wasn't pouting or anything," Wayne told WNDE-AM on Tuesday, per "This was the next day after he found out he was demoted, and he said, 'Now I can sit back and actually watch the way it's supposed to be done.' He kind of feels that he was maybe forced into it early without actually learning it."

Yes, Richardson was thrust into a starting role just days after the trade. Yes, he came from a Rob Chudzinski-led offense in Cleveland that stressed the pass and bore little resemblance to offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's power-rushing scheme in Indy. Still, that was three months ago, and we have yet to see signs that Richardson is about to morph into a sustaining back.

Prepare yourself for a long offseason of flowery reports declaring that "Trent Richardson looks amazing in OTAs." For a guy who has produced rushing totals of 20, 2, 22, 15 and 19 yards on the ground over the past five games, we'll need more than lively springtime reports of T-Rich blooming into what Indy hoped for.

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Reggie Wayne Updates his Injury, New Duties

INDIANAPOLIS— When Reggie Wayne went down with an ACL injury on Oct. 20, he would soon have a decision to make.

Would the 13-year veteran elect to do his rehab around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center?

Or, would he relocate away from the complex with his season on the playing field over?

The predicament wasn’t difficult to Wayne.

“I love just being in that locker room, being part of a winning atmosphere,” Wayne said on the Query & Schultz show earlier this week.

“Actually being around the guys, helps me through this troubling time of being injured. It’s fun. The guys keep me laughing every day.”

Similar to other Colts players rehabbing season ending injuries, Wayne has a fine balance between his time in the treatment room and trying to instill his wisdom into the young receivers.

Wayne joked that this period of time is a bit of a rehearsal on whether or not coaching could be in his future once his playing career has commenced.

“I got double duty if you look at it that way,” Wayne said of his rehab and film study. “To a certain extent, I still prepare like I were playing. I like to feel like I’m a starter. That’s what I’ve been used to for the last 13 years. I try my best to make as much meeting time as I can as well as getting my treatment in at the same time. It’s long days for me but what I can I do.”

Come Sunday, Wayne will once again be down on the sideline trying to dissect plays and offer assistance to the Colts receiving corps.

With 28 years of experience between guys like Wayne and Matt Hasselbeckicon-article-link, the Colts coaching staff has a few more minds to turn to during the heat of competition.

“I see everything. It’s a different feel,” Wayne said of being on the sidelines. “When you are out there playing it’s 100 miles per hour. You have to think ASAP. On the sidelines, you can kind of look to the guy beside you and say, ‘Look what he’s doing.’ When you are out there playing, you can’t do that. It’s a whole different perspective and it really makes you appreciate the game a little bit more.

“I use it to the best of my advantage to help those guys out. We all put our minds together on the sideline and try to find another play that will work.”

When Wayne re-signed with the Colts in the 2012 offseason, the new regime was not only getting one of the game’s top receivers but also a mentor to a young skill position group.

It’s watching those players grow up on a daily basis that has Wayne eager to get to the complex every morning.

Wayne considers himself a fan in some cases, just sitting back and watching his fellow receivers ask questions in an effort to become elite.

“These guys in the meeting room every day want to be part of the action,” Wayne said. “They want to be part of it and do their best to make themselves household names. I see it every day and I give them as much as I possibly can because I want those guys to succeed.

“I guess as Colts fans you can kind of see what you have in the future and I respect that. I love to see those guys go out and do the best that they can. As a teammate, that’s all you can ask for. I’m hoping that those guys continue to stay healthy and put the work in each week like they’ve been doing. I’m sure great things are going to continue to happen for them.”

On Tuesday night, Andrew Luck joined Wayne on the Query & Schultz radio show.

Luck took the first segment himself, with Wayne stuck in traffic, but the signal caller was briefly interrupted by the crowd’s cheer early in the show.

It was Wayne entering the building and the love from the fans is something that the Pro Bowler holds in high regard.

“The fans have been outstanding. I’ve been reading on my website, reading the newspapers and just even around town people at a red light, showing me how much support they have in me and the Colts, telling me they can’t wait to see me back out there,” Wayne said.

“Believe it or not, they’ve inspired me even more to go out there and return back to the team in better form. So I’d like to take a shout out to all the fans. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. It’s been awesome.”

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Colts struggling to fill void left by Wayne's absence

At 5-9, 178 pounds with sub-4.4 second 40-yard speed, T.Y. Hilton has the look and skill set of the prototypical NFL slot receiver. Summon the image of Wes Welker, if you will.

So interim Indianapolis Colts coach Bruce Arians raised some eyebrows last season when he was asked if Hilton has what it takes to be a No. 1 receiver.

“I think a solid No. 1,” Arians responded. “I do, which is surprising, because when we drafted him we thought he was just a kick returner.”

Arians, now head coach at Arizona, spoke on the eve of the 10th game of Hilton’s rookie season. The Colts will play the 10th game of the 2013 season Thursday night in an AFC South showdown at Tennessee.

T.Y. Hilton is their No. 1 receiver.

That it’s probably temporary and it comes by default — due to a season-ending knee injury to longstanding No. 1 Reggie Wayne — in no way diminishes Hilton’s qualifications or performance. In the two games since Wayne went down, Hilton has caught 14 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns.

Those are regal numbers arriving at record pace. Project them over a 16-game season and you have 112 receptions for 2,008 yards and 24 touchdowns.
The problem is that Hilton prospers alone.

Quarterback Andrew Luck’s passer rating when throwing to Hilton over those two games is 152.1 (158.3 is a “perfect” rating). Luck’s rating while throwing to the other receivers and tight end Coby Fleener is 52.6. Therein lie many of the offense’s difficulties during the 27-24 escape at Houston and the 38-8 splattering by St. Louis.

For all Hilton’s high achievement and the increase in passes to the running backs, the void opened by Wayne’s absence still gapes. The Colts are getting precious little from Darrius Heyward-Bey, Griff Whalen and LaVon Brazill, and not much more from Fleener.

“Losing a guy like Reggie, you can’t replace a guy like that, not only his leadership qualities but his production, obviously, on the field,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Guys have been pressed into action and they’ve got to respond.

“We’re seeing glimpses of what those guys can do, but they got to step up even further. They’ve got to raise their level of play.”

Heyward-Bey is the Colts’ 2013 version of their rent-a-receiver of a year ago, Donnie Avery. Both brought impressive speed. Both have proven to be inconsistent and uninspired. Heyward-Bey’s numbers since Wayne was lost are 12 targets, four catches, 41 yards, no touchdowns.

Whalen is an undrafted free agent who last year missed his entire rookie season with a broken foot. Brazill is a talented second-year player who has yet to make a dent. His unreliability caused the Colts to remove him from the return game last year and to favor Whalen this year. Whalen has played 87 snaps the past two games, Brazill 48.

Whalen and Brazill, who was suspended for the first four games this year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, not only had played a mere handful of game snaps before Wayne’s injury, they were getting few practice reps. They have been asked to come a long way fast, as has Da’Rick Rogers, a rookie signed from the practice to the active roster this week.

As Whalen pointed out, the receivers aren’t the only ones scrambling to make adjustments. Receivers coach Charlie Williams has to cope. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has to devise a game plan. Luck has to figure out how his new principals run routes, where they are going to be and when, and where to put the football.

“It takes a little time just to get into the game flow,” Whalen said. “We’ve been practicing all year but to do it in games, get the call, execute it under the time crunch when the bullets are flying, it’s a little different.”

Colts safety Antoine Bethea stressed that everyone has to step up when a player like Wayne goes down. Defensive end Cory Redding echoed Bethea. Redding said defense and special teams have to grab some slack.

They haven’t done that. The defense has struggled, special teams have struggled, everyone has struggled, none more than the offensive line.

The Colts yielded a single touchdown longer than 40 yards over their first seven games. They have given up six the past two games: passes of 62, 41, 57 and 81 yards, a punt return of 98 yards and a 45-yard fumble return after a strip-sack. A receiving group critically thin in experience and achievement can’t begin to cover that.

As Hilton said, “There is no replacing Reggie. We can get that out there right now,” but someone beside Hilton had better begin contributing. Hilton already is seeing the coverage roll his way.

“It’s been much different,” he said. “You know they’re going to start trying to take me out of the game. I know they’re going to start doubling me, tripling me, trying to take me out.

“Guys have got to step up and make plays.”

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Reggie Wayne takes up coaching

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts injured receiver Reggie Wayne didn’t go to Houston just to surprise his teammates the night before their game against the Texans.

Wayne also provided an extra set of eyes for offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

“In between series, I would pass over the pictures and ask his opinion,” Hamilton said. “And, of course, during the series he had a job. His job was to watch their slot coverage and give myself and [quarterback] Andrew [Luck] feedback.”

Wayne’s season – his 13th – ended when he tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of their victory over Denver on Oct. 20.

Sunday was the first time Wayne had been around his teammates since he had his surgery. The plan is for him to be around the team and take part in meetings as much as possible during his rehabilitation. Coach Chuck Pagano said last week that they anticipate Wayne to be ready for the start of the 2014 season.

“Reggie, he loves this game,” Hamilton said. “He loves the horseshoe and it’s awesome that he’ll still be around even under the circumstances.”

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Indianapolis Colts will play without Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison for the first time since Dec. 27, 1998

Something will be different when the Colts play Houston on Sunday night.

For the first time since Dec. 27, 1998, the Colts will take the field without either Reggie Wayne or Marvin Harrison in the lineup. That’s 251 games, including the playoffs, with either No. 87 or No. 88 — or both — on the field.

Wayne’s streak of 189 regular-season appearances, 207 including the postseason, will end Sunday due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered against Denver.

Harrison’s final season with the Colts was in 2008; appearing in 190 regular-season games during his 13-year career. The last time the Colts’ offense was without Wayne or Harrison was the final game of the ’98 season against Carolina. Harrison missed the final four games that season with a shoulder injury and Wayne was drafted in 2001.

Like the team as a whole, long-time assistant Clyde Christensen still is trying to come to grips with life without Wayne.

“I hear people asking Andrew (Luck) how it’s going to be without Reggie,” Christensen said with a smile. “Well, how about me? This is the first time I’ve been in the (meeting) room without Reggie.

“Believe me, it’s different. He was such a security blanket.”

Christensen arrived in 2002 as a member of Tony Dungy’s staff. He worked exclusively with the receivers from 2002-09.

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Reggie Wayne begins his rehabilitation

INDIANAPOLIS -- The road to recovery has officially started for Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.

Wayne, out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, had his surgery conducted by Dr. John Uribe late last week.

“Uneventful as they usually say,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “So everything came out great. He’s in good spirits, rehabbing three times a day, grinding it out as we would all expect. He’s doing well.”

Wayne will rehabilitate in Florida for the time being until he’s able to travel.

“He’ll be back here eventually, as soon as they let him,” Pagano said.

ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell said last week that most players take 6-to-9 months to recover from a torn ACL. `

Wayne’s consecutive games played streak ends at 189, and his 2013 season -- the 13th of his career -- ends with 38 catches for 503 yards and two touchdowns.

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Chuck Pagano: I hate losing anyone, but Reggie Wayne really stings

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had a close relationship with receiver Reggie Wayne since Pagano was a University of Miami assistant and Wayne was a Hurricanes player, and Pagano got a little emotional when describing his feeling about losing Wayne to a severe knee injury.

Pagano reflected on the way Wayne wore orange gloves to show his support during Pagano’s battle with leukemia last year, and now Pagano said he’s going to be the one supporting Wayne as he tries to get back to health.

“I think everybody has heard by now and knows that Reggie suffered an ACL tear. He’ll be lost for the season,” Pagano said. “We hate to lose anybody, but this one stings. See, you just don’t replace guys like 87. Again, we hate to lose anybody, but he’ll be back. I know how he’s wired. I know what his DNA is. I know how he is as a man. Everybody is going to say no way, but after the conversation I just had with him, just wait and see. So, we’ll all put on the gloves for Reggie and we’ll help him get through this and get him back.”

Although Wayne won’t play until 2014, Pagano said he wants Wayne to continue to be a team leader.

“He’s going to be there. He’ll miss, he’s going to have to go have something done surgically but I told him whether it’s on a stretcher, wheelchair, if we have to carry him in and out, he’ll be there every step of the way,” Pagano said.

Pagano said he tells young players that if they want to have a long career, Wayne is the man they should emulate.

“He’s a pro through and through,” Pagano said. “It’s easy for those young guys because I told them just get in his hip pocket and follow and do exactly what he does on a daily basis. You want to stick around for a long time? You want to be productive? You want to write your own legacy? You want to be a guy in the National Football League and not an also-ran, not just a guy that collects a paycheck and stuck around for a couple years. You want to be a guy? Then just do exactly what Reggie does. From a leadership standpoint, mentoring standpoint, all those kind of things, it’s off the charts. He’s not the only one. We got a locker room full of guys like that. So, that’s why it’s so important. In talking to him, he’ll be away and have to get that thing fixed, but he’s going to be with us every step of the way and he’s got to be right next to us.”

A torn ACL is a tough injury to rehabilitate from, and Wayne, who will turn 35 next month, may never get back the same kind of speed and explosiveness he once had. But Pagano says he’s certain that he’ll be coaching Wayne again next season.

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Reggie Wayne tears ACL, will miss rest of Colts' season

Sunday night's emphatic victory over the Denver Broncos came with a steep price tag for the Indianapolis Colts.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Reggie Wayne tore his ACL along with his meniscus, according to a source who spoke with the player. The 34-year-old's season is over.

Wayne suffered a non-contact injury to his right knee during the fourth quarter of Indy's 39-33 win over Denver. The Colts' worst fears were realized, and coach Chuck Pagano said the loss "stings" when he confirmed the news Monday.

Stripping Wayne from the passing attack leaves the Colts without their most reliable target. He leads the team in receptions (38) and yards (503) and has been an anchor for young quarterback Andrew Luck. T.Y. Hilton is an ascendant talent, and Darrius Heyward-Bey played a larger role against Denver, but the other wideouts on the roster are just LaVon Brazill and David Reed.

Good teams find a way to overcome injuries and, if we learned anything Sunday night, it's that Indy is a good -- if not a great -- force in the AFC South.

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Reggie Wayne on Peyton Manning Week: 'Y'all turning this into a circus'

All that’s missing, implied Reggie Wayne, were clowns and parading elephants and the sound of a kaleidoscope in the background as the media encircled his cubicle in the Colts locker room.

“It’s like Ringling Bros., man,” Wayne said. “Y’all turning this into a circus.”

It’s Peyton Manning Week. The return to where it all began in April 1998 — and ended in March 2012 — for the NFL’s only four-time Most Valuable Player and the most decorated and revered player in the Colts’ 30-year history in Indianapolis.

Wayne, not nearly as loquacious as is his norm, shrugged. Often.

“It’ll be just like any other game. No different,” he said of the return of the quarterback who threw the ball on 779 of his 1,001 catches. “I don’t know what you want me to tell you.

“We see it as another game. You guys see it a little bit different. It’s another game, man.”

But it’s a reunion of epic proportions. The team will honor Manning’s return with a ceremony prior to kickoff. Former standouts and Ring of Honor inductees Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James are expected to participate. A videoicon1 tribute has been produced.

The extent of Manning’s involvement, if any considering he always has been adamant about sticking to his pre-game routine, remains to be seen.

“That’s Peyton’s deal,” Wayne said. “I hope I’m in the locker room. I want to be in the locker room.”

Wayne and Manning formed a close bondduring their 11 years together and Wayne said they still talkicon1 and text. “It’s not like I hadn’t spoken to him since he’s left,” Wayne added.

Throughout his 10-minute session with the media, Wayne expressed his appreciation of and affection for his former quarterback. But he refused to dive in headfirst when the line of questioning inevitably found itself back to Manning’s return.

What is the atmosphere going to be like Sunday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium?

“You’ve got to ask people in the stands,’’ Wayne said. “(With) all the pub and the media, yeah, it’s going to be different. I don’t see this many people unless it’s a playoff game.”

Will it be awkward facing your friend and former teammate?

“It’s not awkward for me at all. It doesn’t change my intensity,” Wayne said. “The awkward part is with people in the stands. That’s for them.

“I go through this every week. There’s somebody I play every week that I used to play with. Am I grateful for having him as a teammate? Absolutely. We’ve done a lot together. But I did a lot of stuff with Edgerrin James, and we played against him. I did a lot of stuff with Mike Peterson, and we played against him.”

As unique as the reunion is, it — as Wayne notes — is one tailored more to the Colts as an organization and the city of Indianapolis than the teammates Manning left behind. Only 13 players on the Colts’ 53-man active roster actually were teammates of Manning.

“My first time playing against him and I’ve never met him,” cornerback Vontae Davis said. “It’s a game. That’s how I look at it.”

Greg Toler faced Manning in 2009 while he was a cornerback with the Arizona Cardinals, and met him during a recent offseason.

“At Larry Fitzgerald’s camp or Donald Driver’s camp,” Toler said. “But, no, I don’t have any emotional ties at all. I understand how it might be (more) with Reggie or a few other guys. Over the years they had some ups and down. This week it’s like they’ll be playing against a brother. And Robert (Mathis) as well having a chance to tackle Peyton.

“Maybe it’s an emotional roller coaster for some, but it’s just football.I’ll pay homage. He’s a great player. You can’t take anything away from what he’s done. You pay your respects and move on.”

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Peyton Manning to be joined in Indy by Marvin Harrison, Edgerrin James

The Indianapolis Colts will be rolling back the NFL clock Sunday.

Not only is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning returning to face his former team for the first time, but longtime teammates Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James will be there at Lucas Oil Stadium to welcome him back, a celebratory reunion of the Big Three.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” Colts owner Jim Irsay told The Times. “Edgerrin and Marvin are coming in, they’re fired up to come back in. Talked to those guys and it’s going to be exciting to have those guys come in. We were such a close-knit group, those teams that were in the late '90s through the whole decade.”

James, a first-round pick in 1999, won the NFL rushing title in each of his first two seasons, and left Indianapolis in 2006 as the Colts’ all-time leading rusher with 9,226 yards. He was given an honorary Super Bowl ring, even though he played for Arizona the year Indianapolis won it all.

Harrison, a first-rounder in 1996, played 13 seasons with the Colts and in 2006 became the fourth receiver in league history with 1,000 career catches. There are now nine of those, with Indianapolis receiver Reggie Wayne joining that elite group Monday night. 

A three-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection who retired after the 2008 season, Harrison set a league record with 143 receptions in 2002.
James was inducted into the Colts' ring of honor in 2012, and Harrison was inducted in August.

“The only disappointment is not to have won another championship or two,” Irsay said. “That’s something that we want to chase in this new era.”

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Reggie Wayne becomes the ninth player in NFL history to get 1,000 career catches

It will be very difficult to keep Colts receiver Reggie Wayne out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Only eight other men have reached the milestone Wayne passed on Monday night. Wayne got the 1,000th reception of his career against the Chargers.

The other eight players in the 1,000-catch club: Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Terrell Owens, Isaac Bruce and Hines Ward. That's quite the list.

While Rice's 1,549 catches is probably out of reach, Wayne should have a good shot at getting to at least third place on the list before he retires. Gonzalez is second with 1,275, but Wayne's former teammate Harrison is third at 1,102. Wayne, who is 34, had 106 receptions last season and has 33 through six games this season. The way Wayne is playing, passing Gonzalez for second place all-time might not even be entirely out of the question

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As Reggie Wayne nears 1,000 career catches, look back at the top 9 grabs of his career

The top catches of Reggie Wayne’s Colts career:

vs. Greenicon1 Bay, Oct. 7, 2012: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne crosses the goal line to score the winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining in the Colts' 30-27 victory.
Andrew Luck: "I remember the effort after the catch being the spectacular thing. The wherewithal. He's not going to get his body in the end zone. He knew he needed a millimeter of the nose of the football to cross the goal line and he got a millimeter-plus across the goal line. It was amazing.''

at Houston, Oct. 5, 2008: Reggie Wayne makes a 5-yard TD catch from Peyton Manning with 1:54 to play to cap 31-27 comeback. He beat CB Jacques Reeves with a one-handed catch in the left corner of the end zone and kept his feet inbounds.
Peyton Manning: "One-handed, back-shoulder (pass) to win the game. Just a great, great catch.''

vs. Green Bay, Oct. 7, 2012: 12-yard pass from Luck on the game-winning fourth-quarter drive despite tight coverage by Packers CB Tramon Williams.
Luck: "That's my favorite catch. Reggie was in the slot. The corner (Williams) sort of read (the route). He knows the corner's there. The ball's coming literally right at the corner and Reggie put his hands (through the corner) and catches it in front of the corner and brings it right into his body. Gets up, shakes his head and smiles. That was amazing."

at Jacksonville, Dec. 17, 2009: Reggie Wayne hauls in a 65-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning in front of Jaguars safety Reggie Nelson on a third-and-5 play with 5:33 to play in a 35-31 victory.

vs. New England, Nov. 15, 2009: Winning 1-yard TD catch from Manning with 13 seconds remaining following Bill Belichick's infamous failed fourth-and-2. Wayne appeared to catch the back third of the football on Manning's low fastball.
Manning: "That slant in the back of the end zone. It was a great route, a great catch against tight coverage. Certainly considering the situation, the timing, that made it even better.''

AFC title game vs. New England, Jan. 21, 2007: 14-yard reception from Manning on the winning drive in the fourth quarter. At the end of the play, Wayne lost control of the football while surrounded by several Patriots, but managed to reach up and grab it.
Manning: "Maybe you give him credit for two catches. He caught a little 5-yard 'in' route; that play we always ran. He was always so good about catching it and getting down field, just barreling through linebackers and safeties. On that play, he made a move and the ball came out. I give him credit for a second catch because he went up there and caught it again amongst about five Patriots . . . (Tedy) Bruschi, (Asante) Samuel, all of 'em. I can remember time standing still for a minute considering the situation.''

vs. Houston, Dec. 22, 2011: Wayne catches the winning touchdown against Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson in a 19-16 victory.

vs. Denver in AFC wild card game, Jan. 9, 2005: 49-yard reception from Manning despite being interfered with by Broncos CB Roc Alexander.
Tony Dungy: "They called pass interference and Reggie caught it with one hand. The reason it was my favorite is because I didn't even say, 'Wow!' It was just like, 'OK, Reggie caught the ball with one hand' and you move on to the next play. That's what I had come to expect."

Super Bowl XLI vs. Chicago, Feb. 4, 2007: 53-yard TD from Manning in the first quarter. Postseason catches don't count on a player's all-time stats, but Wayne burned the Bears on the NFL's biggest stage.
Manning: "Reggie and I had what we called a 16-yard 'in'-pump. We were trying to get cover-2 and the safety drives on the 'in' route and Reggie goes by him. (The Bears) busted the coverage and Reggie ended up being really wide open. Reggie and I have always been convinced that even had they not blown the coverage, that route was going to work. So, we're sticking with that."

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Reggie ayne goes for 65 yards, 2-point conversion

Reggie Wayne caught six balls for 65 yards and a two-point conversion in the Colts' Week 5 win over Seattle.

The Colts are now 4-1, with their lone loss coming against the Dolphins. Wayne shook off two early-game drops to make plays in Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond III's coverage, mostly avoiding LCB Richard Sherman. The Colts' leader in targets and one of the top route runners in football, Wayne has been a stable, consistent WR2 through five weeks. He'll be a borderline WR1 play against the Chargers' weak secondary and pass rush in Week 6.

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In Wayne’s world, work ethic catches on inside Colts locker room

INDIANAPOLIS — Each afternoon at training camp, Reggie Wayne trots over to the JUGS machine, sheds the pads and begins his post-practice magic show.

Teammates watch in awe seeing a 13-year veteran still spending this much time day after day, catching ball after blazing ball in the scorching summer heat. They’re even more impressed as Wayne hauls in the mechanical fastballs with one hand or two, inches off the turf, near his head or coming straight into his chest. Few, if any, touch the ground.

It doesn’t take the players long to figure out why Wayne makes spectacular plays look so routine on game days. He’s already done it thousands of times on the practice field.

“He’s always been that guy,” Redskins receiver and college teammate Santana Moss said. “When we first came in as freshmen, Reggie Wayne, we knew, was our guy. He started right off the bat. We always said he could catch a BB in the dark. The best hands I’ve ever seen.”

While some might debate where Wayne belongs among today’s greats, there’s no quibbling with Moss’ broader point.

Wayne has been one of the game’s best receivers for at least a decade and, at age 34, the six-time Pro Bowler shows no signs of slowing down. He’s Andrew Luck’s favorite target, still the Colts’ leader in the clubhouse, and needs only 10 more receptions to become the ninth member of the NFL’s 1,000-catch club. It could happen Sunday against Seattle with a big performance.

