On The Record: It's now Wayne's world
The Colts released Marvin Harrison this offseason, but that's not putting a damper on Reggie Wayne's preparations for 2009. He spoke with our Dave Richard recently and touched on what to expect this coming season.
FT. LAUDERDALE -- For years, Reggie Wayne's name was synonymous with Marvin Harrison's. Both were the mega-talented receivers in the Colts' high-powered offense, and it was their pairing that helped the team win Super Bowl XLI.
But Harrison was released by the Colts earlier this offseason, leaving Indy with a big hole at receiver opposite Wayne. Sure, tight end Dallas Clark plays like a receiver, but without a perfect set of hands like Harrison had, the offense seemed incomplete.
Hogwash, according to Wayne, who was at the Moss Brothers' Dare to Dream Charity Event recently, where he spoke about his club and the moves they made and how they pertain to the 2009 campaign.
|2003 (1 gm)||9 Rec, 141 ReYds|
|2005 (1 gm)||2 Rec, 21 ReYds|
|2007 (11 gms)||74 Rec, 1,072 ReYds, 7 ReTDs|
|2008 (1 gm)||7 Rec, 108 ReYds, 1 ReTD|
|Totals (14 gms)||92 Rec, 1,342 ReYds, 8 ReTDs|
|• Six 100-yard games|
|• Two games with less than 50 ReYds|
Wayne: "We're gonna ball. Nothing's going to change. You don't drop the anchor off the ship. Marvin was important, but we've gone out there without him before. We'll be all right."
Are people making a bigger deal out of this than it should be?
Wayne: "Yeah, because like you said, this isn't the first time I've gotten asked this question. It's like everybody is expecting my role to change like I'm supposed to turn into Superman. I'm going to continue doing the things that I've been doing, but I do know that I have to step it up even more. If you look at two seasons ago when Marvin was hurt, I came in, I did everything I had to do and everybody's role increased. And that's how it's going to have to be this year, not for just 11 games but for 16 games. Regardless of who's there, I'm going to hustle. But we've got enough weapons where we're going to make this thing work. I think we're going to have a really good season. The sky is the limit for us."
Wayne: "We lost a bullet in the chamber, so everybody's got to step it up even more now. (Gonzalez's) role is going to increase dramatically, and we need him to show glimpses of what he did in the playoffs and more.
"One thing about us, we always play guys young so they get their reps and understand what it takes to go out there so it won't be a big move for them. I think we'll be fine. We've got a nice group of guys with a good receiving coach in Clyde Christensen who will lead us the right way."
So if defenses are going to change their coverage and swing it around toward your side, you figure that they'll get burned by Gonzalez far more often?
Wayne: "Oh, yeah. And that's how it's been already. We've been blessed with so many weapons that you can't key in on one guy, whether it was Marv or me or whatever. And we still have Peyton Manning delivering the ball.
"I really feel like this year is going to be real fun, and it's not just because Marv isn't there so my role has to increase. We've got (new head coach Jim) Caldwell coming in, and he's a great coach and the right guy for the job and he'll keep us going. And we've got a lot of young bodies that can make it happen -- I'm one of the old heads around there, so as long as I keep them around, they'll make me feel young."
This isn't about Fantasy directly, but it certainly relates. How important was it that you guys kept center Jeff Saturday?
Wayne: "It was huge, and I was screaming for him. He's just as important as Peyton is. He gets us on the right track when we break the huddle. He's a huge part of our offense and I'm glad we have him back."
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