Last year against San Diego, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne was held in relative check with three catches for 61 yards. On the other hand, both Marvin Harrison and Brandon Stokely enjoyed 100+ yard games. This week Reggie Wayne will find himself lining up across from the same corner who covered him in last year's contest, cornerback Drayton Florence. What remains to be seen is if San Diego will defense Wayne the same way.
Last year, Wayne saw consistent double coverage as Drayton received safety help most of the afternoon. Now that Drayton has a year of NFL experience under his belt,
that might mean more single coverages on Wayne. Still, San Diego does have the 27th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, so their corners should not be put on islands against any receiver often.
Reggie Wayne has developed into one of the league's most consistent and reliable No. 2 receivers. He has worked hard at turning himself into an exceptional route runner and continues to improve in that area. He is a serious threat after the catch because of elusiveness, vision, balance and change of direction skills. While not the fastest of the Colts receivers, he does possess good after-the-catch speed and will show some explosiveness getting in and out of his routes.
The scouting report says Reggie Wayne is the big, physical receiver of the Indianapolis Colts receiving corps. He is not afraid to outmuscle you and hit back if a corner decides to press at the line. Wayne's big advantage is that he knows how to use his frame to get separation and block-out defenders. Corners must be careful not to give him too much cushion, because he will run a quick slant or curl on them, and then use that frame to shield the defender from the ball and make the catch. He also does a nice job of catching the ball when thrown away from his body. Wayne does lack explosive straight-line speed, so it is smart to keep the safety toward the middle of the field and not up and toward a sideline when doubling him. He struggles at times versus bigger defensive corners that muscle him, but also does not back down from a presser.
Drayton Florence has all the tools -- size, strength, toughness, and speed. But he is still very raw, . He's just in his third year out of Tuskegee. In college, he didn't have the opportunity to line-up against future NFL-caliber receivers. So the adaptation and adjustment period has naturally taken a bit longer. Nonetheless, he needs to start demonstrating more polish and consistency. One of his biggest problems is that he will lean too much on his natural abilities and not enough on what his coaches are telling him. This leads to sloppy technique, uneven footwork, and the occasional big play. He frustrates fans and coaches alike, because one just doesn't know what you're going to get from the guy performance-wise each week.
He is a physical-type corner who will jam his receiver. He uses his long arms well in press coverage, shows solid hands and foot quickness to adjust from the press alignment. But he's still very mistake prone in zone coverage, where he tends to lose sight of receivers and gets caught flat-footed. As a result, he's slow to break on the ball. Florence, though, will likely only show press when he's certain to have a safety over top. So look for Manning to look Wayne's way when he sees Florence starting to give a little cushion, attempting to exploit Florence's mediocre zone skills.