But Wayne’s value to the Colts cannot be measured in numbers alone.

Inside the locker room, teammates universally describe him as a pro’s pro, the guy willing to sacrifice anything to win. This summer, Luck dubbed Wayne the team’s “real” president. Just this week, longtime teammate and close friend Antoine Bethea acknowledged younger players would be “fools” not to learn from Wayne.

Wayne is so beloved in the Indianapolis community that if he’s not the city’s favorite Reggie, he’s certainly No. 2 behind former Pacers star Reggie Miller.

And Wayne is so committed to this team and this city, he turned down a bigger payday and a chance to team up with an old college pal, Houston’s Andre Johnson. Instead, he chose to help restore the luster to a Colts team that had gone 2-14, cut Peyton Manning and seemed miles away from Super Bowl contention. Somehow, he helped the Colts make a historic turnaround and get right back to the playoffs.

“Reggie showed us how to work. He showed us how to be professionals, sort of how to play football at a high level,” Luck said. “(He) always made sure we were on the right path. He’s not the most talkative guy, but if he had something to say, he’d say it and everybody listened. He commanded everybody’s respect, I think also demanded it in return. We would be nowhere without him. I really believe that.”

Never afraid to show outward emotions, Wayne wore red, white and blue shoes for the 2011 season opener — a tribute to America on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He risked a league fine by wearing orange gloves, the color of leukemia awareness, after longtime friend and Colts coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with cancer. He fought through the grief of his brother’s death in September 2006 by simply asking teammates to pray for his family.

And he fought back tears when his hometown of New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, then throughout Pagano’s battle.

“The things he does, like the orange gloves, it just shows that he’s human, that he’s just like everybody else,” Bethea said.

Off the field, he is like everyone else. On it, few can compare. Wayne’s resume looks like this:
—Two Super Bowl appearances and one ring;
—204 consecutive games played since 2001;
—One of six NFL players with four 100-catch seasons;
—Part of the second-most prolific passing tandem in league history, with 779 receptions for 10,602 yards and 67 TDs from Peyton Manning, second only to

Manning and Marvin Harrsion;
—130 regular-season wins, fourth on the Colts list behind Manning (142), John Unitas and Jeff Saturday (132).
—About to join the likes of Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Harrison in the 1,000-catch club, with a chance to finish his career with Harrison as the most prolific receiving teammates in league history;
—A chance to crack the top 10 in yards receiving and the top 15 in touchdown catches.

What does it mean to a workaholic like Wayne?

“That I’ve been playing a long time. It means I’m doing my job. I just want to be able to do my job,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, I want to be where I’m supposed to be, get there on time, and help this ball club win games. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I first got here.”

But Wayne stills finds ways to have fun — with a message.

One year, he showed up at training camp in a cement truck and kept a custom-made construction helmet inside his locker to symbolize what the Colts needed to do to reach the Super Bowl.

Last year, he drove to training camp with members of the National Guard, signifying the need for the Colts to stick together like brothers in arms.

This year, he arrived on Indiana University Health’s LifeLine helicopter along with Matt Sercer, a Colts fan who climbed out months after doctors told him he may never walk again after severely injuring his leg and foot in a farming accident. Wayne said Sercer’s improbable recovery should inspire the Colts to dream big.

There’s no real secret to his success, though.

“His work ethic, his passion for the game, his love for football, team first, self second, none of that has changed,” said Pagano who was on the University of Miami staff when Moss and Wayne arrived as freshman. “Since I’ve known Reggie (Wayne), he’s been that same guy. The only thing that’s changed is his level of play. He’s just gotten better over the years. It’s not by chance. It’s by choice.”

Harrison used to say, “They pay you to practice, you play the games for free.” It’s a motto Wayne took to heart and has continued to pass down.

A year ago, when the Colts were one of the youngest teams in the NFL, the JUGS machine was a lonely place after practice.

But day by day as Wayne continued to catch passes, the number of young receivers watching and participating increased. By the end of camp, they were all waiting for Wayne to finish so they could take a turn. Now, they’re just waiting to see Wayne take his place among the league’s all-time greats.

“I’ve been around a lot of great players, but he’s got to be front and center,” four-time Super Bowl winner Adam Vinatieri said. “He never takes a day off. He never misses a practice. He’s a guy you can always count on for 100 percent effort every single day of his life.”

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Reggie Wayne goes for 100 yards & touchdown

Reggie Wayne caught five balls for 100 yards and a touchdown in the Colts' Week 4 win over Jacksonville.

He was targeted a team-high 11 times. Through four weeks, Wayne is on pace for 88 catches, 1,200 yards, and eight TDs. Although the Colts' lack of passing-game volume will likely cap Wayne's WR1 potential, he's squarely in the mix as an every-week WR2. Start Wayne against Seattle in Week 5; he plays frequently in the slot and should avoid Richard Sherman's shadow for most of the snaps.

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Reggie Wayne still going strong at 34

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne wakes up, climbs out of bed and doesn’t feel like his body has aged to the point where he needs to even contemplate how long he plans to continue his career.

"As soon as I start waking up on a consistent basis and my bones crack and ache and I put that window in there, that’s the day I should probably stop playing," Wayne said. "I’m just taking it one year at a time. I feel good now."

All you have to do is show up for a training-camp practice and you’ll see the 34-year-old Wayne still on the field after some of his teammates have left for the day and he’s catching passes – low, high, one-handed – perfecting his craft on the Jugs machine. Wayne said during training camp that he prepares each offseason as if he's competing for a roster spot. That goes back to his days at the University of Miami, where you had to remain healthy and productive to ensure you stayed on the field.

"It was kind of mandated that the only way you came out of the game was if you got a bone showing [through the skin]," Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was with Wayne in Miami, said. "Otherwise you stay in and play."

Wayne is humble enough not to say he’s the leader of the team. But he is one of the leaders based off how his younger teammates look up to him.

“I won’t say I set the standard,” Wayne said. “I’m not the only guy who practices hard. We have quite a few guys who do that. They may look at me because I’ve played longer, but we have quite a few guys who bust their tails each day. I was doing the same things back in my Miami days, way back then. That’s what got me going. It’s something you have to take pride in, and not everybody wants to go out there every day. You have to be disciplined to go out there and fight.”

Wayne isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He has appeared in 185 straight games, the second-longest active streak in the league, according to Elias Sports Bureau, and he’s 15 catches shy of 1,000 for his career.

“Not really,” Pagano said when asked if he’s surprised Wayne is still playing at high level. “I’m screaming at him from the sidelines in those couple catch-and-runs [against San Francisco]. We talk about run after catch. That doesn’t apply to Reggie. I’m screaming to get down, self-preservation. That’s just the type of player he is. He doesn’t know any better.”

Wayne added, "I say it all the time, out of all the accolades I have, the one that means so much to me is being able to be out there every game day."

Wayne has 17 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown this season. He’s still the team’s No. 1 receiver but the days of having to shoulder the load should lessen now that the Colts have a legitimate rushing attack with Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw (when he returns from his neck injury).

“I’m in my 13th year, I’m not worried about my numbers,” Wayne said. “All I want to do is win.”

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Week 2 NFL proCane Photos

proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson (80)
Bears proCane KR Devin Hester (23)
proCane Falcons P Mat Bosher
proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne (87)
proCane Browns WR Travis Benjamin (80)
proCane Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (93)

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Reggie Wayne Nears Milestone

Reggie Wayne’s second season was the first one in Indianapolis for Tony Dungy. 

The coach with a defensive pedigree was joining a Colts team blossoming with offensive talent.  A knock on his door by a young player is something that sticks with Dungy to this day.

“I remember in 2002 when I joined the Colts, Reggie came to me and said he felt he could contribute more than he did as a rookie,” said Dungy.  “He wanted to be part of a receiver group that would help us win.  He worked with that in mind and never stopped working.”

Wayne came armed that day with 27 NFL receptions and no touchdowns to his name.  With Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison already taking their place among the game’s greatest duos, Wayne was not going to be a young talent left behind.

He embarked on six consecutive seasons with increased reception totals, becoming only the third NFL player ever to do so.

As he lines up Sunday, Wayne (980 receptions, 13,205 yards, 79 TDs) needs one scoring reception to become the 11th NFL player to reach both 13,000 career yards and 80 touchdown snares.  Three on that list – Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Steve Largent – have busts at the Hall of Fame.
 Players with 13,000 yards and not 80 TDs:  James Lofton* (14,004), Henry Ellard (13,777), Torry Holt (13,382)

Players with 80 TDs and not 13,000 yards:  Don Hutson* (99), Don Maynard* (88), Lance Alworth* (85), Hines Ward (85), Paul Warfield* (85), Andre Rison (84), Tommy McDonald* (84), Irving Fryar (84), Mark Clayton (84), Antonio Gates (83), Art Powell (81).
*Pro Football Hall of Fame

“He’s what an NFL Hall of Famer is, in my opinion,” said Antoine Betheaicon-article-link.  “He’s what every guy coming into this league wants to be.  He’s going to be one of 11 to reach that milestone.”

Tom Moore was around Hall-of-Famers Lynn Swann (click here for acrobatic moment) and John Stallworth (click here for Super Bowl TD reception) in Pittsburgh, and a man who provides praise only when it is earned has effusive regard for Wayne.

“He is just a great athlete,” said Moore.  “The biggest thing about Reggie is the amount of time, effort and work he has put in to get better and to develop his skills.  He is a very special person.  He is unbelievable, the hardest working football player you will ever meet.”

Practice observers are treated to Wayne snaring one-handed catch-after-catch from the ‘jugs’ machine that spits footballs out at a rapid clip.  Practice viewers see things daily that fans only see on Sundays when Wayne (click here for great catch) makes such catches.

“You watch the game and it’s, ‘Man, that’s a spectacular catch.’  Then you watch him in practice, he does that every day,” said Bethea.  “The work ethic he puts in is special.  You don’t see that every day.  Every organization really doesn’t have the honor of saying it has that type of leader.”

Wayne’s reception chronology from 2001-07 went:  27-49-68-77-83-86-104.  Since, he has topped 100 receptions three more times (100, 2009; 111, 2010; 106, 2012), one shy of the NFL record of Wes Welker.

His 1,355 yards in 2012 represented his sixth career 1,200-yard season, tying him for third-most ever.  Wayne’s eight receptions last week against Oakland extended his NFL record to 64 straight games with three or more receptions.

Wayne’s (click here for highlight) workman-like approach outshines any fanfare, though he is a fan favorite.  The Colts are 29-12 in his 100-yard games, 56-13 when he scores a touchdown, and his seven seasons leading the team in receptions rank behind a Hall-of-Famer (Raymond Berry) and a future one (Marvin Harrison) for third in franchise history.

“If you talked to him, you’d never know it.  He’s not a cocky person,” said Bethea.  “He’s not big-headed.  He just comes to work and does what he needs to do. 

“You can see how he plays on Sunday and works every day, it’s easy for him.  The way he plays on Sunday is a result of hard work and natural ability.”

Count Cory Redding as a former adversary who now regards Wayne as a comrade.

“That’s a huge deal, an accomplishment that he will reach.  He deserves it,” said Redding.  “He works his butt off every single day.  I’ve seen it, and I admired it from afar. 

“Watching him every day at training camp on the jugs machine, going through his routes and how he prepares, it’s no shock to me what he does.  There’s no better person who deserves it more than him.”

The sentiments Redding expresses are matched by one of the game’s winningest coaches and an even more sincere individual.

“It will be an awesome accomplishment when Reggie Wayne joins that group.  It’s certainly elite company, but he deserves to be there,” said Dungy.  “He’s gotten there by not only talent, but hard work.  He was a leader in showing younger receivers what they needed to do to succeed in the NFL. 

“He’s still playing at that high bar he set in 2002 and 2003.  I appreciated his toughness and work ethic, and for not wanting to miss game or practice time.  He was so dependable.  He was a joy to coach.  It couldn’t be more deserved.  I could not be more proud of any person.”

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Antoine Bethea: 'Reggie Wayne has special work ethic'

Antoine Bethea has praised Indianapolis Colts teammate Reggie Wayne's work ethic.

The wide receiver could become the 11th person in NFL history to score 80 touchdowns and record over 13,000 receiving yards in their career when the Colts face the Miami Dolphins today.

The safety told the team's official website: "You watch the game and it's, 'man, that's a spectacular catch'. Then you watch him in practice, he does that every day.

"The work ethic he puts in is special. You don't see that every day. Every organisation really doesn't have the honor of saying it has that type of leader.

"He's what an NFL Hall of Famer is, in my opinion. He's what every guy coming into this league wants to be. He's going to be one of 11 to reach that milestone."

Wayne, who was drafted by the Colts in 2001, has 13,159 receiving yards and 79 touchdowns in his 13-season career.

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Reggie Wayne's streak

Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne extended his NFL record to 65 consecutive games with at least three receptions. Wayne finished with eight catches for 96 yards and one touchdown. That's a solid start toward the possibility of another season with 100 catches and 1,000 yards receiving.

Wayne has had 1,000 yards in eight of the last nine seasons, missing by 40 yards in 2011 when the Colts used three different quarterbacks. Wayne's 1,355 yards receiving in Andrew Luck's first season last year was identical to the 1,355 yards Wayne had in Peyton Manning's final healthy season with the Colts in 2010.

Wayne praised Luck after the game.

“He plays better than the average second-year quarterback,” Wayne said. “He inspires everybody in the huddle. Nothing seems to get him down, even when they took the lead. We went out there and he said, 'This is going to be the drive. This is going to be the drive to win the game right here.' He's always confident and knows what he can do with his ability.”

Wayne has caught at least one pass in 113 straight games.

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Reggie Wayne now 13th-best receiver of all time

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne passed Steve Largent for No. 13 on the NFL's career list for yards receiving with his performance against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Sept. 8. Wayne, who had eight catches for 96 yards, now has 13,159 yards. Largent had 13,089.

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Reggie Wayne goes for 96 yards & touchdown

Reggie Wayne caught eight balls for 96 yards and a touchdown in the Colts' Week 1 win over Oakland.

Wayne was fantastic, getting open at will on crossing routes and gashing the Raiders' defense with chain-moving receptions. Although Wayne is not the explosive player he once was, he has an obvious knack for getting open and remains Andrew Luck's go-to guy. He'll be a borderline WR1 in Week 2 against Miami.

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Reggie Wayne’s World

At 34, Reggie Wayne is only 1,518 yards away (or two mediocre seasons) from surpassing Marvin Harrison as the alltime receiving leader in Colts’ history. But he plans on catching passes from the fun-loving Andrew Luck much farther into the future

ROBERT KLEMKO: Someone in the Colts organization asked you how long want to keep playing and you said, “Infinity years.” At 34, do you realistically think you could still be playing five years from now?
REGGIE WAYNE: As long as these legs keep me upright. As long as I continue to feel good, I’m going to keep playing. I don’t have no mark on it or a timetable, I’m just going to keep playing the game. The day I feel like I cant get any separation, that’ll be it.

KLEMKO: What’s the difference between Andrew Luck and all the other quarterbacks you’ve played with?
WAYNE: In practice, he has fun, he’s not totally serious. It’s almost like a grown man in a Pee Wee league. He just likes to have fun. He’s laughing, he’s joking, he’s into it. That’s what I like about him. He makes me want to go out there and have fun. So whenever you see your leader like that, that’s what you want.”

KLEMKO: How do you assess Luck’s command of the playbook in Year 2?
WAYNE: This is the offense he ran in college, so he knows it like the back of his hand, better than last year’s offense. He can maneuver guys, move them around, tell them what they’re supposed to do when they’re unsure. He knows how to pick up the blitzes and the protections to put everybody in. He’s already ahead of the curve. Everybody needs to catch up with him this time. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but we’re lucky that we got his offensive coordinator from college.

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Andrew Luck: 'Reggie Wayne is still our leader'

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck still believes that veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne is the leader of his side's offense.

Luck replaced Peyton Manning at the Colts last season and put in an impressive rookie season as he guided the team to the playoffs before they were eliminated in the Wild Card round to the Baltimore Ravens.

"I still defer to Reggie Wayne as the leader of our offense," Luck told ESPN. "But I think as a quarterback there's a natural progression of leadership, the older you get.

"I definitely feel more inclined this year to share my opinion if I feel like it's necessary, or to talk in front of the guys, or what have you. As a quarterback you assume a natural leadership role."

Indianapolis open their regular season against the Cleveland Browns on September 8.


Reggie Wayne has big preseason game

Reggie Wayne caught seven balls for 79 yards in the Colts' third preseason game Saturday night.
Wayne told reporters in June he was "still trying to figure out" new OC Pep Hamilton's offense. He's got a good grip, alright. Through three preseason affairs, 34-year-old Wayne has 11 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown, continuing to be Andrew Luck's clear-cut No. 1 receiver. Wayne is worth fantasy-draft consideration beginning in the fourth round of standard leagues. He's likely to have a better PPR year due to declining big-play ability.

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Reggie Wayne's acrobatic catches make his offensive coordinator a fan

For a few seconds during a preseason gameicon1, Pep Hamilton forgot he was the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator.

He joined the Reggie Wayne fan club.

Hamilton’s brief role adjustment occurred during the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the New York Giantsicon1. From the left slot, Wayne moved into the flat, reached back for a pass from Andrew Luck that was slightly behind him snatched it with his right hand.

The result was a 3-yard gain. The degree of difficulty was off the charts.

“It’s funny,” Hamilton said Wednesday, recalling the play. “I try to not watch our play. I’m focusing on the defense and we’ve got to be ready as coaches to make adjustments on the fly.


“But I caught myself just a moment. I was somewhat in awe of the one-handed catch and I wasn’t really focused on the next play callicon1, and I had to just gather my thoughts quickly and move on to the next play.”

Three plays later, another Wayne highlight.

Giants cornerback Aaron Ross failed to secureicon1 an interception near the goal line and batted the ball behind him. Wayne was waiting. He tipped the ball with his right hand, turned, then made a diving catch near the right side of the end zone.

Asked to rate the two catches against the Giants, Wayne shrugged.

“Just so so,” he said.

Hamilton disagreed, especially on the touchdown.

“That was a great play,” Hamilton said. “I think Reggie Wayne is a living legend in a sense that you don’t have the career he’s had up to this point and consistently display the ability to make the great catches over the years without having a special intuitive gift.

“It’s like he can see the rotation of the ball. Everything’s slow to Reggie as far as how the game is played. He always finds a way to make the catch regardless of where the ball is.”

Luck insisted he has never taken for granted Wayne’s ability to make the tough catches.

“Those catches are special,” he said of Wayne’s work against the Giants. “Just because they happen — it seems over and over again now — it doesn’t make it lose its luster. I guess you do sort of come to expect it from those guys.

“I still get excited. I don’t know if it makes me look good or bad. It’s still a completion. That’s what matters.”

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GIFs: Reggie Wayne's Ridiculous Pre Season Catches

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne made a sick one-handed catch on a screen pass during the first quarter of the Colts-Giants preseason game Sunday night. 

He followed it up just a few minutes later with a juggling touchdown catch on a pass that should have been picked off by defensive back Aaron Ross.


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Reggie Wayne embracing expectations

ANDERSON, Ind. — Wide receiver Reggie Wayne said this morning the Indianapolis Colts won’t sneak up on anybody this season.

He believes some opponents might have underestimated the young team with a rookie quarterback and an interim head coach a year ago.

But just because teams will see the Colts coming this time around doesn’t mean Wayne feels like the team has a target on its chest.

“I wouldn’t say we’re the hunted just yet,” he told the media after Friday’s morning walkthrough. “But we’re somewhere in the field, and that’s cool.”

Indianapolis infamously began last season ranked No. 32 in The Associated Press power rankings. This time around, the Colts start at No. 10. But some onlookers retain doubts about the team’s ability to repeat its surprising success without the emotion of last season.

Wayne made it clear he and his teammates still aren’t interested in outside opinions.

“As a team, we feel like we are contenders,” he said. “We don’t let USA Today determine that.”

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Drop a pass? Colts WR Reggie Wayne said you'd better get amnesia

ANDERSON — In the blink of an eye, Griff Whalen made his coach eat his words.

Asked earlier this week how the second-year receiver out of Stanford was fitting into the Indianapolis Colts’ new offense, coach Chuck Pagano didn’t hesitate.
“I don’t know if he ever drops a pass,” he said.

A day or so later, Whalen ran a crossing route against light coverage and ... flat dropped a pass.

“That’s gonna happen,” shrugged Reggie Wayne, the second-leading receiver in club history and a six-time Pro Bowl selection. “You just hope it doesn’t happen too often or at the wrong time.”

Sunday, Wayne had a pass squirt through his hands. A few plays later, he uncharacteristically suffered another drop. He took out his frustration on the football, walking over to it and kicking it.

“Receivers who drop passes are just like a defensive back who gets beat,” Wayne said. “You’ve got to have amnesia. You’re gonna drop one every once in a while.”

“It’s almost always a lack of concentration,” Whalen said.

Wayne’s routine includes several minutes with the Jugs machine after each practice. He has the person running the Jugs alternate the direction of the passes: high, low, to the left, to the right.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, who brought a reputation of dropping too many passes with him to the Colts from Oakland, also spends time snatching footballs spit out by the Jugs.

Yet drops crop up. No different than an offensive lineman flinching on a false start or a defensive lineman being penalized for encroachment.

Quarterback Andrew Luck insisted he’s not the type to get in a receiver’s face when one of his passes hits the turf.

“From Pop Warner to high school, college, the NFL, it’s part of the game,” he said, adding a receiver has had occasion to gripe when one of his passes sails high or into the ground.

“If I did (berate someone), I’d be disappointed with myself.”

Charting dropped passes is a subjective venture. Was it catchable? Was it tipped? Did the defensive back jar the ball loose?

Two premium websites, for instance, don’t agree on the number of passes dropped by Colts receivers in 2012. Pro Football Focus charged them with a league-high 50. Stats Pass had them with 36, tied for seventh-most.

“You can’t worry about how the league or someone else charts them,” said Wayne. “If it’s a bang-bang play, they can’t really tell if a guy got his hand in the way.

“But I know in my own mind. I don’t need someone telling me.”

According to Stats Pass, Wayne dropped nine passes last season. That was a team high, but he was targeted 195 times, a drop rate of 4.6 percent. The league average was 8.0 percent.

By contrast, Donnie Avery dropped 5.6 percent of the passes thrown to him (7-of-124) and Hilton 6.7 (6-of-90).

Despite reports to the contrary, Heyward-Bey is in the midst of a solid camp. He is attempting to put distance between himself and the reputation he acquired in Oakland as a receiver with too many drops, and gain the trust of Luck.

“When he throws it up there, you got to come down with the ball,” Heyward-Bey said. “That’s what a quarterback looks for and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Heyward-Bey dealt with revolving coaches, coordinators and quarterbacks during his four years with the Raiders. And with his consistency. From 2009-12, Stats Pass had him dropping 6.7 percent of the passes thrown to him (20-of-300). But after a shaky rookie season (6-of-40, 15 percent), it’s 5.4 (14-of-260).
Wayne has dropped 4.1 percent of his opportunities (27-of-651) during that same stretch. Wes Welker’s rate over the past four seasons is 5.4 percent (34-of-633).

Wayne wagged his head back and forth.

“I don’t feel like there’s a ball I can’t catch if it touches my hands,” he said. “Some guys will say, ‘It’s out of my reach’ or ‘It’s off my fingertips.’

“Hey, if it touches these phalanges, I’ve got to bring it in some kind of way. Andrew will be like, ‘My bad. Bad ball.’ I’m like, ‘No, I’ve got to come up with that.’ You know the ones you are capable of catching.’’

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Reggie Wayne hosts charity basketball game

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Colt star wideout Reggie Wayne has made Indianapolis his home, and not only at Lucas Oil Stadium, but his annual 'Saving our Youth" charity basketball game at the Summer Celebration is a good example of giving back.

His celebrity turnout certainly backs it up. Wayne was joined by a handful of his Colts’ teammates like T.Y. Hilton, Antoine Bethea and Vick Ballard. 

Pacers’ Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson as well as NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins were also on hand to help out as coaches. 

"For me, it's about going out there, run up and down the court, get a little sweat going. This is always my introduction to camp,” said Wayne. “I just like to go out there and watch everybody else live their hoop dreams.”

In the end, Wayne’s team won by over 20, but he says the real winners are the youth. 

“Seeing everybody smile, have fun, laugh, that's what it's about,” said Wayne. “Seeing those young kids look at us, people they idolize on TV every day, just seeing them smile when they ask for autographs."

