Wayne, Gonzalez Ready For New Roles

Over the past two or three seasons, Reggie Wayne has developed the reputation of being one of the better wide receivers in the National Football League. Now, with Marvin Harrison being released last month, Wayne will go from being the 1B option in the Indianapolis Colts' passing attack to taking over as the team's primary receiving threat.

On the face of it, it really shouldn't be that big of a move for the former Miami (Fla.) standout.

"Over the last couple of years, when you look at what he's been able to accomplish — he has performed brilliantly," Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell said. "He has added certainly a lot of big plays over the years. I can't remember a year where he didn't continue to get better."

Wayne has led the Colts in receiving the last two seasons, catching a career-high 104 passes in 2007 and had 82 receptions last year. Before 2008, he had improved his pass receiving statistics each year he had had been in the league.

Wayne made this remarkable, game-winning catch against Houston last season
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The fact that his stats dropped a bit last season was more a case of the Colts offense not performing quite as efficiently as it had in past years. Indianapolis coaches are hopeful of the offense returning to form this season.

"That's the thing I think we all noticed about (Wayne)," Caldwell said. "Reggie is a big-time performer. Not only in terms of the catches he makes — tremendous catches in clutch situations — but he's also a very aggressive and active blocker as well in the running game. He does everything well.

"He sets a great pace, just in terms of what he gets done in practice and making certain he's physically ready in terms of the start of the season. He keeps himself in great physical condition. He's a great model for the young guys as well. I really anticipate Reggie will continue to do what he's been doing. When you look at him over the past couple of years, he has done a tremendous job."

Now, with Wayne moving into the role of primary receiver on a regular basis, third-year wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez will either lineup outside or remain in the slot. What happens in next month's NFL Draft will play a large part in where he will eventually spend most of the 2009 season.

"Anthony Gonzalez has gotten better not just every year, but he gets better every day," Caldwell said. "His first year, he was effective. His second season, he was more effective. He studies hard and is a guy who loves to work at his craft.

"He studies film after practice and before practice and you can see evidence of all of his improvement week in and week out. He's getting a better understanding of the game and a better understanding of his role. He has been effective."

Visit the ColtPower.com forums!

Follow ColtPower's updates on Twitter!

Take advantage of our FREE seven-day trial!

Colts Blitz Top Stories