Wayne: It's Not a Free Ride

Reggie Wayne has emerged as the Colts' top wide receiver and one of the very best in the NFL. Wednesday, he talked about the transition into that role, taking the young receivers on the roster under his wing, his outspoken nature on a team that prides itself on being tight-lipped, and more!

How much have you enjoyed taking the Colts' young receivers under your wing and how have you helped them on and off the field?

"As far as the off-the-field situation, they are grown. They are young, but they are old enough to know what's right from wrong, so I let them guide themselves on that pretty much unless they ask something. I can only give them so many female tips (laughing). As far as on the field, it's just them taking their time not rushing into anything. Just (taking it) one play at a time and try not to do too much and to let the game come to them. At the beginning of the year, from training camp, I told them there was going to be a lot of things coming toward them at 100 miles per hour. Just being able to just sit back and relax ... You are going to have your opportunities to make plays, and you will also have some times where you mess up. The times when you mess up, just don't get down on yourself and just keep pushing forward. They've been able to do that all year, and it's worked out well for them. They've really been doing some great things for us and helped us out a lot to get to this point now."

What did you learn from playing against Jets CB Darrelle Revis from the first meeting?

"It was an adventure on Revis Island, I guess. It was fun. One thing about Revis is he's going to challenge you. He's going to make you play your best. That's all you can ask for. I accept that challenge. I feel like he's one of the best. He's going to make me play at my best, so it's going to be exciting. Now, we've got a whole game to play each other. May the best man win."

What do you see from Revis on film?

"He plays football. He understands the game. He understands routes. He understands combinations. That comes with just watching film and just understanding the game. It's nothing out of the ordinary, it's just he's a student of the game and understands what's going on and what's coming at him. You have to put your best foot forward when you are playing against him, or he'll get the best of you."

How have you settled in on being "the guy" for the Colts and how do you enjoy the responsibility of that?

"I just take it one day at a time. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm the man here. I just sit back and just try to make plays when my number is called. As far as the pressure, I love it. I thrive off of it. My dad used to always tell me pressure busts pipes. I've had my basement flooded numerous times since my pipes burst, but I tend to just take on that challenge and want to make that play. On that third down, I want to be that guy to get the call and make a big catch to keep the chains moving. It's kind of been that way for the last three or four years, and I look forward to it. One thing about it – On this team, it doesn't necessarily have to rely on just my shoulders. We have a lot of guys that can make plays in key moments and stand up in big occasions such as (TE) Dallas Clark. (WR) Austin Collie has been doing a good job. (WR) Pierre (Garçon) has been doing a good job. We've got enough bullets in the arsenal to spread the ball around whenever need be."

Have you ever had as much double coverage as you've had this year?

"Not at all. We've had (WR) Marvin Harrison on the other side of me. He was getting a lot of the attention in the past. Now that he's not here, a lot of that attention has focused on me. I guess they say, ‘be careful what you ask for.' You want to be the guy, but at the same time, there is always something that comes with it. It's not a free ride. This is definitely the first year I have seen a lot of the different coverages roll my way, but it's good. I feel like if they are double covering me, that means I'm doing something right and I'm going to have to rely on the other guys to help me out and get the double coverage off me. It works hand in hand."

Do you think you may see less double coverage against the Jets because they trust Revis so much?

"It's possible. It's possible. I'm sure they are going to mix it up also. (QB) Peyton (Manning) does a good job of figuring out a weakness and taking advantage of it. He's going to see something and put his all into it. We, as his teammates, have to come through for him and make him look good. If we get the single coverage, we have to take advantage of it. If not, he (Manning) is going to read it out and get the guy that is open."

Has the perception that Peyton Manning can't win the big game changed?

"I hope it's changed. He's won a lot of big games, I believe, unless you want to go all the way back to his college days when he couldn't beat Florida (laughter). I don't know about that. In my opinion, he's won a lot of big games. I feel like he had to win that Super Bowl in '06 to get some of the critics off his back... Kind of ease up. But even after he did that, there were still some people out there pointing fingers saying, ‘he can't beat this team. He can't do that.' The only thing he can do is play the team that is on the schedule. Like I said earlier, we have to help him out and make him look good. I don't think there is much more than you can say about the cat. He does everything he is asked to do. He's come through in the clutch plenty of times. Every week, he's breaking some kind of record. The only thing we can do now is to continue to build off of that and help him out a little bit. If we take care of this week then we will move on to the Super Bowl and hopefully we can get that done and that will be another accolade that he has tackled."

How much different would the Week 16 game against the Jets have been if Indianapolis kept its starters in the game?

"I don't know. Who knows. We will never know what the outcome of that game would be. One thing we do know is that we have this game here, and we are definitely playing a full game. So will they. There is more at stake for us. It's kind of the same mold for them – It's been playoff games for them since that game. It will be a good one. I feel like it will be a tight one. It will be tough. The team that seems to have the most turnovers is probably going to be the team that loses. That's kind of been the whole thing of the playoffs this year. We definitely have to stay focused and play Colts football. That's all we can do. We know if we do that, we'll be fine."

Is it fair to characterize the Colts' franchise as ‘secretive'?

"I guess. I don't know. I'm going to say what I feel. I'm going to have fun. I enjoy life. There's no sense in me just sitting back with my mouth sealed when I feel like I've got something to say. I'm 30 years old. Hopefully, I can live 70 more years. But while I'm here now, I'm going to enjoy it. Some guys may be soft-spoken and not say much, but I feel like if there is something I need to say then I'll say it."

Have the Colts ever told you not to say something? "No, not at all. I've never once, in my nine years, had them say, ‘don't say this, don't say that.' I don't think I say anything bad anyway, so I'm cool."

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