"It's a great weekend, especially an event to raise money for our youth,” said Bethea. “That's the most important thing is doing things for our future.”

Reggie Wayne hosts charity basketball game

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VIDEO: NFL top 100 Players of 2013 No 21 Reggie Wayne

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TDs Wayne, Johnson should have caught

Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne are the headliners among wide receivers in the AFC South.

They are prominent in the most-recent round of research by Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus.

Boiled down, Clay attempts to find something more telling than red zone numbers. Why? Well, over the past five seasons, catches at the 16-yard line resulted in touchdowns 4.6 percent of the time and catches at the 21-yard line resulted in touchdowns 4.0 percent of the time.

If that 5-yard difference is minimal, why should we expect a catch at the 16 to be more productive than a catch at the 21?

“[T]here’s no reason we should be using an arbitrary number to weight what does and doesn’t count as a ‘scoring opportunity,’” Clay writes. “... Should a wide receiver screen to Randall Cobb from the 19-yard line really be valued the same as a quick slant to Calvin Johnson at the 2-yard line? Of course not. But, if you’re referencing [red zone] data, that’s exactly what you’re doing.”

So Clay calculates oTD -- opportunity-adjusted touchdowns.

Brandon Marshall of Chicago was the best receiver (and overall player) in oTD in 2012 at 12.0. Given the same hands and same quarterback as everyone else, he’d be expected to score 12 touchdowns based on his catches. He scored 11.

Wayne’s oTD was 9.9. That means based on where he was catching the ball, he “should” have had 4.9 more touchdowns than the four he scored.

Johnson’s oTD was 4.8. That means based on where he was catching the ball, his five touchdown catches were right in line with his expected touchdown catches.

Johnson's expected touchdowns should be the same, if not higher, than Wayne's, I would think.

What were the biggest differences between the two?

Johnson’s average distance from the end zone on his targets was 49.7, significantly higher than Wayne’s 44.2. And Johnson was only targeted in the end zone six times, where he caught just one pass, while Wayne was targeted 16 times in the end zone and caught four touchdowns there.

We already tied into the Texans and the issue of throwing into the end zone.

Here is further evidence they could be trying to do more with Johnson in the end zone.

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Reggie Wayne reports to OTAs

INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne was back in Indianapolis on Wednesday putting names with faces, getting acclimated to about three dozen more new teammates, working with another new offensive coordinator and, yes, learning a new offense all over again.

"The last few years my main focus on Day 1 has been just getting to know my teammates, getting to know their names, getting to figure out where everybody comes from and then going into the playbook because at the end of the day, you are out there with them and they are out there with you and you are doing whatever you got to do for each other. So I think it would be bad to go out there and not know the guy next to you, his first and last name," Wayne said.

"It has been a challenge, but I'm getting it done. It's a little new to me still, but it's cool."

From 2002 through 2011, Wayne didn't have to endure anything like this.

Peyton Manning was the starting quarterback, the offense was never overhauled and the roster was laden with veterans the Colts drafted, developed and kept. Back then, the expectations rarely changed.But after neck surgery shelved Manning for the 2011 season, Indianapolis completely rebuilt.

Since last showing up in the Colts' locker room following a playoff loss to Baltimore in January, Wayne has lost another old friend, Dwight Freeney, who left for San Diego. Nine veteran free agents have joined the roster along with seven draftees and new coordinator Pep Hamilton, who took over after Bruce Arians accepted the head coaching job in Arizona. Hamilton called the plays for Andrew Luck at Stanford and now both are trying to teach the system to the rest of the Colts, including Luck.

"Reggie looks great," Luck said after Wednesday's practice. "Reggie's going to look great in whatever offense you put him in. If it's the spread or whatever that crazy A-11 thing was in high school a couple of years ago, whether it's backyard football, any sport. He's the type of guy that stands out. He's just an athlete. He knows how to play. He'll be great. He always is."

That's why the Colts have rarely balked when the 34-year-old Wayne takes his offseason workouts on the road.

Traditionally, Wayne has spent the offseason like many former Hurricane players -- sweating in the South Florida heat. Each year, Wayne returns in exceptional shape and has been incredibly productive for a receiver his age. He's had four 100-catch seasons in the last six years and has topped the 1,000-yard mark every year since 2004, missing by just 40 yards in 2011 when Manning did not play. Last summer, he even brought Luck to his home base to teach him what it takes to excel in the NFL.

Apparently, it worked as the Colts rebounded from a 2-14 season to go 11-5 and reach the playoffs with one of the biggest turnarounds in league history.

"I went to the University of Miami, man. We didn't cheat. We did everything the right way," Wayne said. "So we just go take it one day at a time. I'm sure he's in there and when he gets a better idea of some things, he'll kind of help us out a little bit."

He plans to be around for next week's mandatory minicamp, and then he'll head back to Miami where he'll continue to work out until training camp begins in late July.

"I think we're rolling. I think we'll definitely take advantage of the rest of the OTAs [offseason team activities] and what we have left, but mandatory minicamp will be big for us," Wayne said, noting that he learned the difference between mandatory and voluntary at Miami, too. "It'll be nice to be out there and really get going. It's been positive, productive so far. Hopefully we can finish this segment up well and go into the next one with some momentum."

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Indianapolis welcomes arrival of Reggie Wayne for offseason workouts

INDIANAPOLIS — Reggie Wayne feels young again.

The 34-year-old receiver with six Pro Bowl appearances was back in Indianapolis on Wednesday putting names with faces, getting acclimated to about three dozen more new teammates, working with another new offensive coordinator and, yes, learning a new offense all over again.

Hey, at least he knows who the quarterback is at first glance.

"The last few years my main focus on day one has been just getting to know my teammates, getting to know their names, getting to figure out where everybody comes from and then going into the playbook because at the end of the day, you are out there with them and they are out there with you and you are doing whatever you got to do for each other. So I think it would be bad to go out there and not know the guy next to you, his first and last name," Wayne said. "It has been a challenge, but I'm getting it done. It's a little new to me still, but it's cool."

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From 2002 through 2011, Wayne didn't have to endure anything like this.

Peyton Manning was the starting quarterback, the offense was never overhauled and the roster was laden with veterans who the Colts drafted, developed and kept. Back then, the expectations rarely changed.

But after neck surgery shelved Manning for the entire 2011 season, Indianapolis completely rebuilt.

Longtime leaders such as Manning, Gary Brackett, Dallas Clark and Jeff Saturday were let go. Coach Jim Caldwell and Bill Polian, the architect of Indy's decade of success, were fired and suddenly last year Wayne was starting over.

Now things are new again.

Since last showing up in the Colts' locker room following a playoff loss to Baltimore in January, Wayne has lost another old friend, Dwight Freeney, who left for San Diego. Nine veteran free agents have joined the roster along with seven draftees and new coordinator Pep Hamilton, who took over after Bruce Arians accepted the head coaching job in Arizona. Hamilton called the plays for Andrew Luck at Stanford and now both are trying to teach the system to the rest of the Colts, including Luck.

So far, Wayne has seemed right at home.

"Reggie looks great," Luck said after Wednesday's practice. "Reggie's going to look great in whatever offense you put him in. If it's the spread or whatever that crazy A-11 thing was in high school a couple of years ago, whether it's backyard football, any sport. He's the type of guy that stands out. He's just an athlete. He knows how to play. He'll be great. He always is."

That's why the Colts have rarely balked when Wayne takes his offseason workouts on the road.

Traditionally, Wayne has spent the offseason like many former Hurricane players — sweating in the South Florida heat. Each year, Wayne returns in exceptional shape and has been incredibly productive for a receiver his age. He's had four 100-catch seasons in the last six years and has topped the 1,000-yard mark every year since 2004, missing by just 40 yards in 2011 when Manning did not play. Last summer, he even brought Luck to his home base to teach him what it takes to excel in the NFL.

Apparently, it worked as the Colts rebounded from a 2-14 season to go 11-5 and reach the playoffs with one of the biggest turnarounds in league history.
This time, Luck is the teacher and Wayne the pupil who is learning on the run. He's not even asking for Luck's help yet.

"I went to the University of Miami, man. We didn't cheat. We did everything the right way," Wayne said. "So we just go take it one day at a time. I'm sure he's in there and when he gets a better idea of some things, he'll kind of help us out a little bit."

For now, Wayne will try to figure it out himself.

He plans to be around for next week's mandatory mini-camp, and then he'll head back to Miami where he'll continue to work out until training camp begins in late July.

"I think we're rolling. I think we'll definitely take advantage of the rest of the OTAs (offseason team activities) and what we have left, but mandatory minicamp will be big for us," Wayne said, noting that he learned the difference between mandatory and voluntary at Miami, too. "It'll be nice to be out there and really get going. It's been positive, productive so far. Hopefully we can finish this segment up well and go into the next one with some momentum."

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NFL Top 100 Players 2013: Reggie Wayne at No. 90

With Peyton Manning out of the picture, nobody knew what to expect from Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts during the 2012 season with Andrew Luck taking over under center as a rookie, but the wide receiver looked just like his old self as he finished the year with 106 catches for 1,355 yards and five touchdowns.  Now that Luck has a season of experience under his belt, expectations will be high once again for Wayne heading into the 2013 season and even at 34 years of age–there’s no reason why Wayne shouldn’t be able to post big numbers once again.

One of the best things about Wayne is he’s been one of the most consistent wide receivers in the league throughout his career as  he’s recorded at least 1,100 receiving yards in seven of his last nine seasons. Many expected Wayne’s numbers to decline for at least the 2012 season and he and Luck adjusted to playing together, but that was obviously far from the case as the duo played a key factor in helping Indianapolis make a playoff run–which nobody expected.

With the type of numbers he’s displayed over his career, there’s no reason why Wayne shouldn’t come through once again next year and as scary as it sounds–the Colts could be even better than they were in 2012. Of course, whether or not that actually happens may rely heavily on what type of production they receive from Wayne–which should be good assuming he manages to stay healthy.

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Man who stole Reggie Wayne's car sentenced

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A man charged with auto theft for stealing Reggie's Wayne's Bentley and driving drunk was sentenced Thursday.

Gunner Belcher pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated and criminal conversion. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 58 days suspended, and two days served.

He will be on probation for 363 days.

According to a police report, Belcher was pulled over and tried to stop the vehicle in the middle of the road. Police say he smelled of alcohol and told officers he was Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne's "cousin by marriage."

The next morning, Wayne attempted to pick up his Bentley from the Westin Hotel when he was informed that valet staff had no idea where the Bentley was.

The car was later returned to Wayne.

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Reggie Wayne plans 1,000-yard season at age 35

Colts receiver Reggie Wayne will turn 35 this season, and he’s hoping to add his name to the short list of players who have had 1,000 receiving yards while old enough to be president.

Wayne told the Indianapolis Star that he has the list of all players who have managed that feat — 12 players have topped 1,000 yards at age 35 or older, a total of 16 times — and he plans to join that select group in 2013.

“I’m going to put that list in my locker,” he said. “I strive off that. That’s what fuels me, motivates me. Not everybody can do that.”

Last year Wayne had 1,355 receiving yards, which was the second-best total ever for a 34-year-old — second only to his old teammate Marvin Harrison, who had 1,366 receiving yards the year he was 34. If Wayne were to equal last year’s total this year, it would be the best season ever for a 35-year-old receiver, topping Irving Fryar’s total of 1,316 yards in 1997, when he was 35.

Wayne needs several good years to top Jerry Rice for the crown of the best receiver ever after the age of 35, but we already know Rice was a freak of nature: Rice tore his ACL in Week One of the season when he turned 35, and not only did he return the next year to go over 1,000 yards at age 36, but he also had 1,000-yard seasons in the years when he turned 39 and 40, and 800-yard seasons in the years when he was 37, 38 and 41.

We’ll probably never see another receiver do what Rice did and gain 6,480 yards after his 35th birthday. But Wayne doesn’t look like he’s slowing down as he closes in on 35.

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Reggie Wayne plans to finish out contract

Reggie Wayne fully expects to play through the duration of his contract, which expires after the 2014 season.

This season, Wayne is aiming to become the 13th receiver to ever record 1,000 yards or more at age 35-plus. It shouldn't be a problem. Although he hasn't topped 12.8 YPC in any of the last four campaigns, Wayne's precise route-running led to 106 catches for 1,355 yards and five touchdowns last year. The apple of Andrew Luck's eye, he tied for second in the entire league with 194 targets. Wayne isn't a sexy pick, but he's on the WR2 radar.

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VIDEO: Reggie Wayne feels there is always room for improvement in his game

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Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Terrell Owens ... Reggie Wayne? Colts receiver looking to join select company at 35

Reggie Wayne relaxed in front of his locker room cubicle, occasionally dabbing at perspiration on his face from the Indianapolis Colts’ latest offseason work.
He held a couple of sheets of paper in his hand. His eyes scanned the list of names, and he pointed to this one (Jerry Rice), that one (Joey Galloway) and yet another (Jimmy Smith).

Motivation comes in different forms.

At least a portion of Wayne’s motivation heading into his 13th season is the exclusive list of NFL receivers who have compiled at least 1,000 yards at age 35. It will be within arm’s length the rest of the year.

“I’m going to put that list in my locker,” he said. “I strive off that.

“That’s what fuels me, motivates me. Not everybody can do that.”

The 1,000-yard mark has been breached only 16 times by 12 players 35 years or older. The trailblazing list includes Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (on three occasions), Cris Carter and James Lofton.

Wayne turns 35 in November. He’s on the downside of a career teeming with Pro Bowl selections (six), receptions (968), yards (13,063) and touchdowns (78).
But at a time when many begin showing signs of the aging process, Wayne refuses to yield. He fully intends to play at his established high level through the duration of his contract, which expires after the 2014 season.

Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has been around Wayne for only a few days this offseason, but he has a firm understanding of Wayne’s pedigree.
“Around the league there is a real healthy respect for what he has done and the level he’s still at,” Hasselbeck said.

“It said a lot when he decided to come back.”

Wayne became a free agent after the Colts’ 2-14 season in 2011. After exploring his options and considering at least one offer that was more lucrative than what the Colts had on the table, Wayne accepted the Colts’ three-year, $17.5 million deal.

“It surprised everyone around the league,” Hasselbeck said. “He had a lot of pride in what he had already helped build here and he wanted to see that through even though it was a new regime.”

To do so, though, required Wayne to remain committed and motivated.

As it did when the Colts selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2001 draft, the end result can be traced to how Wayne attacks the offseason.

“I still train the same way I did as a rookie,” he said.

It began in Miami in mid-March. Up at 6:30 in the morning, four days a week, for two hours of pushing his body.

Wayne is in town this week for the start of the team’s on-field work but plans to return to south Florida and follow his own agenda. At some point, quarterback Andrew Luck, receiver T.Y. Hilton and a few others are expected to join Wayne in Miami for a few days of concentrated passing drills.

Wayne has been one of the Colts’ most durable players. He has missed only three of a possible 192 regular-season games, all during his rookie season. He leads active receivers with 182 consecutive games played and consecutive 161 starts.

Preparation has been key. So have been lessons gleaned from watching former teammate Marvin Harrison.

“The name of this game is longevity,” Wayne said. “There were times I would see Marvin catch a pass and take a nose dive. I was like, ‘What are you doing? You’ve got 3 more yards (to get).’

“But if you sit back and think about it, that’s a lot less hits he’s taking. You’ve got to pick your battles.”

So, Wayne has. He’s aiming to join that short list of aging receivers who’ve defied Father Time and put up big numbers.

“There are some special guys on that list,” he said. “That’s why I want to keep that list in my locker.

“I want to compare myself to those guys.”

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Reggie Wayne Says Locker Room Would Have No Problem With Gay Teammate

Regardless of how you may personally feel about homosexuality and homosexuals in general, the reality is we are living in very transformative times.
The right to be openly and proudly gay has always been inalienable. The greater U.S. population accepting that right is a different story. In recent years however, more and more people have grown to accept openly gay individuals as colleagues, friends, and family members.

With the historic news released on Monday that current NBA player Jason Collins is gay, having openly admitted his sexual orientation to Sports Illustrated, a firestorm of debate has erupted across all media. In general, most people working in media, or working as high-level executives in leagues like the NFL and the NHL, have come out in support of Collins. Several professional athletes have also expressed their support as well.

One of those pro athletes that's in Collins' corner: Colts veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne. When asked about Collins' decision to come out by an ESPN producer, Wayne responded (via Tom James' Twitter handle):

Wayne was asked about Jason Collins. Says that doesn't know him but supports his decision. Says it wouldnt be a problem in Colts locker room

On a personal note, it's outstanding to see a veteran NFL star like Wayne come out in support of Collin's decision. It's also great to hear him say that if one of his teammates were gay, the team would have no issue.

Leadership, folks.

Open-minded, all-inclusive leadership.

Also, it just makes good common sense.

I mean, forget how you feel personally for a moment: Do we fans honestly care if someone on the Colts roster is gay? As long as the guy can tackle, sack, punt, kick, catch, run, and/or throw, who cares who he likes to sleep with in his spare time?

None of my business. None of anyone's.

Also, if someone like Wayne is saying that a gay teammate wouldn't be a problem in the Colts locker room, that's a not-so-subtle message to anyone who would have a problem with it to basically STFU.

If you want me to explain why it's such a big deal for an active player like Collins to openly come out, I can only offer this: For years, I've watched close friends and family members privately express fear to me that if their loved ones or employers found out they were gay, they'd be retaliated against. For someone of my upbringing, I always found it disgusting that anyone would attack someone else simply for being gay, or black, or a woman, or a gay black woman.

With Collins admitting his sexual orientation, and with professional athletes like Wayne publicly supporting that decision, it makes it that much harder for bigots and homophobes to retaliate against people simply for being what they are.

In my mind, I call that progress.

Reggie Wayne was always high on my "Greatest Colts Of All Time" list. He just went up another notch.

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Heyward-Bey Already Listening to Reggie Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS--Reggie Wayne’s message for the newest member of the Colts receiving corps was succinct.

Three words were all that was needed for Darrius Hewyard-Bey’s ears to perk up.

“Come to work,” the 13-year Colts receiver said to Heyward-Bey.

Heyward-Bey has watched Wayne from afar since entering the league in 2009 and now he gets a first-hand look of what it takes to become a Pro Bowl receiver.
“I know he’s going to be that vet that’s going to lead the way in our receiver room and I’m just going to watch and try to (take) it all in,” Heyward-Bey said of Wayne on The Last Word.

Along with getting the opportunity to be under the tutelage of Wayne, Heyward-Bey is joining a team that is used to the postseason.

In Heyward-Bey’s four seasons in Oakland, the Raiders did not finish over .500. The electric receiver is hoping the move to Indianapolis increases the chance to reach the game’s highest peak.

“The only frustrating part was not going to the playoffs,” Heyward-Bey said of his time in Oakland. “Every player in this league wants to win the Super Bowl. The only way you get a chance to get there is to get into the tournament.”

This offseason was Heyward-Bey’s first experience as an NFL free agent.

The five-year NFL veteran compared the process to being recruited out of high school and after evaluating the pros and cons, the Horseshoe outweighed the competition.

“You definitely want to feel wanted in this process,” Heyward-Bey said. “It felt good but I understand that I still have to go to work and I need to get better each and every day.”

“My confidence will carry me through the spring training, training camp and I’m looking forward to the season. I know that we’ve got one goal and that’s to win a Super Bowl and that’s all I need.”

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Reggie Wayne Gala Raises Big Bucks For Charity

Reggie Wayne exuded maturity when he walked into the St. Regis Resort Ballroom on Saturday night. Accompanied by his family and holding one of his young sons, Wayne didn't look like a receiver who had caught 106 passes for 1,355 yards this past season. He looked like a regular dad.

The Athletes First Classic, a charity event hosted by David Dunn's powerhouse agency Athletes First, honored Wayne, the six-time Pro Bowler, and local philanthropist Stephanie Argyos, raising more than $1 million for the Orangewood Children's Foundation in the process.

With behemoths like Ray Lewis, Clay Matthews, Von Miller, Nate Solder and Terrence Cody in attendance, the thing that stood out most about Wayne was his relatively normal stature at 6-0 and 198 pounds. At 34, he's coming off one of his most prolific seasons, which made it fitting that the young quarterback who helped him bounce back, Andrew Luck, was the one to present Wayne with the award.

When asked to describe Wayne's game, many of his colleagues praised his consistency. Considering he's only had one season below 1,000 receiving yards since 2004 (two years ago when he caught for 960), Wayne's mastery of the wide receiver position continues to set the bar high for young receivers such as Ryan Broyles, Michael Floyd and USC standout Robert Woods, all of whom were in attendance.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer served as Master of Ceremonies while veterans Matt Schaub and Chris Cooley, up-and-comers Doug Martin and Shane Vereen, as well as prospects Woods, TJ McDonald, and Mike Glennon, attended the gala in support of Irvine-based Athletes First's charity event.

"Our mission with Athletes First is that we put the athletes first," Athletes First president Brian Murphy said. "You're not just helping the athletes on the field, but as people. One way is to give back to the community, using your resources to make a difference in the world. We started the Classic to give back ... Charity is really high on our list and it's important to us. It's part of our joy to help."

The night was a rousing success, not only for the Orangewood Foundation, which will use the seven figures worth of donations to help Orange County-based children in the foster care system, but for Wayne as well.

Consistency often goes overlooked in professional sports, but for Wayne, the night was a toast to reliability. The future Hall-of-Famer won't let that go to his head though, as he's got bigger fish to fry. Like getting his team back to the playoffs and getting his kids to crash after a raucous night.

Here is what some of the attendees had to say when asked for a short and sweet description of Wayne.

Ryan Mallet: "Consistent. He's a playmaker."

Joseph Fauria: "Beast."

Mike Glennon: "I can't think of one word. When I think of Reggie Wayne, I just think of Peyton Manning throwing touchdowns to him."

Chris Cooley: "Dependable."

Robert Woods: "I've been studying him and Marvin Harrison on tape for a long time, and he's just a great route-runner, great hips, and someone I strive to be like in the NFL."

Nate Solder: "Dependable."

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Reggie Wayne Gets Sparks Flying At The Gillette’s Kiss & Tell Live National Experiment

This past weekend at the Super Bowl, Colts WR Reggie Wayne got the sparks flying as he asks local couples to pucker up for a live national social experiment all about the kiss!

Research shows that people are kissing less than ever and that 1 out of 3 women have avoided kissing a guy because he had facial hair. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon and signs showing that the kiss may be on the decline, Gillette is asking couples across America to help determine if stubble could be the trouble.

This past weekend, couples in New Orleans were invited to participate in a Kiss + Tell live experiment in-person. Men arrives stubbled, first conducting an introductory interview, then kissed with stubble.

Men then shaves and the couple will kiss again. A short follow-up survey was then conducted to determine which is truly more kissable. Anyone unable to attend in-person can conduct the experiment online at National results will be announced on Valentine’s Day.

Here’s pics from the weekends event!


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Reggie Wayne could become 5th all time in receiving yards

Two 1,000 yard seasons and proCane Reggie Wayne is in the top 5. If Wayne somehow gets one more 1k season after that, which might be a stretch at 36 he could finish top 2 all time in rec. yards. He would also be the only wide receiver in NFL history to do it with one team his whole career.

1.Jerry Rice+ 22,895
2.Terrell Owens 15,934
3.Randy Moss (34) 15,292
4.Isaac Bruce 15,208
5.Tim Brown14,934
6.Marvin Harrison14,580
7.Tony Gonzalez (35) 14,268
8.James Lofton+ 14,004
9.Cris Carter 13,899
10.Henry Ellard 13,777
11.Torry Holt13,382
12.Andre Reed 13,198
13.Steve Largent+ 13,089
14.Reggie Wayne (33) 13,063

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VIDEO: Reggie Wayne 2012-13 Highlights

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Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and Jim Irsay Join 'Parks and Rec' Crew

On Thursday night's "Parks and Recreation," some Indianapolis Colts showed up to make a character's dream come true. Andy Dwyer, as played by Chris Pratt, never had a bachelor party before his wedding (for which he wore a Reggie Wayne jersey.) Jim Irsay, Andrew Luck and Wayne show up at Lucas Oil Field to give Dwyer the best bachelor party ever.

Though Luck and Irsay did a good job, it was Wayne who stole the show as he told Dwyer it was a little weird to get married in a Colts jersey. If you're a Colts fan, this is a good reason to start watching "Parks and Rec." (If you're not a Colts fan, you should still be watching "Parks and Rec." It's a great show.)

