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