Reggie Wayne: Andrew Luck’s Improvement Has Been ‘Night And Day’ Since Week 1, Feels Colts Are Way Better Than He Ever ThoughtNovember 15, 2012 – 6:45 am by Steven Cuce
The Indianapolis Colts have made quite the transformation in one year. Last year the Colts were the worst team by record in the NFL and made some big decisions in the offseason like moving on from the Peyton Manning era. One player that remained a constant offensive weapon was Reggie Wayne. The Colts 33-year old wide receiver is on pace to finish with a career-high in receiving yards this season. No.87 has been a security blanket for Andrew Luck as the Colts continue to impress right now sporting a record of 6-3.
Reggie Wayne joined WNDE with Query and Schultz to discuss Andrew Luck’s progression, the Indianapolis Colts exceeding his expectations this season, the emotions during Chuck Pagano’s postgame speech and the Chuck Pagano pregame speech no one heard about before the game.
Where is Andrew Luck now in comparison to where he was in Week 1?
“I think he’s come…it’s night and day yet I just think it’s him. I think as a team we are much better. I think we much better from last game from the time we played Jacksonville the first time. We’ve gelled. We kind of know our roles now. We have some guys back that were injured and didn’t play in the first game, so I think as a team we are much better. I think Andrew would also echo those remarks and as far as what goes on the sidelines and during the game? I mean nothing has really changed on that aspect. He’s still taking control of the huddle being the leader as the quarterback. He’s been doing that. He’s continuing to do that as well as everyone else. A lot of the veterans are being vocal and leading by example. Everybody is basically being the same as they always were, but it’s kind of turned up a notch with everyone knowing their roles and everyone understanding what’s going on. Everyone just putting that in the pot and we are going to keep stirring it up.”
Are you better right now as a team than you thought you would be this season?
“I do. I do think we are better than I thought we were. I thought there was going to be a lot of bumps in the road, which there are, but being a young team we’ve done a great job of just being able to take those bumps and just take all the hard times and adversity and working through it and pushing by and finding ways to win games at the end. We’ve had a couple of tough games that went down to the last drive, so that has surprised me a little bit, but as the weeks go on we all as a team we grow and we get better. We understand each other more. We understand the scheme and we understand when our coaches want more and a lot of times that doesn’t come until year two or sometimes year three.”
Take us through the day when you found out Chuck Pagano was coming to the Colts game a few weeks ago? What were the emotions from your teammates?
“I actually knew he was going to be there a couple of weeks before. I went to go visit him at his home. We sat down and talked for about two hours. He said he was thinking about making an appearance. He asked me what I thought about it? I said man that would be great. I actually told him man it would be great if you came before I said not to put any pressure on you, but I think if you can come before and let everybody see you before we go out, I think that would help everybody out tremendously just to know that you are doing okay and we are going out here to play this game, this kid’s game knowing that you just showed your presence in that locker room. That’ll get everybody to loosen up and go out there and have fun. I already knew about him being there or coming I should say and just his speech in itself, man it was emotional. I think there wasn’t a dry eye in there. Everybody was just excited to see him come in there and let alone have a pregame speech and a postgame speech. For a minute there before the game you kind of lost sight of us playing a game because him just giving a speech made you understand and learn the bigger things in life. All of a sudden it was like let’s go out there and win. We all had to transform back into being football players real fast and I think everybody understood the message and was able to go out there and deliver.”
What did Chuck Pagano say in the pregame speech?
“It was almost like a movie. The pregame and the postgame speech kind of went into each other. It was almost like a movie. It was almost like he knew what was going to happen and he had everything prepared like it was a script, but the pregame speech was basically you know go out there and give it everything you got. He kind of shared a story saying he’s been involved in football all his life. Seven years old he’s been involved with football. 28 years of coaching. To all of a sudden have that stripped from you and in a manner of 24 hours just having it stripped from you why not go out there and give it everything you got? Why not go out there and lay it all on the line knowing you can do it today, but knowing is it going to be there tomorrow? He kind of shared that speech and had everyone wondering and thinking, ‘Man you know what he is right.’ Why wouldn’t we go out there and fight for each other, be there for your teammates, laying it all out on the line and so it all kind of rolled into each other and made a lot of sense.”