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On Reggie Wayne's missing All-Pro vote

Did Reggie Wayne get a fair shake from the Associated Press panel of 50 voters who pick the NFL All-Pro Team?

It’s easy to rant and rave and say no.

Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Chicago’s Brandon Marshall are the first-teamers, with Cincinnati’s A.J. Green and Andre Johnson on the second team.

Calvin Johnson got 49 votes, one short of being unanimous. Marshall got 23, Green 16.5 and Andre Johnson 8.5. Having anything less than that and having zero amount to the same thing, really.

Demaryius Thomas of Denver, Wes Welker of New England and Julio Jones of Atlanta each got one vote.

Calvin Johnson is an automatic here, with a new single-season receiving yardage record of 1,964. Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall have strong numbers though I think Johnson’s were more meaningful as they came in an offense that was ranked much higher than Chicago’s. (I know you can flip that, it’s a matter of perspective I suppose.)


Wayne had both a “low” yards per catch and a “low” touchdown total. I’m sure that’s what hurt him even as he was third in the league to Marshall and Calvin Johnson on third down with 31 catches and his third-down average (14.5) was well up from his overall average.

He was uncanny in the leadership department for a young team that has no business winning 11 games and going to the playoffs. He was a fantastic target for Andrew Luck in his rookie season. He led the way for a team that lost its head coach to a fight against leukemia for most of the year.

But most of that qualifies as intangible. Looking at the voting, panelists didn’t seem to score those sorts of things very highly.

Nothing screams unreasonable in the way things came out, though I can understand the disappointment in Indianapolis as different results would have been fair, too.

While Andre Johnson wound up a second-team choice here, two of his teammates are on the first team: J.J. Watt was a unanimous choice at defensive end while Duane Brown is one of the tackles.

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Ray Lewis' dance 'disrespectful,' Reggie Wayne says

The Baltimore Ravens' 24-9 wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts ultimately might best be remembered as "The Ray Lewis Retirement Extravaganza."

There was the emotional pregame "squirrel dance." That bear hug with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Numerous tributes on the in-stadium screens. A postgame victory lap.

But when Lewis brought back the "squirrel" after lining up in the backfield on the Ravens' final play Sunday, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne had seen enough.

"I saw it as disrespectful," Wayne said Monday on WNDE-AM in Indianapolis. "They'd already had a tribute every quarter."

We could see how the spectacle surrounding Lewis would become tiresome for a Colts team that traveled to Baltimore solely to keep its season alive. Instead, they became a supporting act to a day about Ray.

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Reggie Wayne Is Second All-Time When It Comes To Catches In The Playoffs

Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver, ever. For a time, it looked as if Colts receiver Marvin Harrison could break or tie some of Rice's long-standing records. However, a knee injury in 2007 robbed Harrison of his signature speed, and two years later he was out of football after 13 years in the league. One area where Marvin always seemed to struggle was post-season play. He had 65 catches for 883 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs during his long career.

The man who spent 8 of those 13 years playing second-fiddle to Marvin was Reggie Wayne. Today, Wayne is the mentor, working with young receivers much the same way Marvin worked with him. Unlike Harrison, Wayne has had some of his biggest moments in the post-season, and Sunday's 9-catch, 114 yard performance only added to his legacy.

One of Jerry Rice's most amazing accomplishments are his 151 catches in his 29 career playoff games. Th tops, all-time in the post-season. No. 2 on that list? Reggie Wayne.

Per Michael David Smith of PFT, Wayne's 9 catches Sunday put him ahead of the Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin and Steelers wideout Hines Ward, into second place on the all-time in the playoffs with 92 grabs in 18 playoff games.

It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway, Reggie Wayne is amazing.

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Reggie Wayne hoping Colts can make his dream come true

INDIANAPOLIS — Reggie Wayne has an emphatic message for his Colts teammates. He’s got bigger plans.

Less than 12 months after taking less money to play for a team in major rebuilding mode and then leading it back to the playoffs as he had promised, Wayne has started concocting all sorts of grand possibilities in his mind.

‘‘If all goes well, if my dreams are correct, I won’t be playing in this [Pro Bowl] game. I have a bigger game to play in and my dreams normally come true,’’ Wayne said with a chuckle after earning his sixth Pro Bowl selection. ‘‘Let’s hope that this one is headed in that direction.’’

Clearly, the Colts needed Wayne’s presence this season and not just because of his skills on the field.

‘Reggie really is the leader of the offense. Everything he does helps us out. He sets a great example for all the young, new guys that are on the team.’

He showed this young, unproven offense what it takes to excel in the NFL, how to stick around a while, and what it means to play this game with purpose and passion. The results have been nothing short of remarkable.

Quarterback Andrew Luck set NFL rookie records for most yards passing and most attempts. He tied the NFL season mark for game-winning fourth-quarter drives, broke Peyton Manning’s franchise rookie mark for completions, set a new Colts record for rushing TDs by a quarterback, and presided over a historic turnaround.

Indy’s rookies also combined for 3,108 yards rushing and receiving, the most of any team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, according to STATS LLC.

And at age 34, Wayne gave no indication he was slowing down. The New Orleans native hauled in 106 receptions for 1,355 yards — the second-best marks of his career — and tied Marvin Harrison for the franchise’s most 1,000-yard seasons (eight). He moved into the top 10 on the NFL’s reception list (968), the top 15 in yards receiving (13,063), and broke the NFL record for most consecutive games with three or more catches (64), all while putting football into perspective for these rookies.

‘‘Reggie really is the leader of the offense,’’ Luck said. ‘‘Everything he does helps us out. He sets a great example for all the young, new guys that are on the team — myself included — and he is a lot of fun to throw the ball to.’’

When it comes to work, though, Wayne is all business.

During the first week of training camp, he hung around after practice in the blazing sun to catch balls from the Jugs machine. He started by himself. Each day, though, the crowd increased and within days, seemingly every receiver on the team was waiting behind one of the NFL’s top receivers.

That didn’t change when the Colts returned to their team complex.

‘‘You know his professionalism, I think that’s big especially with the young group on that side of the ball,’’ safety Antoine Bethea said when asked what Wayne’s most important contribution has been. ‘‘Just showing them how to be a professional, how to be a pro . . . You see him in the weight room, but you’d never know anything is wrong with him because he’s out there every day on the practice field and you can count on him every Sunday.’’

But it almost didn’t work out.

Two days before Indy’s miserable 2-14 season ended in 2011 and about to become an unrestricted free agent, Wayne packed up his locker, took down his nameplate, and spoke somberly to reporters as if his career in Indy was about to end.

The Colts did send many of Wayne’s longtime teammates — including Manning, running back Joseph Addai, and tight end Dallas Clark — packing in March. Some signed free agent contracts with other teams, and most figured that with Indianapolis going young and trying to shed big-dollar contracts, Wayne would go somewhere else, too.

That’s when new coach Chuck Pagano, who befriended Wayne when the two were at the University of Miami, made a personal request.

‘‘Basically I told him, I said I don’t want to do this without you,’’ Pagano said. ‘‘I said, ‘If we’re going to get this thing done and move forward and get back to the winning ways that this organization and certainly our fans in the community are used to, we need you back. I want to do this with you. We all want you back.’ ’’

After reflecting on Pagano’s words, Wayne turned down more money from other teams and re-signed with the Colts for three years and $17.5 million so he could help the franchise reestablish itself as a Super Bowl contender.

‘‘This is the journey that all teams want to take,’’ Wayne said. ‘‘This is the approach that we wanted. We wanted to give ourselves a chance.’’

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Reggie Wayne emerges as undisputed team leader

He wore orange gloves that day. He was on a mission. His coach, Chuck Pagano, had been hospitalized days earlier for treatment of life-threatening leukemia. Reggie Wayne was determined to seize the moment, the game, in those orange gloves.

Again and again they flicked out, sudden as a snake's strike. Wayne's is a distinctive style; the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver hides his hands until the final fraction of a second lest they betray to the defender the football's arrival and location.

The defender much of that memorable early October afternoon was Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, a future Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and he frequently had double-team help.

No matter. Nothing mattered. Those orange gloves, representative of leukemia awareness, stabbed five passes for 64 yards on the 80-yard touchdown drive that won the game 30-27 with 35 seconds to play.

Where do you go when the air is so thick with tension even the home crowd can't spit? On third-and-9, Andrew Luck went to Wayne for 15 yards. On third-and-12, to Wayne for 15 more. On first-and-goal, one last time, Luck to Wayne, who snatched the football with three defenders converging, twisted, stretched and extended it across the goal line for the 4-yard game-winner.

The sellout crowd of 67,020 gasped, roared, then chanted: "Reggie, Reggie, Reggie, Reggie."

Wayne caught 13 passes for 212 yards. The game ball went to the hospital, to Pagano. The "mojo" the now-in-remission coach likes to talk about, to the Colts. That day began the 10-3 run that has delivered an 11-5 season.

"Big moments, he controls them," Luck said of Wayne. "He's going to make the catch. He's going to make the play. He's going to get the first down, the touchdown, whatever you need."

At 34, Wayne has had one of the finest of his 12 much-decorated seasons: 106 catches, 1,355 receiving yards, five touchdowns and a sixth Pro Bowl trip, but the numbers, pretty as they are, scarcely hint at his impact, his value.

"He is the heart and soul and leader of the offense," Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "Andrew will take that torch one day, but right now it's definitely Reggie's."

Happy homecoming
It almost didn't happen.

Wayne's contract expired after the Colts 2-14 2011 season. He received no indication of interest from the team, so he packed his gear and the mementoes of 11 mostly gilded seasons and shipped them home to Miami.

It wasn't until Jan. 25, the day Pagano was hired and Wayne called to congratulate his old friend from the University of Miami, that the Colts made an appeal.
"First thing Chuck tells me," Wayne recalled, "he says, 'Thanks, Reg, but you know what? I can't do it without you.' "

There were other offers come March and that opening night of free agency, and they were more lucrative. Wayne said he walked away from millions. He followed his heart. He came home.

Wayne signed a three-year, $17.5 million contract. He pronounced himself a "Colt for life" and went straight to work.

As the seasons have progressed and the hits and mileage on Wayne's legs accumulated, he has begun the rigorous days of his offseason earlier each year.
They began at 5:30 a.m. last summer, but he was up at 4:30 for the 40-minute drive to the UM.

"When you're rolling over and snoring, I'm out there on the field," said Wayne, who goes back to 1997 with Pagano, when Wayne was a Miami player and Pagano a Hurricanes assistant coach. "When you wake up and get ready to work out, I'm back home, taking my nap or playing with my kids."

When Luck and Colts wide receivers Donnie Avery and Griff Whalen visited Miami in July to work on routes and timing, Wayne didn't deviate. His teammates arrived about 8 a.m.

"By the time they got there, I had finished my personal workout," Wayne said.

Don't think that went unnoticed. That's where to plumb the depth and value of Wayne's most vital contributions.

Ask the heart and soul of the defense about the heart and soul of the offense. Ask 10th-year outside linebacker Robert Mathis.

"He's more a show-you guy than a tell-you guy," said Mathis, who is cut from the same timber. "He's, 'Follow me. I'll show you.'

"He's that guy."

The Colts have followed, particularly the five rookies who have played so critical a role on offense: Luck, tight end Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, tight end Coby Fleener and running back Vick Ballard.

Or don’t ask. Observe. Watch him do all those things. Watch him block safeties and 250-pound SAM linebackers along the line of scrimmage in the most productive Colts running game since 2007.

It’s a new dimension for him, one he accepted readily. He calls himself the Colts’ honorary fullback.

"It's every day, whether it's catching balls before practice or catching balls after practice," Allen said. "I watch Reggie. I just want to work as hard as him."

Wayne answers the questions. He feels the eyes. He knows this young and star-kissed team needs more than Pro Bowl playmaking.

He knows he has become and must conduct himself as -- he struggles for the term -- "a cornerstone."

"You hear that, but this is the first time I'm actually experiencing it," he said. "I know I've got a million eyes on me. I've got to show them, this is what it is. I got to go full speed.

"And I think that's what's kind of fueled a little bit of this year. I've got to lead the way."

Setting the agenda, loudly
Wayne is a warm and engaging teammate. He is fun, and he is funny.

But there is a taciturn aspect. He is comfortable alone and at ease in silence. While he commands the receivers meeting room, he does so quietly.

"He likes to sit by himself," said Hilton, Wayne's relentless interrogator. "He'll be in back. I'll be in front."

Leading the way has come naturally enough. Wayne has done the same things the same way he has for a dozen years, for most all his football life.

The talking, and on occasion the shouting, have been another matter. When it has been necessary for the Colts to raise their level, Wayne has raised his voice.

"He's talked more this year than he had in all the 11 previous years and it's helped our team in every way," Mathis said.

"At halftime (of the Green Bay game), he kind of jumped the whole team for not being up to the challenge.

"We responded."

How could they not?

Wayne caught six passes for 104 yards during the first half that day but the Colts trailed 21-3. He shouted. He cajoled. He challenged. Then he caught seven more passes for another 108 yards over the final 30 minutes.

His teammates followed his voice and his lead. They came back that afternoon and they have continually come back this season.

"The best time here was winning the Super Bowl (following the 2006 season)," Wayne said. "That's it. But at the same time, this year is right up there with it.

"Guys have just been a team, locked in, enjoying each other. This has been the happiest locker room of my 12 years here. It's been fun, man. These young guys, they keep me laughing."

The Colts journey to Baltimore on Sunday for the wildest of wild card games: from 2-14 to 11-5.

Ask Wayne's young teammates if they would be there without him.

"No," said Hilton.

"No," said Allen.

"Absolutely not," said Luck, who paused, then added, "I guess I don't know, but everything in me says no."

The Colts play for their season Sunday. Wayne's hands will flicker and strike, and if necessary, he will raise his voice.

Luck calls him the "bell cow."

Arians calls him the "pied piper."

Pagano calls him a "pillar guy."

The home crowd calls him, "Reggie, Reggie, Reggie . . . "

You consider his eminent career and this so splendid season on so many levels. They're all right.

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Reggie Wayne stayed, skipping reunion with Texans' Andre Johnson

Considering how things have turned out, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne never gives his decision to re-up with the team that drafted him a second thought.

But that doesn't mean he didn't at least fantasize about a college reunion.

Imagine, Wayne and Andre Johnson, former teammates at the University of Miami, working out of the same huddle instead of once again working off opposing sidelines this afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"It would have been cool," said Wayne, a driving force behind the Colts' dramatic rags-to-riches season. "We joked about it all offseason, man."

Wayne's contract expired at the end of the very forgettable 2-14 season. Free agency loomed, and the Colts had given him no indication he would be part of what appeared to be a very uncertain future.

The dialogue between Wayne and Johnson was constant. So was the topic.

"He asked me, 'What's going on in your camp?' " Wayne said. "I was like, 'Nothing. I have no idea.'

"He joked that it could be like old times. 'I need some help over here.' "

Wayne's response always was the same.

"You know my number."

Wayne admits he had a few solid offers and said he "left a few million dollars on the table" when he accepted the Colts' three-year, $17.5 million offer in mid-March.

He steadfastly refuses to divulge the suitors, but Johnson indicated Wayne had an interest in a relocation to Houston.

"Here was one of the places that he actually wanted to come," Johnson said. "I was hoping that I would get a chance to be able to play with him again. Unfortunately, it didn't go that way."

One of the reasons Wayne re-signed with the Colts was the arrival of Chuck Pagano as head coach. Pagano was an assistant coach at Miami when Wayne was developing into a first-round draft pick. And it was Pagano who recruited Johnson to "The U."

In retrospect, Wayne and Johnson realize Wayne made the appropriate decision.

"Even as we joke about it now, he tells me, 'You made the right decision,' " Wayne said. "I feel like I did, too. But it's good to think about the 'What ifs?' "

Added Johnson: "He started there, he's had a great career there. I'm just happy he's there playing at a high level even though he's been doing it for 12 seasons."

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Six proCanes Make the NFL Pro Bowl

Six Miami Hurricanes were among those named to the 2013 Pro Bowl, announced by the National Football League offices Wednesday.

With its six selections, Miami tied Tennessee for the lead among all universities nationwide.

Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) and Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) were two of the four AFC selections at wide receiver. The veteran proCanes wideouts, who each earned their sixth Pro Bowl nod, have played pivotal roles for their respective teams through Week 16, combining for over 200 catches and 2,700 yards. Johnson ranks first in the conference with 1,457 receiving yards, while Wayne ranks second in the AFC with 102 receptions.

Johnson's teammate Chris Myers earned his second Pro Bowl selection when he was named the AFC's back-up center. The former sixth-round draft pick was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2011.

Two of the league's best defenders, Baltimore Ravens' safety Ed Reed and New England Patriots' nose tackle Vince Wilfork, were among those selected as starters. Reed earned his ninth trip in 11 professional seasons, while Wilfork was selected to his fifth-career Pro Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers' running back Frank Gore, who recently marked his team-record sixth 1,000-yard season, was the lone proCane NFC selection. The four-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 1,146 yards this season.

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proCane Players of Week 16

Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Reggie Wayne: proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught five catches and scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter with a little over four minutes to play to help seal an unexpected playoff berth for a young Colts team. Wayne helped Luck break the single-season rookie passing record Sunday, ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,315 yards and fifth in receptions with 102. Wayne extended his NFL record 63 game streak of having 3 or more receptions.

Andre Johnson: proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson recorded his 800th career reception in Sunday's loss to Minnesota, reaching the impressive milestone in the second-fewest games of any player in league history (Marvin Harrison). The 10th-year wide receiver built on another terrific season with a seven-catch performance, eclipsing the 100-catch plateau for the fourth time in his career. The Miami, Fla., native, who has the fourth-most catches of any active player, now ranks third in the NFL with 1,457 receiving yards and fifth with 100 receptions. Johnson finished the game with 7 catches for 97 yards.

Lamar Miller: proCane Dolphins RB Lamar Miller in his first chance at extended play for Miami this season didn’t disappoint. Miller rushed 10 times for 73 yards in Sunday's win over the Bills, leading the Dolphins in rushing. Miller is getting an extended look with Daniel Thomas out for the season, and showed big-play ability while filling in for Reggie Bush. He should go into the offseason no worse than second on the running back depth chart, and could be considered for a starting role if Bush doesn't re-sign.

Honorable Mention: Santana Moss, WR Redskins.

Defensive Players of Week:

Sam Shields: proCane Packers DB Sam Shields continued his stellar play after returning from injury three weeks ago. Shields had 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection and 1 interception in Packers blowout victory over the Titans. Since his return Dec. 9 from an ankle injury, Shields has two interceptions in three games, his first sack in nearly two years and seven passes defensed, just a few stats to tell of his big hits, inseparable coverage and feisty nature in no man's land.
Honorable Mention: Calais Campbell, DE Cardinals.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season with four punts in Week 16. Bosher’s four punts totaled 167 yards with a long of 47 yards, and average of 41.8 yards and two punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.

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Reggie Wayne considered Houston in the offseason

To a lot of outsiders, Reggie Wayne’s decision to return to Indianapolis looked like one that would lead the 34-year-old receiver to embark on a rebuilding project with the team that drafted him.

That’s not how things turned out, of course. Guided by No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck, Wayne’s Colts orchestrated another 10-win season and are back in the playoffs after a one-year hiatus.

But when Wayne was making that decision, Texans receiver Andre Johnson was really hoping his old college teammate would join him.

“Here was one of the places that he actually wanted to come,” Johnson said. “I was hoping that I would get a chance to be able to play with him again. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way.”

At Miami, Wayne took Johnson under his wing and mentored him in the transition to college football.

Johnson figures part of why Wayne didn’t leave Indianapolis is his familiarity with Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was the defensive backs coach at Miami from 1995 to 2000. Pagano recruited Johnson to the school.

Ultimately, as a guy who values loyalty, Johnson thinks Wayne made the right decision.

“He started there, he’s had a great career there,” Johnson said. “I’m just happy he’s there playing at a high level even though he’s been doing it for 12 seasons.”

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Reggie Wayne: We’re too young to rest

Whether they win or lose against Houston on Sunday, the Colts will be the fifth seed in the AFC when the playoffs get underway.

Given that, there’s a question about whether or not the Colts should rest some of their key players in the final game of the regular season. With coach Chuck Pagano handling different questions upon his return to work on Monday, it was up to wide receiver Reggie Wayne to handle queries about the Colts’ approach to the game. Although Wayne spent many years on a team run by Bill Polian, who never met a starter he didn’t want to rest in the final weeks, Wayne isn’t in favor of treating Week 17 any differently than the previous 16.

“We’re too young to rest,” Wayne said, via the Indianapolis Star. “We probably need to put everybody out there and have them continue to play. I don’t think we can afford (to rest). I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m built to play.”

The Colts have never lost to the Texans at home, a streak they can keep alive with a win on Sunday. How much that really impacts things is unclear, but psychological points couldn’t hurt as the Colts and Texans look like the class for the AFC South for at least one more season as the Jaguars and Titans try to put themselves back together. They could score more points at their divisional rival’s expense by knocking them down to the third seed, taking away the bye that seemed like a done deal for Houston just a few weeks ago.

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VIDEO: Colts Reggie Wayne on Pagano's return

INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano returned as Indianapolis Colts coach today, fighting back tears in a news conference as he thanked all those who helped him through his battle with leukemia.

Pagano met with the team at 10 a.m. Monday, then talked and took questions from reporters Monday afternoon.

Pagano expressed appreciation to his family, the organization, his coaches, fans and media. He said he couldn't think of a better city or franchise.

“It's really overwhelming,” he said. “The whole thing was overwhelming and very humbling. … As I said in the locker room, this team has chosen to live in a vision and not in circumstances. My job as head football coach is just beginning all over again.”

Pagano will resume his duties as coach immediately, with interim coach Bruce Arians returning to his role as offensive coordinator. Arians and other coaches attended the news conference, as did players Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski.

“I know exactly why I'm here now,” Pagano said. “This is the place you'd want to be, starting with the owner on down. These are the finest people I've ever been around and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Wayne talks about Pagano's return in the accompanying video.

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Man charged in theft of Reggie Wayne's Bentley

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An additional charge has been added to a man arrested after Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne’s car went missing over the weekend.

Gunner Belcher is now charged with auto theft in addition to operating while intoxicated and operating with a BAC between .08 and .15, according to court documents.

Belcher was pulled over by police after Wayne discovered his Bentley had disappeared from the Westin hotel in Indianapolis.

WISH-TV originally reported that charges against Belcher had been dropped. His case was simply dropped in one court and re-filed in another.

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Hall Call: Reggie Wayne

It took Reggie Wayne four years to arrive. For a while, it looked as though the Colts’ 2001 first-round pick might be a bust. He caught just 76 passes in his first two seasons combined, in part because in those years the Colts were throwing more to their backs and tight ends. But in 2004, Wayne emerged as the team’s home run threat with 12 touchdowns, and for five seasons he and Marvin Harrison made up the league’s most dangerous receiving duo.

When Harrison left the game prior to the 2009 season, many predicted Wayne would experience a drop-off in production; he didn’t. When Peyton Manning was forced to sit out the 2011 season with an injury, many said Wayne would not be the same player, but he held up fine. The slow-to-arrive wideout has put together very strong numbers for his career, and this season might be his best to date. Because he has been consistent for more than a decade now his biggest supporters are setting him up for a run at Canton. Here is his résumé stacks up …

Statistics: Counting this year, Wayne has eight 1,000-yard seasons and should reach the 13,000-yard mark this weekend. He is 44 catches shy of reaching 1,000; at present, there are only eight members in that club, although only one (Jerry Rice) is in the Hall of Fame. Wayne set a single-game best for receiving in 2012 with a 212-yard game against the Packers and could become the first player to reach 200 targets in a season (statisticians began tracking targets in 2006).

Success: Wayne has been a part of 10 winning seasons during his 12-year career. Credit Manning for that more than anyone else, but Wayne was certainly one of the Colts’ key players in that long run of success. Wayne’s 53-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLI helped swing the game back to Indianapolis, helping him and his teammates claim a ring.

Accolades: This is the area where Wayne’s candidacy is weakest, perhaps. He has been voted to five Pro Bowls (likely a sixth after this year) and has made the All-Pro team only once. He has led the league in receiving yards only once (2007), never in catches or touchdowns. Other than that, Wayne’s career lacks highlights. He’s been a steady producer, but someone lacking the big moments and seasons that help a Hall of Fame candidate stand out.
HOF comparison: John Stallworth

Both Stallworth and Wayne have had to live in the shadow of a more popular teammate (Lynn Swann for Stallworth, Harrison for Wayne) but arguments could be made that Stallworth and Wayne were the better all-around receivers. Stallworth also aged well, like Wayne; his finest year came in his 11th season (1984) when the Steelers legend set personal bests in catches (80), yards (1,395) and touchdowns (11).

