With 12 years of NFL experience in a Colts uniform, wide receiver Reggie Wayne dwarfs his fellow offensive teammates when it comes to the longest tenured player on the roster.
Running back Donald Brown is second in line and as a four-year veteran, he isn’t within shouting distance of Wayne.
Heading into the season opener, Wayne had a message for his younger teammates.
“It’s football time,” Wayne said. “No more preseason, it’s for real now and that’s exactly what I told the young receivers. It is not preseason any more, it’s going to move even faster now. You really have to come prepared to go into a hostile environment and be ready to play.”
At times during the preseason, Wayne was surrounded with five and six rookies at the skill positions.
He has called his receiver group maybe the most talented he has played with in Indianapolis and is anxious to see this Colts team.
“I know what type of guys we have in this locker room. I am curious to see it all be put together for a whole game, a whole 60 minutes,” Wayne said.
“Everybody is eager to go out there and show what they can do. As a team, we just want to go out there and play well, play Colts football and prove some people wrong. This is a great opportunity against a great opponent to do that.”
In Chicago on Sunday, Wayne will see a few former teammates in cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden and Tim Jennings.
This marks the second straight season Wayne will go up against Hayden and he is anxious to battle with some guys he went up against daily on the practice field.
“It will be fun going up against some familiar faces,” Wayne said. “It’s a young guys league so whenever you see some old faces out there, it’s good. Those guys are going to want to put their best foot forward and we got to do the same.”
When head coach Chuck Pagano took over early in 2012, one of the few connections he had with the Colts was Wayne.
The two crossed paths at the University of Miami with Pagano coaching the defensive backs (1995-2000) and Wayne playing for the Hurricanes (1997-2000).
“The main thing that he always brings to the table is just being a team, playing for each other, just go out there and not worry about your own individual accolades, just go out there and play together as a team,” Wayne said.
“When you win, and you win, and you win, it’ll be enough to go around for everybody. That’s what he’s instilled in us since day one and I believe everybody has bought into that.”
With the Bears opener less than 48 hours away, Wayne and that ‘team’ is ready to see what 2012 has in store.
“We have a young team that’s hungry that wants to win and wants to win now,” Wayne said. “Hopefully we’re prepared enough to go out there and do that. I guess we’ll find out soon.”
Tags: chuck pagano, donald brown, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog
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Frontier Restaurant on Milwaukee Ave. will host a Colts party next Saturday night. They will offer all Colts fans a discount on drinks after 9pm (DJ starts at 9) . They offer $4 domestic bottles and drafts. $5 Stoli and Stoli flavor drinks as well as $5 Jameson. All fans have to do is check in with the hostess, get a wristband and then they are free to roam.
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Throughout the entire offseason, Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has often heard the same question regarding his Pro Bowl outside linebackers.
It didn’t take long Thursday afternoon for Manusky to hear it again and he’s looking forward to seeing No. 93 and 98 on the field for extended action against the Bears.
“I don’t think you’re ever right where you want to be every week but we’re making a lot of progress,” Manusky said. “I think both guys are really taking hold to what their job is supposed to be and they’re rolling with it and they’re doing a great job.”
This offseason the buzz surround Manusky’s hybrid 3-4 defense has been the influx of players familiar with the system along with getting the other Colts caught up with the scheme.
Even Manusky admitted there is a little more anticipation for this season opener considering all the changes.
“It’s a little bit different coming from a 4-3 (defense) to a 3-4 defense with these guys,” Manusky said. “With Vontae (Davis) being a little bit new, even Justin King having a little bit of newness to him. We’re all working together as a unit, trying to go out there and get a victory.”
Getting Davis acclimated with his new teammates and the system has been high on the priory list for Manusky over the past week.
Davis is expected to start opposite cornerback Jerraud Powers on Sunday and his knowledge of playing in similar defenses has helped him out immensely.
“He’s ready,” Manusky said of Davis. “I think there is a little bit of familiarity with Mike Nolan’s system. So the calls might be a little bit different but for the most part he’s played in that kind of system a little bit, our system, so it’s good.”
The task for Manusky’s defense will be a multi faceted offense leaning on Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte.
In the first three weeks of the season, the Colts rush defense will be tested by trying to stop a trio of Pro Bowl running backs.
“That’s the way this league is,” Manusky said of the running backs. “You’ve got to make sure you set your sights on stopping the run, that’s the most important thing. We’ve been stressing that since we got here so that’s what we got to do on Sunday.”
Tags: Dwight Freeney, jerraud powers, robert mathis, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog