Reggie Wayne Looking More and More Wise about Who Should Have Been Quarterbacking the Colts this Season
An 0-3 start to his 11th NFL season was almost certainly not what Reggie Wayne envisioned at the outset of the year. But that’s the reality Wayne and the Indianapolis Colts are facing as they prepare for their Week 4 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. Wayne was limited to three catches for 24 yards, but in the process managed to clear a major milestone. Wayne now has 801 career receptions, an impressive number even for a guy who’s benefited from playing with the great Peyton Manning. Speaking of Peyton, Wayne’s comments about Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins before the season are now looking more prescient than ever. Wayne of course had mentioned that he didn’t understand why the Colts were looking for outside help rather than turning to Curtis Painter who had been on the team for three years and knew the offense instead of asking Collins to learn the Colts offense in a few short weeks time. After three straight losses in which Collins has looked average at best, Painter now appears as if he’ll get his shot after Collins left last Sunday night’s game with concussion like symptoms. Will the Colts offense be rejuvenated by the young, inexperienced Painter? We’ll see beginning next Monday night down in Tampa Bay.
Wayne joined WQAM in Miami to talk about his comments before the season concerning Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins, why he thinks it was too much to ask Collins to learn the Colts offense in such a short period of time when the team had a quarterback in Painter who had learned the system for the past three years, getting to 800 career receptions in the Colts’ Week 3 loss to the Steelers, how he’s always looked up to Michael Irvin dating back to his college days at the University of Miami, who’s been taking the snaps at quarterback for the Colts during practice this week, playing hard against the Steelers but ultimately falling short, and how Peyton Manning has been more involved at practice lately instructing and teaching players while he continues to work his way back from neck surgery.
On his previous comments about not understanding why the Colts wouldn’t give Curtis Painter a shot at quarterback rather than bringing in Kerry Collins at the last minute to try to learn the Colts’ offense in so little time:
“You know, I had nothing against Kerry Collins, we have the same agent also as Curtis Painter — we all have the same agent. My agent says Kerry Collins is coming in, great guy. I say I’ve heard a lot of good things about Kerry Collins. But when it came to me that he was coming in and that he was the starter, I’m like whooa, wait a minute, I know I’m not the smartest guy on the block but I’m not the dumbest either. It took me two years to learn this offense. Now, you mean to tell me we’re going to bring somebody in and he’s going to learn it in 18 days? That just doesn’t sit right. That just didn’t sit right with me. And I know we have Curtis Painter who’s been here three years. We’ve got to give him a shot, we got to give him a chance. That’s all I was saying. And it kind of brought me back to my second year here with the Colts, and I was like alright I’m going to have a chance, this is my chance. All offseason I’m using that motivation in my workouts, and they bring in Qadry Ismail. And I’m like okay, I’m never going to shy away from competition, it’s part of the game. And then all of a sudden they just threw him in there with the starting job. So it kind of reminded me of my second year, and I was like they didn’t even give me a chance, they didn’t even give me a shot. So I’m a loyal guy, all these guys in the locker room they’re my brothers, so I’m going to do whatever I need to do to back them up. And that was my way of backing up Curtis Painter.”
On the long history of guys in the league just needing a shot to show what they can do:
“And that’s all you can ask for, that’s all you can ask for. And I talked to Curtis Painter about it and I said you’re going to get your shot, but you’ve got to be ready. Be ready. You’ve got to position yourself each week like you’re that dog, you’re that man. And when they call your name, call your number, you’ve got to be ready, and once you step on that stage baby, you’ve got to perform. That’s just the way it goes. One of these days, hopefully we can get Curtis out there to show what he can do, and he can perform at the top level. So we’ll see.”
On getting to 800 receptions the other night, a feat that Michael Irvin wasn’t able to accomplish in his Hall of Fame career:
“But you know what, everybody knows the business man on this phone, Michael Irvin. And everybody who knows me, knows I looked up to Michael Irvin. When I got to the University of Miami, everybody was like man, you kind of remind me of Michael Irvin. So I was like, I need to look at some Michael Irvin film. I’ve got the tape, let me check that film out. I saw it, I was like that’s a grown man, that’s a grown man right there. So I took that film with me and I used it throughout my whole career. And Mike, I take my hat off to you, I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. And you didn’t know what you were doing, but you did a lot.”
On who has been taking the bulk of the snaps in practice this week at quarterback:
“Today was actually the first day of practice. Because of having a Monday Night game, Coach Caldwell kind of blessed us a little bit by giving us an extra day off. So far Curtis has been in there, but we’re not sure what the status of Kerry is at this point in time, I don’t think we’ll find out until later this evening or so. But right now, Curtis is the man, he’s taken the snaps in walk through, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
On playing well against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday night but ultimately falling short:
“Well the whole goal for every game is to go out and be successful and that is to win. You want to win. There’s a win column, a loss column, and very seldom has a team been in that tie column. There are no moral victory columns, okay? There are none of those columns. We took an L but we got better. We looked at the film and we looked at our mistakes and they were all mistakes that we can correct, and we said we knew we should have won that game. Take our hats off to Pittsburgh, they came in and did what they had to do which is to leave town with a W. But we knew we had an opportunity to win, we could have put that game on ice and we could have showed the world who we really are no matter who’s playing. And like we said earlier, next guy up; we could have showed the world who we really are and that’s the winning organization of the Indianapolis Colts. But we’ve got a chance to redeem ourselves on national television, and that’s Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are a young team, flying around and looking good, looking fresh. And they’re also trying to make a name for themselves. It should be a good game.”
How Peyton Manning is doing from a mental standpoint as he slowly tries to recover from his neck injury:
“You know, last week or so he’s been around more. I think the doctors have cleared him where he can be around more and be active around the team. He’s been real vocal in the meeting rooms and out on the practice field. And I think we need that, especially the quarterbacks, because I don’t think there’s anybody in this building that knows the offense better than Peyton. So just him being out there giving his two cents, and just out there telling guys what he thinks is a better look is key for us. And I think the coaches would like to see what he has to say also. So just him being out there giving his criticism about different things has been good for us. And I think the more he’s involved, the better off we’ll be.”