Intangibles: One thing that will help Wayne’s candidacy is that his numbers have not dropped off much these past two years without Manning under center. His early critics credited Manning for much of Wayne’s success, but the fact the Wayne had 75 catches for a two-win team in 2011, and that he might set personal bests with a rookie quarterback this year suggests those critics were wrong. Wayne’s candidacy also might be helped by his durability — he hasn’t missed a start since entering the lineup full time in his third season — and his longevity. At 34 he has shown no signs of decline.

First-ballot candidate: No

HOF probability: 60 percent

Same as is true with quarterback, the requirements wide receivers must satisfy to enter Canton will change in the coming years. There is so much passing, and so many 80-catch wide receivers that the standards once used to separate the very good from the elite no longer apply. Even so, by the time Wayne becomes eligible, having 1,000 catches and more than 13,000 yards still will carry plenty of weight in the minds of voters.

Wayne is not a first-ballot candidate, and probably will need to be patient; in recent years players like Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed have been forced to wait, and all three probably had better careers than Wayne.

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proCanes Players of Week 14

Offensive Player of the Week:

Reggie Wayne: proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 14, 27-23 win over the Titans. Wayne was targeted 10 times on the afternoon and caught his touchdown pass from four yards out to get the Colts on the board in the first quarter. Wayne extended his NFL record 61 game streak of having 3 or more receptions.

Honorable Mention: Greg Olsen

Co-Defensive Players of Week:

Sam Shields: proCane Packers DB Sam Shields in his first game back from a high-ankle sprain that kept him out nearly two months regained his old spot by the second quarter. Shields returned with four tackles and an interception in Sunday's win over the Lions. Shields was targeted 5 times and only allowed one completion.

Antrel Rolle: proCane New York Giants DB Antrel Rolle recorded a fumble recovery and forced fumble on successive drives, adding in six tackles in a stout defensive performance. Through Week 14, Rolle ranks first on the team in solo tackles (61) and second on the team in total tackles (79).
Honorable Mention: Vince Wilfork DL New England Patriots finished the game with 4 tackles, 1 pass deflection, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and numerous plays that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Travis Benjamin:
proCane Browns WR Travis Benjamin proved to provide the momentum the Browns needed to run away with their 30-7 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Benjamin turned in a record-setting punt return when he ran 93 yards for a touchdown to open the second quarter. It was Benjamin’s first NFL punt return for a TD which also earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Benjamin's touchdown was the first on a punt return for a Cleveland rookie since 1967, and the first for any returner not named Josh Cribbs since 2005. Adding the longest punt return in franchise history to his resume, the Belle Glade, Fla., native now has over 400 all-purpose yards in his first season, including 296 on punt and kick returns.

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Police: Hotel valet stole Reggie Wayne's Bentley, said he was 'cousin by marriage'

Indianapolis police say a hotel valet stole Reggie Wayne's white 2007 Bentley on Saturday night and went for a joyride.

Instead of returning the car on time and forcing Ferris Bueller Wayne to go back to Cameron's dad's house to try to reverse the mileage, the valet was arrested by police after he was found stopped in the middle of the street with "glassy eyes and slurred speech."

It was later discovered that a hotel security guard says he saw a person matching the description of valet Gunner Belcher, 21, leave with the Bentley around 9:45 p.m.

A police report says the joyrider told police he was a "cousin by marriage" to Wayne, presumably because that sounded more plausible than "I got lost trying to find a parking spot for his car."

Fox59 reports police booked Belcher on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, failure to wear a seat belt and failure to carry registration.

No one at the hotel realized Wayne's car was missing until the wide receiver showed up Sunday morning trying to retrieve it. It was only then that the connection between the 2 a.m. arrest and the hotel valet was made. Police eventually returned the car to Wayne.

If Wayne was fazed, he didn't show it. He caught six balls for 64 yards and a touchdown in Indy's 27-23 win over the Tennessee Titans. Then he sang "Twist and Shout" at a parade.

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Man arrested for drunk driving in Reggie Wayne's Bentley

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Police arrested a man who they say stole and drove drunk in Reggie Wayne's Bentley.

Saturday night, Police stopped an intoxicated driver in the 300 block of South Meridian. When police stopped the man driving a Bentley, he tried to stop in the middle of the road. An officer noticed the man was not wearing a seat belt and was talking on the phone while driving.

According to a police report, the man smelled of alcohol, had glassy eyes slurred speech. The man failed multiple sobriety tests and was identified at Gunner Belcher. Belcher also told police he was Reggie Wayne's "cousin by marriage."

Belcher was taken into custody and charged with an OWI, not wearing a seat belt, and failure to carry registration.

The next morning, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne attempted to pick up his Bentley from the Westin Hotel when he was informed that valet staff had no idea where the Bentley was.

A garage security officer told police that he had seen a white male, about 6 feet tall wearing a valet uniform take the vehicle out of the garage late Saturday night. Hotel employees identified the suspect as 21-year-old Gunner Belcher.

Hotel employees told police Belcher was released from work shortly before the vehicle was removed from the garage. Belcher failed to clock out the night of the incident.

According to a separate police report, the Bentley was returned to Reggie Wayne Sunday.

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Reggie Wayne hosts fundraiser for Leukemia research

After beating the Titans on Sunday, the Colts’ players enjoyed a day off on Monday, and Reggie Wayne used his to give back.

The star receiver hosted the 8th annual "Wishing on Stars" fundraiser Monday evening, which raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Wayne was joined by Mike Epps and a number of his Colts' teammates like WISH- TV analyst Anthony Castonzo and TY Hilton.

With leukemia hitting close to home for the Colts this season, Wayne has been impressed with how the city has embraced their fighting coach.

“Just the whole state of Indiana has taken him in, like he’s been here forever,” said Wayne.  “I remember when he first stepped into the locker room and had that first meeting, he just had a special halo that touched everybody.  You would think everybody knew him forever, but that’s just the type of guy he is.”

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Reggie Wayne hopes era of diva WRs is over

If you're talented enough, plenty of teams will still accept diva behavior from a wide receiver.

But rattle off the league's best guys now, and they all are far more mellow than showy, including the AFC South's two best guys: Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne. Add Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Wes Welker and while you might want to get your popcorn ready to watch them play, none of them will be heading to the sideline to propose to a cheerleader after scoring a touchdown.

I asked Wayne this week if the era of the diva wide receiver is over.

"I don’t know, I would assume so," he said. "Those guys you named, they are hard-working guys. They aren’t into all that diva stuff. I got kind of upset a couple of years ago, somebody put me into that category. I don’t even know what it means. As a professional football player at the receiver position, you know how much running and how much hard work it is that you have to dedicate yourself to, to be successful. Whenever you say those names that you did, I respect all of those guys. I respect everybody in this league, period. As far as the diva stuff, man, I hope it is gone. I hope you get more guys out there that like to work hard and go out there and enjoy playing football."

That thinking struck up a conversation with my colleague from Yahoo! Sports, Michael Silver on the radio this week.

He pointed out that if you're a quality receiver who's easy to have around, like Derrick Mason was, you can have a 15-year career. If you're Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson and you bring a tiresome act, those years at the end when you're more average aren't likely to get tacked onto your resume because of the hassle.

Randy Moss is getting one of those years now in San Francisco, but only because he appears to have come to an understanding of what he has to be at this stage.

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proCane Players of Week 13

Offensive Player of the Week:

Greg Olsen: Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen who only had one catch on the day was a big one as Olsen's 47-yard score, which tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, was the second-longest play of his career, and his best since a 52-yard reception in 2008. Olsen ranks second on the team with 50 catches and 636 yards. He is one of two proCane tight ends with more than 600 receiving yards on the season, joining New Orleans Saints' Pro Bowler Jimmy Graham (654). Olsen this week set a new career high with 636 yard receiving this season.

Honorable Mention: Reggie Wayne: proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne was held to four catches for 51 yards in the Colts' Week 13 win over the Lions but Wayne extended his NFL record 60 games streak of having 3 or more receptions. Wayne is on pace for 117 catches, 1,541 yards and four touchdowns heading into a matchup with the Titans in Week 14.

Co-Defensive Players of Week:

Ed Reed: proCane Ravens safety Ed Reedplayed a role in two Ravens turnovers, including a key interception in the endzone off Steelers' quarterback Charlie Batch to preserve a late fourth-quarter lead. Reed increased his lead in all-time interception return yardage to 1,541 on the play, returning to Baltimore's 34-yard line. The interception, the 61st of his career, solidified the Reed’s position at No. 10 all-time in the category. Reed also recovered a fumble in the third quarter, the 10th recovery of his career.

Brandon Harris: proCane Houston Texans second-year cornerback was expected to play a key role in Sunday's game against Tennessee - and he delivered. Seeing an increased role due to injuries to usual starters in the secondary, Harris led the team with six tackles. Harris, who drew widespread praise for his performance, was also credited with two pass defenses. Harris will continue to play a key role for the Texans defense as injuries have taken a toll on their secondary.

Honorable Mention: Darryl Sharpton.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season and firmly planted himself among the better punters in the league. His performance against the Saints may have been one of the best games of his career. His punting average of 53.2 yards was a career high and his six punts tied a season high. Of those punts four were returned but credit the coverage teams for limiting the Saints to a 15-yard return average. The Saints average starting drive position was their own 25-yard line. Bosher's 47.9 punting average this season is ranked ninth in the league. His 15 fair catches on punts is tied for fourth in the NFL.

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Top 2 NFL WRs Are proCanes According to


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Reggie Wayne held in check by Lions

Reggie Wayne was held to four catches for 51 yards in the Colts' Week 13 win over the Lions.

Wayne was extremely quiet as Chris Houston was in his shirt most of the day. Andrew Luck was also really erratic for 3 1/2 quarters and threw 26 passes to T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery. Wayne ended up with just nine targets. Still, we'd consider it a mere bump in the road. It's a season-low in both catches and yardage for Wayne. He's on pace for 117 catches, 1,541 yards and four touchdowns heading into a plus matchup with the Titans in Week 14.

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Reggie Wayne is having his best year, but his value to the young Colts goes much deeper

INDIANAPOLIS — Reggie Wayne still is where it all started, where he's used to being, where he's comfortable. He's in his 12th season with the Indianapolis Colts, and together they're immersed in yet another drive to the postseason.

Some things never change.

Yet 10 months ago, Wayne had one foot out the Colts' door, ready to take his reliable hands, tireless work ethic and bulging resume somewhere else. He was a free agent, not to mention a 33-year wide receiver coming off his least productive season since 2003.

Wayne was looking, listening, considering offers. He had all but decided to sever ties with the organization that had taken him with the 30th overall pick in the 2001 draft.

"I was close. Very, very close," Wayne said.

Negotiations with one team — he steadfastly refuses to reveal its identity — had reached the point Wayne had packed an overnight bag and was preparing to leave his home in Miami for a visit when he gave the Colts a courtesy phone call.

"I promised (owner Jim) Irsay and I promised (first-year coach) Chuck (Pagano) that before I did anything, I'd give them a call," Wayne said. "I did, and I didn't walk out the door. I sat back down in my office."

The Colts offered Wayne a three-year, $17.5 million contract. The mystery team offered more. Wayne opted to remain a Colt.

"It's fair to say I left money on the table … probably a minimum of $3 million," he said.

Wayne talked with Pagano, whom he knew from when both were at the University of Miami (Fla.), and admitted he was taking a leap of faith. The old regime was gone: vice chairman Bill Polian, coach Jim Caldwell, quarterback Peyton Manning and so many others.

Wayne was one of the few holdovers.

"I knew it was going to be like this, me and a bunch of new faces," he said. "Once we released all the guys that had been here for years, I knew it was going to be weird."

But here he is, back among the NFL's receiving leaders. He's on pace for 122 receptions and 1,607 yards, which would both represent career highs.

An argument can be made Wayne deserves to be in the conversation for NFL most valuable player, certainly as the most influential Colts player. He's done it on the field, in the locker room.

And here are the Colts, heading into Sunday's game at Detroit with a 7-4 record and the tentative No. 5 seed in the AFC.

Quarterback Andrew Luck is the new face of the franchise. But he's quick to acknowledge Wayne's impact and realized Wayne's value from the outset. Of Luck's 449 pass attempts, a league-high 144 have been directed at Wayne.

They've developed a quick rapport even though Luck's academic requirements at Stanford forced him to miss the organized team activities during the offseason. He and Wayne put in extra time at the team complex when the offseason rules allowed, and they got together for a week in July near Wayne's home in Miami for additional throwing sessions.

"I called Andrew and told him, 'Use some of those frequent flyer miles and get down here,' " Wayne said.

The end result is possibly Wayne's best season and, likely, a sixth Pro Bowl selection.

"Every week he does something … 'Wow,' " Luck said. "Now it's to the point where you expect those type of things. Still, just how professional he is about everything. His work ethic, his leadership in the locker room. Everything he does is just top class.

"We all feel honored to be in his presence a little bit."

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who dealt with Wayne on an annual basis as Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator from 2001-08, understands what Wayne means to the Colts. "He's stood the test of time," he said. "There's a lot of respect in this league for guys that are consistent and do it year-in and year-out."

From 2004-10, Wayne averaged 92 catches and 1,264 yards—and now he's on the verge of blowing away that average. Remarkable. "Reggie is having a Hall of Fame career," New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "I think he's a tremendous receiver."

Wayne's high level of play is more of a resurgence than a renaissance. His streak of seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with Manning ended last season when Manning's neck issues forced him to miss the entire year. Wayne managed 980 yards while working with inferior quarterbacks Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky.

The arrival of Pagano helped convince Wayne to re-up with the Colts. And the addition of Bruce Arians as Pagano's offensive coordinator required Wayne to expand his game.

Though he occasionally would move around in the formation during his first 11 years with the Colts, he primarily lined up split wide to the left. Arians determined the best way to maximize Wayne's skills was to move him around.

"It's a waste of talent to just have him out (left) all the time and let him be double-covered," Arians said.

"For me, motioning has helped a lot," Wayne said. "Defenses can't key on me. In the old times, they knew I'd be on the left side. There was no mystery to it. They could double me, roll coverage to my side.

"Now they really have no idea where I am. That causes confusion and helps me out with matchups."

Another role somewhat new for Wayne has been that of vocal leader. Previously, Manning or longtime center Jeff Saturday would command the locker room or meeting room when the situation was warranted.

Occasionally this season, it's been Wayne who has stepped to the front.

In late October, the Colts, lethargic and ineffective, trailed the Tennessee Titans 10-3 at the half in Nashville. Wayne had seen enough.

"There was no false enthusiasm on this one. I was pissed off," he said. "I was upset because I knew what we were capable of. I felt like we left some plays out there, offensively and defensively, and we had a field goal blocked.

"No Ron Artest stuff and I (didn't) throw any cameras or grab anybody like Bobby Knight. I just had to speak up."

His message resonated. The Colts won 19-13 in overtime. It was the second game of a four-game winning streak that proved critical in lifting a team expected to be an afterthought to contender's status.

The next week against Miami, Luck took the offense on a 13-play, 69-yard fourth-quarter drive. Adam Vinatieri capped it with a 43-yard field goal with 5:58 remaining that held up for a 23-20 victory.

On that critical drive, eight rookie or first-year players were involved, including Luck, wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, running back Vick Ballard and tight end Dwayne Allen.

So was Wayne. He provided a clutch 6-yard catch on third-and-3 near midfield. He also had a hand in the young players being able to withstand the pressure.
The new receivers—Wayne refers to them as "Smurfs" because of their lack of size—follow Wayne. They hang on his every word. Hilton sits next to Wayne in the meeting room and jots down notes for future reference.

"All of the other rookies have followed the Pied Piper, and that's Reggie Wayne," Arians said. "He sets the tempo for us offensively, and then Andrew is the second guy in line.

"If he can handle it, then they can handle it. Reggie makes sure that receiving corps and everybody else is ready to go."

Through it all, Wayne has been at the forefront. Perhaps that's because he realizes he's on the downside of his career and understands the value of embracing every moment.

Wayne has been one of the remaining veterans who has bristled whenever someone described this season as a "rebuilding year." Even Luck distanced himself from being part of a rebuilding process. The idea, he said, is to win now.

"I hope he's not the only one that's preaching that," Wayne said, smiling. "We don't have time. I see the light, man. So I don't have the time to sit back and rebuild and say 'Oh, we'll be better at that next year' or 'In a couple years, we should be in the hunt.'

"We need to be in the hunt now. We are in the hunt."

And if they track down a playoff spot, it will have a lot to do with their veteran receiver. Another example that everything about Wayne, as Luck would say, is top class.

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Reggie Wayne sets NFL consecutive multi-catch games record

Indianapolis Colts star Reggie Wayne has broken the NFL record for most consecutive games with multiple receptions.

Cris Carter held the previous mark of 58. Wayne now has made at least three catches in 59 consecutive games.

Wayne tied the record last week at New England, and he broke it in front of his home crowd late in the first half of Sunday's 20-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

"Right now, it doesn't even matter," Wayne said. "Like I've been saying from Day 1, I see the light. I'm trying my best just to win games. That's what I want to do.

"When you win games, everything else will take its course. At the same time, whenever you play 12 years, you're bound to do something. There's something coming. I'm just happy to be still playing."

The Pro Bowl receiver also passed former Redskins receiver Art Monk for 12th on the NFL's all-time receptions list during the first half. Monk finished his career with 940 catches. Wayne now has 943, and he played a key role in a late first-half drive that ended with a 19-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri as time expired.

"That's what is hard to do in this league," Wayne added. "Everybody's good. Whenever you can go out and keep being consistent, that's big. That's the same motto I've been having my whole career. I want to be able to be available whenever my number's called."

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Reggie Wayne's milestones take back seat to loss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was a 6-yard second-quarter move-the-chains pass to Reggie Wayne that looked like nothing more than it was, one of 938 in a 12-year career, and another first down on a night the Indianapolis Colts would have 28 of them.

Surpassing consistency is an element of excellence that is accomplished in humble steps. That pass tied an NFL record.

The catch was Wayne's third of the night and the 58th consecutive game in which he had caught at least three passes. Only one player in league history had done that: Cris Carter, who played 16 seasons and caught 1,101 passes, most for the Minnesota Vikings.

Wayne finished with seven catches for 72 yards, a modest performanceicon1 on a humbling night. The New England Patriots beat the Colts 59-24. It was a bitter defeat and Wayne promised not to forget it.

"Why would you?" he asked. "Whenever you get taken behind the woodshed, it's kind of hard to forget. Hopefully we take care of business and make sure we come back in this stadium and do a little better."

Wayne's night wasn't without another achievement, though he chose not to celebrate it.

His 72 receiving yards pushed his season total to 1,003 yards. His eighth 1,000-yard season matched Marvin Harrison's team record and made Wayne the 13th player in NFL history to pass the milestone with such frequency.

It might have been a much bigger night. Wayne seldom had the opportunity to run. Again and again quarterback Andrew Luck's passes came in low and Wayne went to the turf to get them.

"That's the way it goes," he said. "You have some good ones. You have some bad ones. I just wanted to make sure I'd catch them. I'll get some when I can get on the run. I've got plenty of time to do that."

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Reggie Wayne: Andrew Luck’s Improvement Has Been ‘Night And Day’ Since Week 1, Feels Colts Are Way Better Than He Ever Thought

The Indianapolis Colts have made quite the transformation in one year. Last year the Colts were the worst team by record in the NFL and made some big decisions in the offseason like moving on from the Peyton Manning era. One player that remained a constant offensive weapon was Reggie Wayne. The Colts 33-year old wide receiver is on pace to finish with a career-high in receiving yards this season. No.87 has been a security blanket for Andrew Luck as the Colts continue to impress right now sporting a record of 6-3.

Reggie Wayne joined WNDE with Query and Schultz to discuss Andrew Luck’s progression, the Indianapolis Colts exceeding his expectations this season, the emotions during Chuck Pagano’s postgame speech and the Chuck Pagano pregame speech no one heard about before the game.

Where is Andrew Luck now in comparison to where he was in Week 1?
“I think he’s come…it’s night and day yet I just think it’s him. I think as a team we are much better. I think we much better from last game from the time we played Jacksonville the first time. We’ve gelled. We kind of know our roles now. We have some guys back that were injured and didn’t play in the first game, so I think as a team we are much better. I think Andrew would also echo those remarks and as far as what goes on the sidelines and during the game? I mean nothing has really changed on that aspect. He’s still taking control of the huddle being the leader as the quarterback. He’s been doing that. He’s continuing to do that as well as everyone else. A lot of the veterans are being vocal and leading by example. Everybody is basically being the same as they always were, but it’s kind of turned up a notch with everyone knowing their roles and everyone understanding what’s going on. Everyone just putting that in the pot and we are going to keep stirring it up.”

Are you better right now as a team than you thought you would be this season?
“I do. I do think we are better than I thought we were. I thought there was going to be a lot of bumps in the road, which there are, but being a young team we’ve done a great job of just being able to take those bumps and just take all the hard times and adversity and working through it and pushing by and finding ways to win games at the end. We’ve had a couple of tough games that went down to the last drive, so that has surprised me a little bit, but as the weeks go on we all as a team we grow and we get better. We understand each other more. We understand the scheme and we understand when our coaches want more and a lot of times that doesn’t come until year two or sometimes year three.”

Take us through the day when you found out Chuck Pagano was coming to the Colts game a few weeks ago? What were the emotions from your teammates?
“I actually knew he was going to be there a couple of weeks before. I went to go visit him at his home. We sat down and talked for about two hours. He said he was thinking about making an appearance. He asked me what I thought about it? I said man that would be great. I actually told him man it would be great if you came before I said not to put any pressure on you, but I think if you can come before and let everybody see you before we go out, I think that would help everybody out tremendously just to know that you are doing okay and we are going out here to play this game, this kid’s game knowing that you just showed your presence in that locker room. That’ll get everybody to loosen up and go out there and have fun. I already knew about him being there or coming I should say and just his speech in itself, man it was emotional. I think there wasn’t a dry eye in there. Everybody was just excited to see him come in there and let alone have a pregame speech and a postgame speech. For a minute there before the game you kind of lost sight of us playing a game because him just giving a speech made you understand and learn the bigger things in life. All of a sudden it was like let’s go out there and win. We all had to transform back into being football players real fast and I think everybody understood the message and was able to go out there and deliver.”

What did Chuck Pagano say in the pregame speech?
“It was almost like a movie. The pregame and the postgame speech kind of went into each other. It was almost like a movie. It was almost like he knew what was going to happen and he had everything prepared like it was a script, but the pregame speech was basically you know go out there and give it everything you got. He kind of shared a story saying he’s been involved in football all his life. Seven years old he’s been involved with football. 28 years of coaching. To all of a sudden have that stripped from you and in a manner of 24 hours just having it stripped from you why not go out there and give it everything you got? Why not go out there and lay it all on the line knowing you can do it today, but knowing is it going to be there tomorrow? He kind of shared that speech and had everyone wondering and thinking, ‘Man you know what he is right.’ Why wouldn’t we go out there and fight for each other, be there for your teammates, laying it all out on the line and so it all kind of rolled into each other and made a lot of sense.”

Listen to Reggie Wayne on WNDE here

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Belichick: Reggie Wayne used like Hines Ward

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- While it's no longer Peyton Manning taking snaps in Indianapolis, one longtime Colts offensive weapon remains, and that's wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who at the age of 33 is on pace to finish with a career-high in receiving yards. He currently trails only Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions for the league lead in receiving yards with 931.

And while Wayne's production has remained consistent, he's adopted a different role for the Colts in 2012.

In previous seasons, Wayne was often aligned to one side of the formation throughout the entire game, a tactic the Colts previously employed with receiver Marvin Harrison. But that's not the case any more.

During his Wednesday afternoon press conference, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick drew an interesting comparison for Wayne's current role: former Steelers wider receiver Hines Ward.

"They moved him around a little in the past, but not much," Belichick said. "And now he's Hines Ward. They motion him a lot, he's blocking, cracking, he's lining up close to the formation, he's in the slot, he's doing a lot of things that Hines Ward did in Pittsburgh."

Former Steelers and current Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians brought his offensive system to Indianapolis, and Wayne is once again thriving. That's no surprise to Belichick.

"It's interesting to see him in that role, but he's always been good at whatever he's done," he said. "You see him work the middle of the field on middle reads, and on option routes or that kind of thing, or working on the perimeter. He's good at all of it."

Some questioned whether or not Wayne was the same player of the past during 2011, when he finished with 960 yards, his lowest total since 2003. But Belichick said he saw no dip in terms of ability from Wayne last season.

"I don't really see Reggie Wayne much differently than I saw him in the past," he continued. "He was good then, he's good now. There were some issues with the quarterback and passing game and all that, but I didn't see any dropoff in Reggie Wayne as a football player. Maybe I missed it, but he's always looked pretty good to me."

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Reggie Wayne’s Presence Essential to Andrew Luck’s Rapid Development, Colts’ Unexpected Success This Season

FOXBORO, Mass. — Every great quarterback needs a great receiver to rely on during their early development. Joe Montana and Steve Young had Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman had Michael Irving and Peyton Manning had Marvin Harrison. And those are just a few of the most extreme cases throughout NFL history.

Now, the onus of that argument turns to Indianapolis, where the development of Andrew Luck takes center stage as the next great signal-caller. But before his impressive rookie season even got underway, questions ran wild about who Luck would be throwing to. Reggie Wayne has more than answered those questions this season, as the soon to be 34-year-old receiver — his birthday is Saturday, Nov. 14 — has reemerged into one of the NFL’s premier wide receivers.

Coming off a down season, where he gained less than 1,000 yards for the first time in eight seasons, and heading into his 12th NFL season, Wayne was viewed as past his prime and on the downward slope of his career. With a depressing 2-14 season in the books, Manning heading out the door and a complete rebuilding effort seemingly on the horizon, Wayne’s time with in Indy was thought to be over. But the lifelong Colt made a commitment to the franchise, and while other teams, including the Patriots, pined for his services, he stayed loyal to the only team he’s ever known. And the bold decision has paid off for both team and player.

“He always wanted to be here and as soon as Chuck [Pagano] made that call, it was just a matter of, ‘Yeah I’m coming,’” interim head coach Bruce Arians said on a conference call Wednesday. “He’s a legend here and he’s going to go into the Hall of Fame.” Wayne has undergone a complete transformation from a season ago, nearly eclipsing his final statistical totals of a season ago, with 75 catches for 960 yards and four touchdowns, in nine games as he’s racked up 69 grabs, 931 yards and three scores already this season. And even more than just the statistical figures, Wayne’s impact can be seen in the young quarterback throwing him the ball.

Even from some of his earliest days at Stanford, Andrew Luck has widely been viewed as an eventual Hall of Fame quarterback. His raw talents as a passer, tireless work ethic and unexpected yet incredible athleticism made him into one of the most sought after prospects in years. But without a reliable receiver to throw to, Luck very well could’ve seen his development stunted and his talents wasting away as if they belonged in Margaritaville. Luckily, and no pun intended here, the rookie quarterback had a knowledgeable and crafty veteran to assist with the transition. And Luck openly recognizes how important Wayne has been in that process.

“He’s been great. He doesn’t talk much; he’s not going to sit down and lecture the young guys, but the way he works, the way he prepares during the week, the way he takes care of his body, the way he mentally prepares, is a great example for us all in the locker room,” Luck said of his No. 1 receiver.

“To boot, he’s a great football player, so it’s fun getting able to throw to him.” Luck’s continued improvement behind center and increased presence as a leader of the team has been impressive in and of itself. But without a receiver who is leading the league in receptions and second in yards playing on the outside, Luck and the Colts would never be having the sort of success they’ve found this season.

“All of the other rookies have followed the pied piper, and that’s Reggie Wayne. He sets the tempo for us offensively and then Andrew is the second guy in line,” Arians said of Wayne’s importance. “You can’t put a quantified value on how much his leadership means to our team.” With how important Wayne’s been to Indianapolis’ success this season, one thing is for sure.

The Colts are damn happy that he’ll be lining up for them on Sunday at Gillette Stadium instead of the home team — an idea that was more than just floated around during free agency.

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proCane Players of Week 10

Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Jimmy Graham: proCane Saints TE Jimmy Graham hauled in seven passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets to lead the Saints to a 31-27 victory over the Falcons in Week 10. Safety William Moore bit twice on the double move, allowing Drew Brees to throw a pair of pump-fake deep balls to Graham for a 29-yard touchdown and a 46-yard fourth-quarter gain. Graham added a 14-yard score just before halftime. After his first 100-yard game of the season, Graham is averaging a 7/94/1.3 line over the past three weeks.

Greg Olsen: Following an emotional week for proCane Panthers TE Greg Olsen in which he welcomed his son TJ home after being hospitalized after birth and undergoing surgery due to a heart condition, Olsen exploded for a career-high nine receptions, 102 yards and two touchdowns versus the Broncos in Week 10. The 102 yards are a regular-season career high. Tight ends have been the weak spot in Denver's defense all season and today was no different. Olsen had catches of 26 and 16 yards to set up a 4-yard touchdown and added a 5-yard score in garbage time.

Honorable Mention: Frank Gore, Reggie Wayne.

Defensive Player of Week:

Colin McCarthy: proCane Titans LB Colin McCarthy rose slowly after a violent hit and wobbled as he left the field. Three plays later he was back in the game and in the end zone, celebrating a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown. McCarthy and his team's embattled defense bounced back Sunday, when their four takeaways led to 20 points and helped the Titans beat the Miami Dolphins 37-3. McCarthy finished the game with 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss one INT and a TD. McCarthy’s TD put the Titans up 21-0 and essentially the game out of reach for the Dolphins.

Honorable Mention: Vince Wilfork, Allen Bailey.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season with 3 punts for 140 yards and a 46.7 average. Bosher had a long of 52 yards and placed one of his punts inside the 20-yard line. Bosher is also Atlanta’s holder and held two successful field goals for Matt Bryant.

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Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne keep Colts on improbable playoff path

When March 13, 2012 rolled around and NFL free agency began, Reggie Wayne could have played the market, checked out what kind of deals were out there. He was, after all, coming off eight straight seasons with at least 70-plus receptions and seven of eight with 1,000 yards receiving — 2011 being a “down year” at 75 catches and 960 yards on a miserable Colts team with massive quarterback issues.

Wayne could have followed Peyton Manning to Denver. Or signed with a receiver-needy team like the Ravens. Heck, he could have taken some extra money and landed with a desperate, underachieving franchise just looking for some star power.

Instead, he re-signed with the Colts … then cautioned everyone against writing off his longtime team.

“It’s not set in stone that we’re going to (struggle),” Wayne said after deciding to stick in Indianapolis. “Who knows — we might shock the world.
“This time next year, you might be writing that these Colts are some bad boys.”

Eight months after Wayne’s comments, and about seven after the Colts drafted Andrew Luck No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft, the veteran wide receiver is starting to look like Nostradamus.

Thursday night, in front of a scattered and apathetic crowd in Jacksonville, the Colts won their fourth straight game and sixth of the season, 27-10. That’s already four more victories than they had all of last season — and three more than they had during Peyton Manning’s rookie year of 1998, if you’re keeping track of such things.

With seven games left on their schedule, the Colts have a solid grasp on an AFC wild-card spot. And considering that two of their remaining contests will be against AFC South-leading Houston, it might be time to raise the bar.

“In the locker room, we have a lot of confidence in ourselves,” Luck said on the NFL Network set after the game. “We prepare to win football games. It’s great to be where we are; we also realize that it’s on the right path, but it’s nowhere near the end goal.”

The Luck-Wayne combo set the tone Thursday night, as it has for much of the season.

Luck threw eight passes in the first quarter against Jacksonville, seven of them in Wayne’s direction — five for completions. The Colts’ rookie QB then opened the second quarter by finding Wayne again, this time for a 21-yard gain to the Jaguars’ 8. Two plays later, Luck ran one in for a touchdown to put Indianapolis ahead 10-0. Luck scored again before halftime, extending the Colts’ lead to 17.

Jacksonville briefly showed some life, when backup QB Chad Henne hit Cecil Shorts on a fourth-quarter TD pass, pulling the home team within 14.

Facing a 3rd-and-3 on the ensuing possession, Luck looked Wayne’s direction again. The 16-yard gain that resulted? Mere child’s play.

From there, the Colts embarked on a time-draining drive that ended any ill-founded hope the Jaguars had of mounting a comeback.

“He’s come in and done an outstanding job — I’m just glad to be on his side,” said Wayne of Luck. “I wouldn’t compare him to (Peyton). I want him to get his own legacy, I want to help him. Just keep winning games with him, man.”

Luck returned the praise.

“Reggie’s been a great leader for this team and a great leader for the young guys on this team,” Luck said. “He’s not going to sit down and lecture us on what to do, but he leads by example incredibly well.”

Somehow, Jacksonville handed the Colts their lone home loss thus far back in Week 3. But seeing how far Indianapolis has come in such a short time has to be a punch to the gut for the Jaguars. While they muddle through a second straight frustrating year with Blaine Gabbert under center, the Colts appear to have found a clear franchise quarterback in Luck — not to mention the potential 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year and a fringe MVP candidate.

Earlier this week, a large group of Colts players shaved their heads in a show of solidarity for head coach Chuck Pagano, away from his post for weeks as he fights cancer. In Pagano’s absence the Colts have adopted the motto “Chuckstrong”, and they just keep flexing their muscles.

They did so Thursday, on a short week after a hard-fought win over Miami, despite the absences of linebacker Robert Mathis and cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Vontae Davis.

A perfect performance, it was not — Luck turned it over twice, and only a personal foul penalty prevented a third miscue. The Colts’ defense bedeviled the moribund Jacksonville offense, though, giving Luck and company all the help they needed.

Another win secured. Another step toward a stunning and improbable playoff berth taken.

“I came in and talked to (Pagano, after he was hired), and he told me to take a leap of faith,” Wayne said. “That’s why I’m here today.”

So far, that faith has been rewarded.

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Reggie Wayne hauls in 7 balls for 78 yards

Reggie Wayne caught a team-high seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown versus the Dolphins in Week 9.

Wayne beat Sean Smith for a 9-yard score, passing Edgerrin James for the third-most touchdowns (76) in franchise history. The veteran also surpassed Torry Holt (920) to move into 13th place on the NFL's all-time receptions list. At the midway point, Wayne is on pace for career highs in targets (202), receptions (122), and yards (1678). He faces Jacksonville's injury-depleted secondary in Week 10.

Wayne has managed three touchdowns this season, which puts him on pace to eclipse last season's total. He already has 835 receiving yards, which has him well on his way to his eighth 1,000-yard season in the past nine years. He remains a must-start fantasy option heading into Week 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Nov. 8, in Week 10.

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Reggie Wayne: I stayed to help Luck build his legacy

Andrew Luck may not be the next Peyton Manning, but like it or not, that's the standard that comes with the job for the Indianapolis Colts' rookie quarterback.Reggie Wayne -- now Luck's favorite receiver after years of connecting with Manning -- thinks that is so wrong.

"It's kind of unfair for Andrew," Wayne told USA TODAY Sports, as the surprising Colts (4-3) prepare for a pivotal game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. "Peyton's done so much here. His legacy is so big. Andrew comes here, and everything he does is going to be compared to Peyton. That's not fair.

"That's another reason why I'm glad I stayed, to help him create his own legacy. He's going to have to win some games, win some rings, before he can completely get out of Peyton's shadow. But I think he's on the right path. He's already done some things that Peyton didn't do his rookie year."

Even for Wayne, it's natural to compare a bit. During his 14 seasons with the Colts, Manning guided the franchises to two Super Bowl appearances, winning one, and in addition to setting a slew of records became the first player to win four NFL MVP awards.

Luck's resume covers seven games. But he's off to a decent start. He is the first rookie in NFL history (Manning's 1998 campaign included) to pass for at least 1,500 yards and post three victories in his first six games. His 1,971 passing yards is second-most for a rookie after seven games, trailing only the pace Cam Newton set last season en route to setting the rookie record.

Wayne, the all-pro receiver in his 12th season, leads the NFL with 757 receiving yards on 54 catches. Beyond providing Luck with a dependable target -- as he did for Manning -- he also sees himself as a big brother for the rookie quarterback.

"He's taking everything in stride," Wayne says. "He understands the situation, understands everything that's going on. But it's my job to help him. I'm not going to be here for 14 years to help, but I can help start this thing off. So far, everything's good."

Wayne can't help but notice Manning's revival with the Denver Broncos. He's not surprised. Manning has been on fire in recent weeks, and with 17 TD passes against four interceptions on the season, heads into Sunday's game at the Cincinnati Bengals as the NFL's top-rated passer with a 109.0 efficiency rating.

"So many people were writing him off," Wayne said. "He's like every other athlete. When people write you off, you're going to do everything you can to prove them wrong.

"You knew that mentally he has all the tools. You just needed to see if he could throw. Everybody sees that now. Now it's just a matter of being the football player he's always been. I'm glad he's out there throwing darts, winning games. Same ol' Peyton."

Wayne knows enough about Manning to realize that Denver's offense is probably just scratching the surface of how good it can become when the entire system is installed and the chemistry evolves.

"It's going to take those guys some time to get there," Wayne says. "It took me three to four years to really understand the dude's thought process. No way they're going to get that in three or four months."

Of course, Wayne is on a similar track, developing new chemistry with his own new quarterback -- the kid following in Peyton's footsteps.

"We're still trying to find that niche," Wayne says. "A lot of stuff we're doing right now, we're just doing under off his athletic ability as far as throwing the ball and me just running routes. Hopefully, we time it up. But each week, it gets better and better."

The Colts won't play the Broncos this season to offer a Manning vs. Luck, old-school vs. new-school matchup of quarterbacks ... unless they meet in the playoffs.

Weeks ago, envisioning a playoff matchup would have been absurd. But with the Colts ranking among the NFL's surprises, it's not so far-fetched.
Says Wayne, "Now that would be a good story."

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Watching Reggie Wayne work

The words attached themselves to Reggie Wayne long ago: crafty, deceptive, precise, strong, determined.

At 33, his speed might not be the same, but his route-running and hands are as good as ever, and the labels all remain accurate.

The Colts receiver said during Super Bowl week that he would be honored to be part of a Colts rebuild, that a youth movement required some veterans mixed in. An old friend, Chuck Pagano, took over as the team’s new coach and added the sales pitch Wayne needed to stay put.

Nearly halfway into his 12th season, Wayne’s been an incredible resource for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, and an incredible frustration for opponents.

In Indianapolis’ overtime win over the Titans in Week 8, Wayne snatched a couple of Luck throws, waiting to raise his hands until the last second and beating the better-than-decent coverage of Titans nickelback Ryan Mouton.

Defensive backs on all the teams the Colts play routinely return to the huddle shaking their heads over what Wayne just did against them. He can be acrobatic, for sure, but more often it’s just a workmanlike efficiency that leaves defenders confused as to how their good work didn’t prevent a catch.

“He knows what he’s doing out there,” Titans cornerback Jason McCourty said. “There are times when he comes off the ball and it seems as though he’s moving in slow motion, he’s not really trying to get open. Next thing you know, he breaks away from your leverage and he’s wide open.

“This year more so than usual, he’s moving around a lot. He’s in the slot, he’s in motion, he’s cutting off the backside defensive end on run plays. He’s doing a lot for them, and you can see he’s leading by example. He was able to make the tough catches against us. There was a third down where Mouton had him blanketed and he darn near catches it with one hand.”

Wayne has been targeted 92 times by Luck this season according to play-by-plays from the Colts’ seven games. ESPN Stats & Info says the count is a league-high 87.

One broadcast commentator said Wayne told him in a production meeting that he doesn’t like the tracking of targets, because an uncatchable ball thrown 20 feet over his head counts in the column. Out of context that designation suggests it’s something he should have, or could have, caught.

I spent Thursday morning watching all 92 of those passes thrown in his direction per the game-by-game stats. In doing so, I didn’t learn anything new really. I just got a fresh reinforcement of the things that have been talked about throughout his career. He’s crafty, deceptive, precise, strong, determined.

Of his 54 catches, I starred 13. That’s nearly a quarter of his catches that qualifies to one set of typically critical, tough-to-impress eyes as special.

Although I counted it only once, his reaching, one-handed catch against the Packers and Charles Woodson, who was flagged for pass interference on the play, got three stars. It’s a play that will be at the front of the team’s highlight reel this season, and will assume a prominent place on Wayne’s when his career ends.

That win against the Packers was a tribute to Pagano, who the team learned had leukemia at the start of the practice week. Wayne wore orange gloves and an orange mouthpiece -- the color attached to leukemia awareness -- as he posted a 212-yard receiving day. It was the second best receiver production against Green Bay since 1960.

Wayne’s never been predominantly about speed, so that he might be going through the slow-down natural to a guy who turns 34 on Nov. 17 hasn’t dented his effectiveness.

Pro Football Reference defines this as his “age 34 season.” Wayne’s currently averaging 108 yards a game. If he maintains a triple-digit average this season, he’ll be the first player in the AFL or NFL to average 100 or more receiving yards over 14 or more games in his “age 34 season” or later.

Per Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Info, Jerry Rice did it in 1995 in his “age 33 season” with 115.5 receiving yards per game. Don Maynard did it in his “age 32 season” for the Jets in the AFL in 1967 with 102.4 yards a game.

In the past 10 seasons (2003 to 2012), five receivers have averaged 100 or more yards while playing at least 14 games. All of them were younger than 30 when they did it, with Carolina’s Steve Smith the oldest to do it, at 29.

In the midst of it all, he’s a significant piece of the blocking that’s helped the run game break out the past two weeks, something that will need to continue for the Colts to stay in the playoff hunt.

That he takes as much pride in his role there as he does in his ability to raise his hands and reach out to snare a pass at the last second tells us a lot about Wayne.

“I’m in the trenches,” he told Indianapolis reporters last week. “I’m definitely keeping my feet moving, because that’s how a lot of O-linemen get rolled up on. I’ve seen it. It’s interesting. It is, but I’m eager to go out and step up to the challenge. It’s been fun, man. Especially when you are blocking a linebacker, and in your mind, you got the best of him.

“It’s a good feeling when the ball goes off your block and you get a 6-, 7-, 8-yard gain. It pushes you to continue to go out there and do it. We have a lot of little packages where I’m motioning and blocking, and it’s fun. It keeps me young.”

The age of the prima-donna receiver seems to have largely passed, which is a wonderful development. The down-to-earth Wayne has always done his part. He’s not about flash. He’s about work.

Despite all the change around him, the work is working for the NFL’s leading receiver in yardage right now.

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Reggie Wayne Fired Up The Colts At Halftime Of Titans Game

Reggie Wayne is having his greatest season, ever. 54 receptions, 757 yards, 2 touchdowns. He's on track for a 100 catch, 1400 season, but it is not necessarily his production that has been so critical for this young Colts team.

In the past, Peyton Manning and Bill Polian were the dominant personalities of this franchise. If you screwed up, they got in your face. It created what would become a very unhealthy culture of fear. Now, with Peyton and Polian gone, players are a little freer to be who they are. Reggie Wayne is one of those players, and his leadership skills have been allowed to showcase themselves this season.

Sunday's 19-13 win over the Titans is one such example.

As Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star wrote of today, it was Wayne who delivered a fiery halftime talk to his team, down 10-3 and looking dejected after a field goal attempt was blocked just before the second quarter ended.

From Chappell's article, via Darin Gantt of PFT:

"Sometimes you have to do more than lead by example," Wayne said, via Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

"I was [upset]," Wayne said. "There was no false enthusiasm on this one. I was [upset] because I knew what we were capable of. We should have had a lead at halftime and we were behind.

"I felt like we needed a little fire. I had to speak up."

The team took notice of Wayne's passion.

"Reggie told us to look at everybody and see if we wanted to fight for each other," center Samson Satele said. "It just fired everybody up. I was looking around and thinking, ‘I don’t want to leave here with a loss.’

"Not after that speech Reggie just gave."

The Colts came out in the second half and scored ten points in regulation and another six on Vick Ballard Superman Swirl Dive into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.

Defensively, Indianapolis held Tennessee to just three second half points and to 0-4 on third down. Prior to halftime, the Titans were 5-7 on third down.

Much of the turnaround from last season's 2-14 disaster can be attributed to Wayne's production and leadership. Re-signing him this past offseason might have been just as critical as the team drafting Andrew Luck. Wayne caught 7 passes for 91 yards in the win over Tennessee.

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Reggie Wayne Amazing One Handed Catch .. Packers vs. Colts 2012

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Reggie Wayne goes 6-73 in Week 6 victory

Reggie Wayne secured six passes for 73 yards in the Colts' Week 7 win over the Browns.

The Browns surprisingly left RCB Sheldon Brown on Wayne's side for most of Sunday's snaps, rather than "shadow" him with top cover corner Joe Haden. Wayne was the only Indianapolis receiver capable of getting open with any hint of consistency in the victory, and turned in another productive PPR game. Through six contests, Wayne has 47 receptions for 666 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Keep him rolling against the Titans in Week 8.

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Reggie Wayne Close To Passing Edgerrin James on Colts' Franchise List

Reggie Wayne has 41 receptions, sixth in NFL, and 523 yards, third in NFL, despite already having bye week. Wayne needs one TD to pass Edgerrin James (75) for third in franchise history and four points to pass James (458) for No. 7 on franchise list.

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Reggie Wayne catches 900th career reception in Colts loss

Coming off an emotional win over the Packers, the Indianapolis Colts knew it would be difficult to replicate last week's upset on the road versus the New York Jets. Despite missing their star cornerback, Darrelle Revis, the Jets have an intimidating defensive unit equipped with multiple first-round draft picks. Although covered well by the Jets defense, Colts veteran wide receiver, Reggie Wayne, was able to catch just enough passes to secure his spot among the elite receivers with his 900th career reception.

Wayne is the 14th player of all time to pass the 900 mark. With only five of fourteen players still active in the NFL, Wayne has a shot climbing the ranks. Currently, Reggie is the youngest active NFL player with over 900 receptions.

Wayne ranks third among players who have caught all of their 900+ passes on one team. Pittsburgh Steeler's Hines Ward, and former Colt, Marvin Harrison, are the only other two wide receivers in this group.

In the 9-35 loss to the Jets, the Colts were rattled by New York's defense. With only 5 receptions for 87 yards, Wayne was the teammate the Colts' quarterback, Andrew Luck, connected to the most. Wayne was responsible for 1 of 2 lost fumbles by the Colts.

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Reggie Wayne Has A Tough Outing

Reggie Wayne caught five passes for 87 yards in the Colts' Week 6 loss to the Jets.

Wayne's stats look much better than his actual game. He lost a fumble and was absolutely dominated by Jets CB Antonio Cromartie, who shadowed Wayne with physical jams and superior quicks.

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Reggie Wayne’s lesson: Drink water, not soda

Colts receiver Reggie Wayne coming off the best game of his career in last Sunday’s win over the Packers, but he had to fight through severe cramps to finish the game. And Wayne says there’s a simple reason for that: He was consuming soft drinks.

Wayne says that soda was the primary culprit in his cramps, and drinking too much soda taught him a lesson.

“That’s me being a victim of sodas and not enough water. I know better than that,” Wayne said, via Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star.

That’s a valuable lesson for you kids out there: Drink water, not soda. Perhaps Michael Bloomberg will recruit Wayne for his anti-soda campaign.

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Colts receivers follow 'Gospel of Reggie'

INDIANAPOLIS – Reggie Wayne's return to Indianapolis was a godsend for the Colts. No wonder he has some disciples.

Dwayne Allen looks nothing like Wayne. Allen is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound tight end. He could bench-press Wayne.

T.Y. Hilton looks nothing like Wayne, either. Hilton is 5-9, allegedly 183 pounds. He could fit in Wayne's lunch box, or at least his locker.

Yet the big man and the little guy both consider Wayne the gold standard when it comes to the pure art of catching a football. Given Wayne's 13-catch, 212-yard, game-winning show against the Green Bay Packers last week, it's no wonder he has followers. Of course, those followers came long before the latest great Wayne game.

“I don't try to do what Reggie does in any way,” Allen said. “(But) on game day and definitely in practice, any tips I can get from him, I steal from him. I look at him as far as his catching routine in practice. Then he goes out and plays lights out, anything that's coming his way, he's coming down with it.”

Wayne and the Colts (2-2) will play at the New York Jets at 1 p.m. Sunday in MetLife Stadium.

There's little question that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has leaned heavily on Wayne. Wayne has a team-high 36 catches for 506 yards and two touchdowns.

As Luck goes into New York, however, he'll face a Jets defense intent on trying to take away, or somewhat limit, Wayne's opportunities. That means one of two things: Either Luck will keep going to Wayne anyway, perhaps forcing things and risking interceptions, or he'll need to mix things up even more with Allen, Hilton, Donnie Avery and Coby Fleener.

Given Luck's intelligence, I'd lean toward him looking for alternatives if and when Wayne is being smothered.

Allen and Hilton would be the next-best choices.

Allen has shown fairly soft hands for a tight end. He has 10 catches for 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's surprisingly nimble for a man of his size, yet has the type of power to fight through tacklers and come up with plays in traffic.

Allen and Fleener (13 catches, 139 yards) were expected to provide the type of quality tight end receiving production that seems to be increasing.

“Progressively, our roles have grown bigger and bigger and I think that's the way they wanted it to be,” Allen said. “Coming into this offense, the tight end has a lot of jobs. If coach (Bruce) Arians put everything on us in the beginning, I don't think we have progressed as far.”

Hilton, meanwhile, looks to be on his way to push Avery as the No.2 wide receiver. Avery is more experienced and is second (albeit distantly) to Wayne with 17 catches for 198 yards. Hilton has eight catches for 165 yards (a team-best 20.6 yards per reception).

Hilton was inactive for the first game and played little against Minnesota, but caught four passes for 113 yards against Jacksonville to become the NFL's first rookie receiver this season to break 100 yards. He caught three passes for 37 yards against the Packers, including a big catch late in the game.

The Colts' increased use of the no-huddle suits Hilton well. He says he's more comfortable with the no-huddle than a more deliberate approach.

“A lot of things are coming into play (on offense),” Hilton said. “Watching film is helping a lot, especially with a great guy like Reggie Wayne, who helps us out. Play-calling is becoming much easier, the playbook's becoming much smaller. The game is slowing down for me and the rest of the team.
“The more you study, the more the game slows down,” Hilton said.

The more Colts receivers of all shapes and sizes study Wayne, the more likely they'll be to see Luck's passes coming their way.

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Reggie Wayne's torrid start makes team look smart

Reggie Wayne made a statement by ignoring the NFL's uniform policy and pulling on orange gloves last Sunday.

It was the right thing to do, a heartfelt gesture from one friend to another. Wayne was recognizing Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia.

This afternoon in the New York Jets' MetLife Stadium, the Colts receiver is expected to leave the orange in Indy.

"I may do it one more time, maybe the next home game,'' Wayne said, smiling. "I'm not sure if I'll be able to get away with it the rest of the year."

Normally, the NFL shows no tolerance for players who defy its strict uniform policy. In the case of Wayne, the league did not assess him a fine for the unapproved orange gloves worn for Pagano and leukemia awareness.

"I think one time, (the NFL will) let you slide,'' Wayne said. "Probably the second time, they'll give you a call.

"I want my kids to have a good Christmas."

He laughed.

"I don't want them to be looking at me crazy when it's Christmas time, wondering why they only have one present," Wayne said.

Trust me, he was playfully stretching the truth like a bungee cord. In March, Wayne re-upped with the Colts, signing a three-year, $17.5 million contract that included a $7.5 million signing bonus.

Regarding the contract, it's proving to be a wise investment.

Wayne is tied for fifth in the league with 36 receptions and third with 506 yards despite playing one fewer game than those ahead of him. His catches are the most by a Colt in the first four games of a season, while his yardage trails only Marvin Harrison (513 in 1999).

Wayne needs two catches against the Jets to become just the 14th NFL player to reach 900 in his career.

The torrid start, Wayne insisted, is "me being me. I don't feel like I'm doing something abnormal. I've felt like I've always been this way."

Jets coach Rex Ryan calls Wayne "a terrific player. He's always been an elite receiver in this league."

Ryan has noticed how interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has altered Wayne's role: He is moving around in the formation, even blocking more.
"He's doing some of the dirty jobs ... he's kind of taking that Hines Ward role that Pittsburgh had under Arians," Ryan said.

Perhaps, but rookie quarterback Andrew Luck is having no problem finding his go-to guy. Wayne has been targeted a league-high 60 times. That's 33.9 percent of Luck's 177 pass attempts.

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Scout's Notebook: Colts WR Reggie Wayne

WR Reggie Wayne, #87 Indianapolis Colts
Height: 5-11 7/8 Weight: 198 Speed: 4.54

Notes: College roommate of Ravens FS Ed Reed at Miami (Fla.), where Colts head coach Chuck Pagano served as DB and special-teams coach during Wayne's tenure. Set a Hurricanes school record with 173 career catches. Was selected 30th overall by the Colts in the 2001 NFL draft and took two years to become a fixture in the starting lineup. Broke out in 2003, when he started all 16 games, not missing a start the next eight seasons. Signed a six-year, $39.5-million contract extension in ’06 and proceeded to earn his first Pro Bowl invite after helping the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI with a 53-yard TD catch in the first quarter. Earned Pro Bowl honors the next four years. Has seven seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards and has caught 898 passes for 12,214 yards and 75 TDs in his career in 163 starts, along with 83-1,128-9 in 17 postseason contests. Is off to the best start in his 12-year career in 2012, catching 36-506-2 in four games.

Positives: Very natural, soft hands catcher with outstanding body control to make in-air adjustments. Extremely quick, savvy route runner ­— sets up defensive backs with stems, nods and head fakes and accelerates at the top of his routes to uncover. Outstanding football intelligence. Understands how to read coverages and find soft spots in zones. Is mentally tough and willing to cross the middle and catch on contact. Exceptional balance in his feet. Terrific hand-eye coordination. Can make difficult one-handed snags look routine. Well-respected team leader. Outstanding work habits. Extremely durable. Rises to the challenge and makes plays in clutch situations, as he did taking over the final drive against Green Bay, making the winning TD catch and converting two 3rd-and-long situations.

Negatives: Modest size. Is not a blazer and lacks elite vertical speed to burn past defenders or pull away from the pack after the catch. Does not power off the line and can be rerouted by physical, press coverage. Not strong or powerful after the catch and at times will look for a safe landing spot. Can give more consistent effort in the blocking game — not a physical, front-up blocker who will earhole defenders or factor heavily in the perimeter run game. Average lower-body explosive power and leaping ability to compete in a crowd.

Summary: One of the few holdovers from a roster heavily stripped after the Bill Polian regime was ousted, Wayne quickly developed a rapport with rookie QB Andrew Luck, bringing precise, reliable route running that immediately has gained the trust of Luck, as it has passers throughout Wayne's career, from college to the pros. A sleek, smooth-moving acrobat, Wayne has all the traits desired in an elite receiver — hands, body control, toughness, route savvy and separation quickness —and has been a model of consistency throughout his career, emerging as the Colts’ most tenured leader in the absence of Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning.

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Reggie Wayne on Sunday Countdown

Playing for Pagano: Perhaps no member of the Colts’ family appreciated last Sunday’s dramatic, comeback win over the Packers more than Reggie Wayne. It was a game dedicated to head coach Chuck Pagano, who is currently battling leukemia. Wayne’s relationship with Pagano dates back to the middle of the 1990s, when Pagano recruited Wayne to play at the University of Miami. The two have remained close over the years. We learn what last Sunday’s game meant to Wayne, who had one of the best performances of his career, and hear how the receiver is helping his coach and friend tackle the fight of his life.

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Reggie Wayne AFC Player of the Week

The NFL has released the official AFC Players of the Week on offense, defense, and special teams with Reggie Wayne, Randy Starks, and Shane Suisham took home the honors in those respective categories.

Wayne caught 13 passes for 212 yards to set a career-high, which is absolutely astounding considering Wayne has been in the league for such a long time. He’s somebody who should be in the Hall of Fame discussion once he retires, so breaking a record like that and getting 200+ yards is nothing to sneeze at. He was the most important player on a Colts team that completed an emotional upset over the Green Bay Packers that helps remind us why we love the game. I can’t think of a player who deserved this week’s honor more.

He is now 17th on the all-time receiving list after pushing past notable receivers in Derrick Mason, Hines Ward, and former San Diego Chargers HOFer Charlie Joyner.

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Better for Reggie Wayne: Luck or Manning?


Early in his rookie season, Andrew Luck seems to have found a safety net with veteran receiver Reggie Wayne. Wayne had a career-high 212 receiving yards against the Packers in Week 5 and after just four games, is tied with Brandon Marshall for first in the league with 56 targets. He’s also averaging a league-best 14 targets per game with Luck under center.

During the 2009 and 2010 seasons with Peyton Manning, (they were the first two without Marvin Harrison), he never led the league in targets and averaged 10.1 targets per game. Manning spread the ball around to players like Dallas Clark and Pierre Garcon but Luck has focused more on Wayne.

Entering Week 6, Luck has targeted Wayne on 34.1 percent of his throws while Manning targeted him on only 26.1 percent of his throws from 2009-10.

One reason Wayne is receiving more targets is that Andrew Luck has utilized him all over the field. Manning predominantly got him the ball on the left side.

Wayne already has more targets in the middle of the field this season (13) than he did in both 2009 (eight) and 2010 (10).

With Luck, Wayne has truly been the number-one option in the Colts offense and his versatility has been on display. That wasn’t always the case during his final few years with Peyton Manning.
--Adam Grigely


In their 10 years together, Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning combined for more than 10,000 yards, 115 regular-season wins, one Lombardi Trophy and a record of success that is in no way comparable to a month’s worth of achievements with a rookie QB.

From 2001 to 2010, a stretch in which Manning started every game and Wayne appeared in all but three, Wayne ranked among the league's top five in receptions (787), receiving yards (10,748) and receiving touchdowns (69) and led all players in receiving first downs (569).

Those 10 seasons were the first 10 of Wayne’s career, and the list of players to catch more passes than Wayne through 10 seasons can fit comfortably on a sticky note: Marvin Harrison (927), Torry Holt (869) and Jerry Rice (820).

Peyton Manning was on the other end of 67 of Wayne’s receiving touchdowns from 2001-10, ranking them among the most prolific QB-receiver tandems ever. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only duos to connect on more touchdown passes are Manning and Marvin Harrison, Steve Young and Jerry Rice, and Dan Marino and Mark Clayton.

For those counting, three of the four players on that list who are eligible for the Hall of Fame have a bust in Canton. Should Reggie Wayne one day join them, it will be because of what he accomplished with Peyton Manning under center, not Andrew Luck.
--Jason Vida

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Reggie Wayne highlights best offseason decisions

The New England Patriots came close to signing Wayne. But credit Colts owner Jim Irsay for stepping up to keep the veteran receiver in Indy, even as the rest of the roster was undergoing a total makeover. Irsay surely knew that the Colts were picking Andrew Luck with the first choice in the 2012 NFL Draft. Wayne's return was a must.

As I said at the time, Wayne is still an elite player. He's also a fantastic worker and great teammate. If Luck was going to fully reach his potential as a rookie, he needed Wayne. The combination between quarterback and receiver has been outstanding all season, particularly on Sunday, when they hooked up 13 times for 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown. That comeback win over the Green Bay Packers, with the Colts playing for coach Chuck Pagano as he fights leukemia, was one to remember forever.

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Reggie Wayne may be the NFL’s biggest bargain

With the removal of three wide receivers who received the franchise tag — Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs, Wes Welker of the New England Patriots and DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles — and the Buffalo Bills keeping Steve Johnson off the free-agent market with a five-year, $36.25 million contract a week before the 2012 league year began, there were about 10 notable free-agent wide receivers on the market.

This year's crop was headlined by Vincent Jackson, who left the San Diego Chargers to sign a five-year, $55.555 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Marques Colston, who re-signed with the New Orleans Saints for five years and $36.3 million. Several mid-20-somethings Pierre Garcon, Laurent Robinson, Robert Meachem, Josh Morgan, Eddie Royal and Mario Manningham drew the most attention, signing contracts in the opening days of free agency, while a pair of over-30 free agents — Reggie Wayne and Brandon Lloyd — signed after the period had been open for a week to 10 days.

Since players are paid based on what they're going to do, and not what they've already done, age was likely the factor in the earlier signings of Garcon, Meachem & Co. Still, Wayne and Lloyd are shaping up to be the biggest producers and bargains of the group.

Signed to a three-year, $17.5 million contract that included $7.5 million in guaranteed money, Wayne's $5.833 million per year average ranks well below what Garcon ($8.5 million) received, and is nestled closer to the deals signed by Robinson ($6.5 million per year), Meachem ($6.375 million), and Morgan ($5.75 million). Yet, Wayne has been the most productive wide receiver of the entire free-agent class.

Through four games, Wayne has more targets (60), receptions (36) and yards (506) than any other receiver in the group, and his two touchdowns are bested only by Colston (four). To put Wayne's production into context, he has nearly as many receptions (39 to 36) and receiving yards (605 to 506) and touchdowns (three to two) than Garcon, Robinson, Meachem and Morgan combined. Wayne is taking home $7.5 million in cash this season, which is tied for 16th among NFL wide receivers. Garcon, Robinson, Meachem and Morgan will combine to earn $39.104 million in cash (base salary, signing bonuses, roster bonuses and workout bonuses) in 2012.

Wayne has also logged 281 snaps in the four games, which is only surpassed by Lloyd, who has logged 381 snaps (76.2 per game) in five games with the Patriots. Lloyd's deal with the Patriots has a base value of $12 million over three seasons, but an additional $3.5 million is available in incentives tied to his receiving production (2012-14) and Pro Bowl appearances (2013-14).

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Reggie Wayne violates NFL uniform code in support of Chuck Pagano

Reggie Wayne was so intent on showing support for Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, that he violated the NFL's less-than-flexible uniform code on Sunday.

Wayne, who showed Pagano and his teammates plenty of love by catching 13 passes for a career-high 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown in Indy's 30-27 upset of the Green Bay Packers, wore orange gloves and an orange mouthpiece as the color signifies awareness for leukemia, the disease Pagano is battling in an Indianapolis hospital.

NFL players everywhere are decked out in pink to support breast cancer awareness this month, but Wayne went off script for a coach he's known since their time together at the University of Miami (Fla.) more than a decade ago.

"I just wanted to do something, you know, for Chuck," said Wayne, who did sport a pink towel and sweat bands.

"I had some equipment guys make some calls. If they (the NFL) fine me, they fine me, I really feel like that would be a terrible thing to do, but if so, so be it, I'll go ahead and take the fine and do it for Chuck."

Here's hoping a league that obsesses over everything from face shields to sock length to messages worn on t-shirts underneath game jerseys takes a chill pill in this instance.

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Reggie Wayne fought through “severe cramps” on final drive

The Colts’ stunning 30-27 win over the Packers has plenty of story lines.  Leave it to Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports to dig up a new one.

Silver reports that receiver Reggie Wayne, who generated a career-high 212 receiving yards on Sunday, overcame “severe cramps” during the final drive of Sunday’s game.

But that’s what a guy sometimes does when trying to achieve a greater goal.

“We wanted to win this for Chuck [Pagano] so bad,” Wayne told Silver. “At halftime we were so pissed off at each other.  We didn’t play up to par.  We didn’t play like a team that was hungry.  We challenged each other, got in each others’ faces, said, ‘Hey, let’s be accountable to each other.  Let’s trust each other to go out and perform the way we know we can.’”

Trust is the key word.  It’s what helped keep Wayne in Indianapolis, thanks to a relationship with Coach Pagano that started 16 years ago, when Pagano was the receivers coach at the University of Miami and Wayne was a freshman wideout on the team.

“I was at home in Miami getting ready for free agency, my kids running around, nothing but noise, when I saw a ’317′ number flash across my phone,” Wayne explained. “I answered it to see what was up.  As soon as I heard the voice on the other line, I knew it was him. I’ve been knowing Chuck Pagano for a long time.  This is beyond ‘head coach.’  This is family.”

The Colts quickly are becoming family.  It’s an often hollow and overplayed sports intangible that, when it’s authentic and organic, can carry a team farther than the team otherwise would have gone.  Though it will be an uphill climb to take back the AFC South from the Texans, the Colts could finagle a wild-card berth — and they would be a very tough out in the postseason.

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Reggie Wayne on a torrid pace

Reggie Wayne is on the best first-quarter pace of his NFL career with 36 catches for 504 yards through four games.

In the Colts upset of Green Bay, Wayne pulled in 13 catches for 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown as the team honored Chuck Pagano in its first game without their ill head coach.

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was six-of-eight for 90 yards and the game-winning score when targeting Wayne in the fourth quarter alone.

In all, Luck threw to Wayne 20 times, with 10.6 yards per attempt, 11 first downs and zero drops.

All the Colts other targets combined caught 18 of 35 passes aimed for them with 4.3 yards per attempt, five first downs and two drops.

Orange is the color associated with the fight against leukemia. With coach Pagano in the hospital fighting the disease, Wayne had equipment men find him orange gloves and an orange mouthpiece and wore them without concern for a possible fine.

“I think the orange gloves were everywhere," Luck said. " I felt like there were eight pairs of those out there on the field. I told [Wayne] after the game he was the best football player I’ve ever played with. His leadership at halftime, on the field, before the last drive, I think I learned a lot from him from watching him operate. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be on a team with him.”

Wayne’s best reception total was in 2010 (111) and his best yardage year was 2007 (1,510).

At his current clip, he’d catch 144 balls for 2,024 yards.

The records are 143 receptions (by Marvin Harrison in 2002) and 1,848 yards (by Jerry Rice in 1995).

Surely, playing with a rookie quarterback, Wayne can’t maintain a pace that would have him pass Rice by 176 yards. Can he?

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Reggie Wayne has classic performance in tribute to Pagano

Reggie Wayne has history with Chuck Pagano. Theirs is a well-founded relationship, established at the University of Miami in the mid-1990s, built on trust, respect and deep affection, nurtured through the years. So what happened on an emotional Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium was no surprise.

Wayne went out and played the greatest game Pagano never coached.

"I've been knowing Chuck for a long time, 16 years," the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver said after contributing 13 catches for a career-high 212 yards and the touchdown that made the Colts 30-27 conquerors over the 2010 world champion Green Bay Packers.

"Great human being, great coach, great personality, great husband. He identifies the word great. To be able to come out and just do it for him, I said to myself I was going to lay it all on the line."

Wayne did that. He was spent, and a little emotional, but in a perfect world he would have had one final duty. The game ball the Colts won for Pagano, their stricken coach, Wayne would have been the man to deliver it.

He delivered all day Sunday.

Wayne's 212 yards were the second fattest receiving total in the Colts' 60 seasons of NFL membership. They are exceeded only by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Raymond Berry, who had 224 yards at Washington on Nov. 10, 1957.

Wayne had the 40th 100-yard game of his much-decorated five-Pro Bowl, 12-year career at halftime: six receptions, 104 yards. He also had one of his most spectacular catches.

On third-and-6, "Reggie time," he beat Pro Bowl safety Charles Woodson and stretching to fullest extension, took an Andrew Luck pass on the fingertips, tipped it, grabbed it and pulled it in, all with his left hand, all while crashing to the turf. It was a 30-yard gain and a first down that set up a field goal.

And on the final, dramatic, decisive play, who else would it be?

Luck went to Wayne in a crowd at the goal line. The veteran receiver snatched the football out of the air, turned, stretched and extended the ball across the goal line for the winning touchdown.

The sellout crowd of 67,020 roared, gasped, then chanted: "Reggie, Reggie, Reggie, Reggie."

"I told him after the game he was the best football player I've ever played with," Luck said. "His leadership at halftime, on the field, before the last drive; I think I learned a lot from him from watching him operate.

"I'm very blessed and fortunate to be on a team with him."

Wayne wore pink shoes to salute Breast Cancer Awareness Month and he was the only man in the stadium in orange gloves.

"I found out this week that orange was the color for (leukemia) so I made some phone calls," Wayne said. "I had our equipment guys make some phone calls to try and get some orange gloves. They were able to do that.

"I wasn't sure how it was going to go as far as getting fined (by the NFL for a uniform violation), but I said I would take this one for the team. If they fine me, they fine me."

Wayne would have no trouble recruiting help to pay that fine, should the league be heartless enough to levy it. He was the man Sunday and he was playing for the man. All the Colts were.

"He left it all on the field," Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis said of Wayne. "We had to follow his lead."

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Reggie Wayne’s getting older, but playing some of his best football

Reggie Wayne admits he was close to leaving the Colts, and that he left money on the table to stay.

But even though the veteran wide receiver was retained to be a security blanket for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, he’s still getting it done on the field.

The longest-tenured Colt has been targeted a league-high 40 times this season, and his 23 catches are the fourth-most in the league and the most he’s had at this point in the season in his 12-year career.

“He gets open,” Luck said, via Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. “He has an uncanny knack for, when it’s a zone, [knowing] where the hole is going to be based on where the other routes are running. When it’s man, he’s got all the tricks up his sleeve.

“It’s an honor for me just to throw the ball to him.”

But staying in Indy was far from a given for the 33-year-old wideout, who had plenty of offers, and said he left “probably a minimum of $3 million” on the table.
“I was close. Very, very close,” Wayne said of leaving. “But just one team, probably two teams, Colts fans wouldn’t have liked.”

It’s thought one of those was New England, but Wayne grinned and said: “I’ll never tell.”

The three-year, $17.5 million contract, which included a $7.5 million signing bonus, might not have been the biggest he could have gotten, but there’s no place he’d have gone where he’d have been so needed.

“Oh, yeah, I knew I was,” he said. “I knew it was going to be like this, me and a bunch of new faces. Once we released all the guys that had been here for years, I knew it was going to be weird. . . .

“Sometimes I walk in this locker room and I’m like, ‘Wow.’ “But I knew what I was getting myself into. I would never have any regrets. I’m going to use this and run with it.”

And he’s still running, and catching, at a pace similar to when he played with another top-picked quarterback.

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Reggie Wayne off to fastest start of storied career

A former teammate knows where Reggie Wayne belongs: in the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor.

“Put (Wayne’s name) right beside me, man,’’ Edgerrin James said prior to joining the team’s elite group Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. “That’s my boy.”

Wayne smiled when informed of the endorsement by his ex-teammate and long-time friend.

“Tell him don’t be rushing my career,” he said.

Wayne, 33, is the longest-tenured Colts player — he was the 30th overall pick in the 2001 draft — but there’s little evidence of his talent declining. Wayne’s 23 receptions are tied for the fourth-most in the NFL, and the most he’s had after three games in his 12-year career.

“Not surprised at all because Reggie puts in the work,” James said. “Reggie don’t take no days off. Reggie is going to train. Reggie is going to do everything that it takes.

“And then Reggie is smart so Reggie understands what it takes to play at a high level and then he takes care of his body.”

Wayne’s offseason workout regimen rivals what James used to do. He lives in Miami, is an early riser and a tireless worker. It’s no coincidence Wayne has started 148 consecutive games and appeared in 169 straight, both first among active receivers.

While Wayne’s game-day presence continues to elicit Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie chants from Lucas Oil Stadium crowds, he nearly found himself caught up in the Colts’ massive offseason makeover. He was an unrestricted free agent and his cell phone was active.

“I was close. Very, very close,” Wayne said of signing with another team.

There were serious discussions with at least two teams, although Wayne’s keeping the names to himself.

“But just one team, probably two teams, Colts fans wouldn’t have liked,” he said, grinning.

It’s believed New England was one of the teams. Also, perhaps one of the Colts’ AFC South rivals?

“I’ll never tell,” Wayne said.

Wayne was on the verge of leaving his home in Miami and signing with another team when he checked in one last time with the Colts.

“I promised (owner Jim) Irsay and I promised Chuck (Pagano) that before I did anything, I’d give them a call,” he said. “I did and I didn’t walk out the door. I sat back down in my office.”

Wayne re-upped the Colts in March with a three-year, $17.5 million contract that included a $7.5 million signing bonus. It was a wise investment for the Colts, considering they were transitioning from veteran quarterback Peyton Manning to rookie Andrew Luck.

But Wayne said the decision wasn’t driven by money.

“It’s fair to say I left money on the table … probably a minimum of $3 million,” Wayne said, adding he knew he was “taking a leap of faith” by returning to the Colts.

“Oh, yeah, I knew I was,” he said. “I knew it was going to be like this, me and a bunch of new faces. Once we released all the guys that had been here for years, I knew it was going to be weird.”

Occasionally, it still is. Thirty-one of the 53 players on the active roster are in their first year with the team. That includes eight of the nine receivers and tight ends.

“Sometimes I walk in this locker room and I’m like, ‘Wow,’” Wayne said. “But I knew what I was getting myself into. I would never have any regrets. I’m going to use this and run with it.”

The Colts made an attempt to re-sign receiver Pierre Garcon, but dropped out of the bidding when Washington offered him $42.5 million over five years.

An argument can be made that retaining Wayne was more important. He would serve as a calming presence amid the upheaval, and a reliable target for Luck.

Luck’s 122 pass attempts are tied for fourth-most in the NFL. Wayne has been targeted a league-high 40 times. Donnie Avery, a veteran free-agent acquisition, has been targeted 27 times. No other player has had more than 16 passes thrown at him.

It’s not a matter of Luck forcing the football to his most experienced receiver.

“He gets open,” Luck said. “He has an uncanny knack for, when it’s a zone, (knowing) where the hole is going to be based on where the other routes are running. When it’s man, he’s got all the tricks up his sleeve.

“It’s an honor for me just to throw the ball to him.”

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Andrew Luck denies that he's forcing it to Reggie Wayne

Andrew Luck said he's not forcing the ball to Reggie Wayne despite a league-high 40 targets.

Wayne's 40 targets are 13 more than Donnie Avery and 24 more than Coby Fleener. "He gets open," Luck said. "He has an uncanny knack for when it's zone, where the hole is going to be based on where the other routes are running. When it's man, he's got all the trick up his sleeve about how to get open." Volume will sustain Wayne as a WR2.

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Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne build quick Colts rapport

Reggie Wayne went to five Pro Bowls with Peyton Manning putting the ball in the air in Indianapolis. So, what was his first advice for the new Colts quarterback Andrew Luck? Throw it to the open guy. Oh, and I'm always open.

Luck and Wayne have been plenty productive together. Wayne ranks No. 4 in receptions (23) and No. 5 in reception yards (294). The quarterback reminisced about his first meetings with Wayne.

"I don't do it perfectly, but I try to have an open mind when meeting any new teammates, any new person, try to avoid using early judgment before meeting someone and judging their character or who they are," Luck said. "There's definitely a worry of 'There's Reggie Wayne, a big-time receiver, is he going to be hard to relate? It's going to be impossible to talk to him' which definitely isn't the case. He's quiet. He sort of just goes abut his business.

"I think he expects everybody else to go about their business with as much attention to detail and focus as he does. I've said it earlier, but I think it's great for this locker room, especially these young guys. I'm continually impressed by him every day. The work ethic he brings, the nice, calming influence he brings as well."
But Wayne did say he's always open, right?

"Absolutely," Luck said. "Even as a Pop Warner kid, you knew that the receiver that was, and I don't want to say complaining, but maybe lobbying for the ball.
"He's deserved that right. It's an honor for me just to throw the ball to him."

Luck hasn't had to force the ball to Wayne, though at 33 years old, most receivers are on the backside of their careers.

"He gets open," Luck said. "He has an uncanny knack for when it's zone, where the hole is going to be based on where the other routes are running. When it's man, he's got all the tricks up his sleeve about how to get open, and when he's covered, someone else is open. When you put too many guys on him or send a couple of guys towards him, someone else will be open.

"He means so much to this offense."

That's been one of the first steps of a fairly smooth transition into the Luck era. Any concern whether the rookie and veteran would click has been quickly put to rest.

Next step: Offensive line.

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Reggie Wayne goes for 88 yards in Week 3 loss

Reggie Wayne reeled in eight catches for 88 yards in the Colts' Week 3 loss to Jacksonville.

Although Wayne managed no receptions beyond 16 yards, he was Andrew Luck's favorite target again and continues to be a target monster. Austin Collie's potentially serious knee injury should lock Wayne into the latter role over the rest of the season. The Colts have a Week 4 bye before a Week 5 date with the Jets.

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Reggie Wayne watched jersey price plummet

As Reggie Wayne agreed to a deal to stay in Indianapolis as free agency was kicking off, a lot of his old teammates were on their way out.

It was a weird time, symbolically, at the front door of the team facility.

Wayne spoke about it recently on WNDE Radio.

Take us through the situation where so many veterans of the team are let go and shortly thereafter you re-sign:

“It caught me by surprise, also. From the whole free-agent situation, it started at 4 p.m. My phone was just going nuts from about 4 p.m. until about 10 p.m. To be honest with you, I didn’t hear from the Colts until probably 9:50. It was weird. By that time, I basically counted the Colts out. I didn’t think anything was going to happen, but I got that phone call and that’s all I wanted to hear. … Everybody [else] got crossed off. I will say I took a lot less money. I will say that, but this is where my heart was, this is where I wanted to be.”

On watching his jersey up for sale online during free agency:

“Right when free agency started, at that 4 p.m., I was just online messing around, and my jersey went from 50 bucks to on sale for $12.95. I didn’t know what that meant, either. I was like, ‘I guess this is a sign.’”

Wayne was fantastic on opening day in Chicago. Andrew Luck is sure to continue to find him, even when Austin Collie and/or T.Y. Hilton are added to the receiving corps after missing the first game.

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Reggie Wayne Dishes on Andrew Luck After Playing Their First Game Together

Reggie Wayne joined WNDE in Indianapolis with Query and Schultz to discuss how he wound up back in Indianapolis, the free agency process, coming back to a Colts team in rebuilding mode, what has struck him early on about Andrew Luck, if he’s had to change parts of his game and early comparisons between Luck and Peyton Manning.

How did it all unfold to the point where you wound up back in Indianapolis?:
“I didn’t know what to expect, just from the history of the way that whole situation goes, you expect the worst. You think you’re not going to be back. I’ve had some good friends, Edgerrin James … was in that same situation and he didn’t come back and he was part of this whole foundation. I kind of just expected the worst and if something good happens, then great. If I was moving on, then I was already expecting it.”

Take us through the situation where so many veterans of the team are let go and shortly thereafter you re-sign:
“It caught me by surprise, also. From the whole free-agent situation, it started at 4 p.m. My phone was just going nuts from about 4 p.m. until about 10 p.m. To be honest with you, I didn’t hear from the Colts until probably 9:50. It was weird. By that time, I basically counted the Colts out. I didn’t think anything was going to happen, but I got that phone call and that’s all I wanted to hear. … Everybody [else] got crossed off. I will say I took a lot less money. I will say that, but this is where my heart was, this is where I wanted to be.”

On watching his jersey up for sale online during free agency:
“Right when free agency started, at that 4 p.m., I was just online messing around, and my jersey went from 50 bucks to on sale for $12.95. I didn’t know what that meant, either. I was like, ‘I guess this is a sign.’”

Why decide to come back to a rebuilding program? Was it because you became the veteran leader of the whole deal?:
“Yeah, it was definitely a humbling experience. Me, being where I’ve been part of this organization and there’s always been a guy — a Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, someone that was in more years than I was so it was less for me to do. As I signed that contract, I talked to Mr. Irsay and talked to Chuck Pagano and everybody and they told me they wanted me to be myself. I didn’t have to do anything different. But when you’re around a locker room of so many young guys, you just feel like you have to say something, you have to lead the way. And it’s more than just leading by example. You have to be vocal; they have to hear your voice. So I just took that upon it and took that challenge and it’s keeping me young.”

What’s it like playing with Andrew Luck and what do you notice about him most that we wouldn’t?:
“First of all, I tell you what, I think the Colts picked the right guy. He is a great student of the game. He knows what he’s doing; he’s an excellent learner. He understands the way everything flows. I’ll tell you what I’m excited about, every time I watch him … he’s poised. Nothing seems to rattle him, no matter if he’s sacked, if he throws an interception, something goes wrong, he’s on that sideline and worrying about the next play. … He comes in, takes control of the huddle, understands what’s going on around him, and I really think he’s going to be very, very good one day.”

Have you had to change yourself as a receiving in terms of timing and things of that nature?:
“You do. It starts off just with we run a whole new offense, so I have to retool myself all over again. In the old system, we had to run a lot of square routes. Now it’s a lot of speed turns, so I had to challenge my body all over again. I had run routes like I’m running now since high school. … It all takes time and it’s all going to work together.”

If there’s one comparison you’re willing to make between Luck and Peyton Manning is it their cerebral style of playing the game?:
“Yeah, it is. I don’t think anybody can be as, I won’t say prepared, as Peyton, because Peyton lives and dies football every day. I don’t know too many times where we had a conversation where we didn’t talk about football. That’s just who he is. But you can tell Andrew, he loves the game, loves football, but also wants to have a life after football. That, there, is the difference. “

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Reggie Wayne 'Took A Lot Less Money' To Play With Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne revealed in a radio interview with WNDE in Indianapolis that he took less money to stay in Indy and remain a Colt.

Wayne said he didn't expect to be with the Colts again as free agency wore on, but when they called, he decided to come back.

"I will say I took a lot less money. I will say that, but this is where my heart was, this is where I wanted to be."

So far, his decision has paid off. The 33-year-old Wayne, with 12 NFL seasons of experience, looked spry and played well in the Colts' season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday. He looked to have a good connection with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.

Wayne had some glowing compliments for his quarterback, Luck, saying that the Colts "picked the right guy" and that Luck is already a leader in the huddle and will be very good one day.

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Reliable Reggie Wayne

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Reggie Wayne draws 18 targets for 135 yards

Reggie Wayne reeled in nine passes for 135 yards versus the Bears in Week 1.

Wayne was a one-man show in the Colts passing attack, putting on an impressive hands display with a series of lunging and diving catches. Targeted a team-high 18 times, Wayne saw nine passes in his direction by late in the first half before any teammate drew a second target. Even with Austin Collie returning to cut into his target total, Wayne looks like a sure bet for 85+ receptions this season. He's a safe WR2 option while hosting the Vikings in Week 2.

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Reggie Wayne makes 146th straight start on Sunday

Reggie Wayne was quick with advice for whichever quarterback the Colts turned to last season. "Look left."

That's where Wayne generally was situated whether Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky was under center.

The veteran receiver said he'll be less specific Sunday with his pre-game advice to rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts open against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

"Just throw it to the open guy," Wayne said, pausing. "And I will be open."

Luck, he added, has "done well preparing. He's eager to play, too, I believe. It's time to let it unwind a little bit, get the training camp out of the system and get ready to play some real good opponents.

"No more preseason. It's for real now and that's exactly what I told the young receivers. It's going to move even faster now. You really got to come prepared to go into a hostile environment and be ready to play."

Wayne's is the voice of experience. He's 33 and entering his 12th season. He'll make his 146th consecutive regular-season start, the longest streak among active receivers, and has had at least one reception in 96 straight games.

Wayne enters the season tied for 15th in league history with 862 receptions, 22nd with 11,708 yards and tied for 30th with 73 receiving touchdowns.

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Colts benefit from Reggie Wayne's winning touch

ANDERSON – Reggie Wayne was the first player on the field Friday for the Indianapolis Colts' last day of training camp at Anderson University. This is a small, important detail.

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck will get the bulk of the attention, understandably so, when the Colts play their second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at 8 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh. We'll chart how Luck looks against the traditionally great Steelers defense. Can he match his sterling start against the St. Louis Rams last week?

Luck is 22 years old, his career in front of him. Wayne is 33, the bulk (but not all) of his career behind him.

Yet there is no more important person to Luck's success than Wayne, and that goes even if Wayne catches only a modest number of passes this season.

“We're still young and we still have some improving to do,” Wayne said, “even myself, making small mental mistakes. That's what the rest of (the preseason) is for, to continue to grow and iron out those mistakes.”

Wayne has spent this training camp leading by example. First guy on the field, last guy catching passes out of the Jugs machine long after practice is over. He talks with Luck, he points out nuances between quarterback and receiver that can only be learned and assimilated at the NFL level.

Then there's Wayne's influence on a relatively young receiving crew. Except for Austin Collie, who has been Wayne's teammate for the past three years, the group is rookies and near-rookies.

T.Y. Hilton, one of the rookies, mentioned the other day how he wants to keep improving his game and asking questions of Wayne. There's a link there.

Wayne has appeared near flawless during training camp at Anderson, which came to an end with a morning practice Friday. He maintains his high gear, runs crisp patterns, makes an attempt to grab every pass, one-handed, leaping or otherwise.

To be honest, he seems to be energized by the chance to work with a new quarterback and a new team. And when the Colts re-signed him after he became a free agent, he clearly assumed the deal was for his play and his approach on and off the field.

“We're young, bottom line,” Wayne said. “We're a young team. They say we have 54 first-year or second-year guys and that comes with this whole getting rid of guys and bringing in new guys.

“As veterans, we have to show those guys the way,” Wayne continued. “We've got some veteran leadership on this team that knows what to do. We have to take them under our wings and lead them to the right path.”

Watching Wayne in practice is a reward in and of itself. He makes the spectacular catch look easy, reminiscent of Marvin Harrison, the veteran Wayne encountered when he came into the league.

Harrison, however, wasn't necessarily inclined to be proactive in the leadership role. His personality was introverted.

Wayne's approach reflects his background at the University of Miami, where the Hurricanes were always known for confidence and brashness. The difference is that Wayne has soaked in the Colts' culture, so that he projects a more engaging confidence. You can't watch Wayne or listen to him and think of him as cocky. He stays on the likeable, positive side of confidence.

I've written before that if the Colts could only keep one of their two top receivers last season in Wayne and Pierre Garcon, Wayne was the right one to hold onto.
This group of Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Donnie Avery, Quan Cosby and others have benefited immeasurably from Wayne's presence.

Wayne shows them, with his individual work before and after practice, that greatness comes with a price in hard work.

“At certain times this year, these rookies won't be rookies anymore,” Wayne said. “They have to grow from that and become big-time players.”

They've got the right man showing them the way.

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Reggie Wayne Remains Key Part of Indy Offense

Update: Wayne had six receptions (nine targets) for 74 yards in Sunday's preseason loss to Pittsburgh.

Recommendation: It looks like Andrew Luck will target Wayne, who looked in regular season form, very frequently in Indy's new offensive scheme. Wayne is being used in multiple positions on the line this season as opposed to always lining up outside on the left, including the slot, in an effort to create mismatches. The new scheme shows that the Colts plan to heavily target Wayne in the game plan.

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Reggie Wayne will line up in more places

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Never mind Where's Waldo?

Where's Reggie?

On Wednesday afternoon, Reggie Wayne, the Indianapolis Colts' veteran receiver, was here, there, a little bit of everywhere when quarterback Andrew Luck and the No. 1 offense were on the field.

No longer is he always stationed on the far left of the formation, on a so-called "island."

"Unfortunately it comes in year 12, but it's all good,'' Wayne said. "I'm excited about it. I have a little bit more freedom to do some things."

Consider some plays from practice. Wayne lined up: Wide right, went in motion to the left and caught a swing pass out of the backfield.

In the left slot, ran a slant to the right and caught a pass from Luck in stride.

Wide right, went in motion to the left, stopped and went back to the right.

In the slot to the left, motioned right and caught a short pass from Luck.

The idea is to maximize Wayne's versatility, and make it more difficult for defenses to locate and concentrate on him.

"Why leave him in one spot?'' asked offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "We're not a right and left wide receiver offense. He's going to be our flanker and our slot.

"He's got great decision making and he's really strong in the slot. It's a waste of talent to just have him out (left) all the time and let him be double covered."

In the past, the Colts ran a less complicated offense, and that worked rather well for many years, with Peyton Manning throwing to Wayne and Marvin Harrison.

Wayne's been able to deal with whatever defenses have thrown at him since the Colts selected him with the 30th overall pick in 2001. He ranks No. 2 in club history in virtually every meaningful receiving category, trailing only Harrison. Among active receivers, only Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez has more catches and yards.

And while it can be overly optimistic to project statistics, Wayne could secure a place among the most prolific receivers in NFL history.

Wayne, 33, has averaged 89.8 receptions and 1,226 yards over the past eight years. In March he signed a three-year, $17.5 million contract. If he is able to maintain his recent pace over the life of the contract, he'll push his career totals to 1,131 catches and 15,386 yards.

Only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549), Gonzalez (1,149), Harrison (1,102) and Cris Carter (1,101) have more than 1,100 receptions.

Only Rice (22,895), Terrell Owens (15,934) and Isaac Bruce (15,208) have eclipsed the 15,000-yard mark.

This season, Wayne and all of the receivers will be moving around a lot. Wayne and Austin Collie are the starters, with Donnie Avery the No. 3 option. While Avery is dealing with a hip injury, rookie T.Y. Hilton is taking his place.

At any time, anyone can be anywhere. That's a dramatic switch from Harrison always split wide right and Wayne to the left.

"It's being able to move (Wayne) around in all different packages and not just having this guy here, this guy there, but move 'em all over the place," Arians said. "Run every route in the book, find out the ones they run the best.

"I think Reggie's having a lot of fun (in the slot). He's so big and strong and he knows how to get open. I think it's been like a rookie year for him."

Wayne isn't learning the slot position as much as he's re-learning it. Early in his career, that was his spot.

"My second year, that's actually how I got started, really, playing a little slot,'' Wayne said. "So it kind of brings you back a little bit to that time."

Arians, he added, "is showing me some new things. (He) didn't sell me on it at first. I guess that's because I've been (lined up) a certain way for 11 years. It's starting to grow on me. I'm starting to like it."

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Reggie Wayne takes new on role with Indianapolis

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — Reggie Wayne's world is changing.

The fun-loving receiver who always got overshadowed by Peyton Manning has suddenly become the feature attraction at Colts' training camp.

Fans roar every time he steps on the field and rush over to him for autographs. The group of rookies joining him for extra work catching passes has been increasing daily. Veterans pepper him with questions, and the perennial Pro Bowler seems to be savoring his new job as the offensive leader after deciding to play with the revamped Colts.

"Some people say we're depleted. I say we're younger and hungrier," Wayne said Friday. "I wanted to be here. I wanted to build this foundation to get the Colts back to the old winning ways, and we still have some OGs around here."

Wayne is one of those old guys, or OGs in his vernacular. But for the first time in his 12-year career, Wayne is the veteran leader of this team.
Edgerrin James, Wayne's old pal from Miami, left as a free agent before Indy's 2006 Super Bowl-winning season. Marvin Harrison, the receiver who mentored Wayne, wasn't re-signed after 2008.

The biggest purge came in March when Manning, the longtime face of the franchise, was released, clearing room for Andrew Luck's arrival. Free agent center Jeff Saturday signed with Green Bay. Record-setting tight end Dallas Clark, former Pro Bowl running back Joseph Addai and defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt were cut. Longtime offensive line starter Ryan Diem retired, and Wayne could have left, too, as a free agent.

He almost did.

Wayne was so convinced his days in Indy were over that he celebrated the game-winning touchdown against Houston like it was his final score at Lucas Oil Stadium. The next week, he packed up his locker, took down his name plate and shipped everything home for the offseason.

His says his heart wouldn't let him leave.

Instead, Wayne took less money to return to the Colts, giving them a veteran presence on an offense that will have at least seven new starters in the Sept. 9 season-opener at Chicago. Indianapolis needed him.

"We're a young team, and if you watch Reggie, he's been doing the same thing for years," cornerback Jerraud Powers said. "For the young guys coming up, he's a great guy to watch, to see how to do it the right way. You know going against Reggie every day in practice, he's teaching me stuff all the time. He'll say, 'I read this or that off of you.'"

Wayne said he catches about 150 balls from a machine between workouts to keep his hands sharp. When Wayne walked over to the machine after Sunday's 2½-hour practice, he stood alone. On Day 2, two other players had joined him. On the third day, the group consisted of more than a half-dozen guys and it continues to expand.

After Friday's morning walkthrough, Wayne walked slowly from the field to the locker room, talking with rookie receiver LaVon Brazill, a sixth-round draft pick out of Ohio University. Wayne didn't say what they discussed, though it is a regular part of the routine for the 33-year-old whose poster-sized image has replaced Manning's on the front of Lucas Oil Stadium.

"He's teaching me a lot, how to get in and out of breaks," said T.Y. Hilton, a third-round draft pick from Florida International. "I haven't been able to go with him after practice, but I go to the machine before practice and catch with Reggie."

Why wouldn't the youngsters follow Wayne's lead?

In 11 seasons, he has 862 receptions with 11,708 yards — second all-time in Colts history and nearly four times the total of the other 15 receivers and tight ends at Indy's camp. His 73 TD catches are almost triple the combined totals of the other 15 (281 catches, 3,218 yards, 25 TDs), 12 of whom have yet to catch an NFL pass.

The most impressive part of Wayne's legacy has been his ability to stay healthy. He leads all NFL receivers with 145 consecutive starts, 166 games played and hasn't missed a start since 2002.

"Every player wants longevity and obviously what he does, going on 12 years, is just awesome," receiver Donnie Avery said. "He's been to Super Bowls, a number of training camps and he knows what it takes to get through practice, so you watch him."

Wayne came back to help the receivers get in sync with their new quarterback, learn the playbook and teach the next generation of Colts' receivers what it takes to stick around this league. And win.

Wayne insists little has changed. Teammates know better.

"I haven't seen him do anything he hasn't done. Reggie will do whatever this team wants him to do and he's not going to step on anyone's toes," Powers said. "But I'm pretty sure he's got a chip on his shoulder being in Peyton's shadow for so long."

And though Luck is running the offense, this is clearly Wayne's team.

"My intensity has stayed the same, even when Peyton was here. I was vocal when I needed to be vocal. If I see a guy do something wrong, I tell him about it," Wayne said. "We still have some old guys that they can build off of and show them what to do."

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'Reggie Wayne reporting for duty'


Reggie Wayne: The veteran receiver has often made dramatic -- and thematic -- arrivals at training camp.

This morning, he showed up in three Humvees with soldiers from the Indiana National Guard in Shelbyville.

Emerging from one of the Humvees in military fatigues, Wayne declared: "Reggie Wayne reporting for duty."

Then he paid tribute to the soldiers who joined him.

"I had these guys on speed-dial," Wayne said. "I take my hat off to these guys. They're on 24-hour notice."

In the past, Wayne has shown up to camp in a dump truck to symbolize getting ready for hard work. Another year, he showed up in an Arizona Cardinals No. 32 jersey as a tribute to former Colts running back Edgerrin James.

"I don't want people to think this is a joke," Wayne said this morning. "I fully support the military. They are the heroes. ... I want our team to take a page out of their book. These guys are what you call true heroes. I appreciate that."

The military escort was planned two years ago, but the Colts, then under different management, nixed the idea, said Staff Sgt. Lamont Sullivan.

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Chiefs Apparently 'Came Close' To Signing Reggie Wayne

The Chiefs’ Romeo Crennel, like most head coaches, prefers veteran players over younger ones, everything else being equal. The Chiefs attempted to sign more veteran players during the offseason. They came close to adding wide receiver Reggie Wayne before he decided to remain with the Colts.

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Andrew Luck Working Out At University Of Miami With Reggie Wayne


MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The last time a number one overall draft pick quarterback was making his way around Miami, the local television stations went into full fledged Peyton Manning overload coverage.

But another number one overall pick at quarterback is in Miami and working with his new crop of receivers. Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck is working out at the University of Miami with receivers Donnie Avery, Reggie Wayne, and Griff Whalen, according to

Avery sent a picture of the group out on Instagram as proof of the workout.

The workout was at UM because veteran Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne went to the school and still works out there.

Luck hasn’t had the ability to work out with his new receivers much during the offseason. Because Stanford ends their semesters so late, Luck couldn’t work out with the team until a mandatory mini-camp in June.

The workout could come in handy for Luck and the Colts. Currently, Luck and the Colts are at an impasse in contract negotiations.

Luck, and the next seven picks in the NFL Draft remain unsigned over contract language included in their deals. The teams don’t want to fully guarantee the last season if a player is cut before the final fifth year of the contract. The players want that final year guaranteed.

Colts owner Jim Irsay has said twice in the last two weeks that a deal with Luck is close. Once Luck’s deal is done, it will set the benchmark for the rest of the deals to work from the top and then use number nine overall pick Luke Kuechly’s contract as a base.

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Weighting wins for WRs Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson

Chase Stuart is doing some interesting stuff at

The most recent entry of note looks at career weighted winning percentages for the 100 wide receivers with the most receiving yards in NFL history.

Of the 14 active players on the list, the top guy and the lowest-ranking guy both belong to the AFC South.

And they should come as no surprise.

Reggie Wayne is at No. 7, with a weighted winning percentage of .698. Thanks, Peyton Manning, Bill Polian and the Colts.

Andre Johnson is at No. 95, with a weighted winning percentage of .433. Thanks, expansion situation, Charley Casserly and David Carr.

Interestingly, Wayne and Johnson are friends, linked by the University of Miami.

They hold each other in high regard and hang out together when they can. They share relatively low-key, workman-like personalities.

Johnson’s “suffering” came to an end last season as he played in his first two playoff games. If he can stay healthy, the Texans may finally be in position to help him move up this list before he’s done.

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Reggie Wayne #31 Top 100 NFL Players of 2011

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Reggie Wayne #31 Top 100 NFL Players of 2011

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Reggie Wayne eager to see Luck in action

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