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Reggie Wayne Back Running, Still Motivating Young Receivers

Posted Apr 30, 2014

Intro: Come July, Reggie Wayne will have at least 10 years on every other Colts receiver. How is Wayne’s rehab motivating the Colts young wideouts?



INDIANAPOLIS – The climax of Tuesday’s offseason program video on Colts.com was 35-year old Reggie Wayne running off to the side.

Wayne is barely six months removed from ACL surgery, yet yesterday’s progress was another step in the right direction for the 14-year veteran trying to make a comeback in 2014.

 

The running by Wayne speaks for itself but look back a couple of frames and there is No. 87 teaching.

Wayne’s instructing of 23-year old wide receiver Josh Lenz is just another example of the mentoring-side that the Colts young receivers got a heavy dose of in 2013.

Not one Colts receiver was even in eighth grade when Wayne made his NFL debut back in 2001.

Wayne has routinely talked about the motivation he gets from being surrounded by a handful of receivers under the age of 25, but the feeling is reciprocated by the “youngins” watching their leader rehab.

“He’s just been a leader in our room and also in coaching terms,” Da’Rick Rogers says of Wayne.

“He’s everything for us. That’s a captain.”

When Wayne went down halfway through the 2013 season, T.Y. Hilton’s way to repay the six-time Pro Bowler was with a career-high outing against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hilton is ready to have Wayne back on the field, a guy he continues to pepper with questions on how to be the ultimate professional.

“He’s always there, no matter what,” Hilton says of Wayne. “Andrew (Luck) trusts him, and we all trust him. He’s been here the longest and he knows the ropes. He knows pretty much every defense. He’s a great guy.”

“He’s going to shock the world. I saw him the other day and he looks great, like he never left.”

Those receivers have watched Wayne go from the team’s top receiver one day, to a coaching role and injured reserve the next.

Wayne is now nipping at the chance to get back on the field with his position group and that is motivation to all the Colts receivers.

“He’s a great role model in a lot of aspects and his rehab is definitely one of them,” Griff Whalen says.

“He puts in the extra work, goes the extra mile in everything he does and his rehab is exemplifying that to all of us.”

Hakeem Nicks has only been exposed to Wayne’s presence inside a locker room for the last two weeks.

As the “elder” statesmen of the receiver group, Nicks (26 years old, second oldest receiver next to Wayne) has gotten a glimpse of just what it is like to call Wayne a teammate.

“What Reggie has done for this team, what he’s done for the game alone has been great,” Nicks says. “He’s working while we’re working. He’s always still one of the first ones here. So I think from that aspect, he’s not losing anything.

“It’s just a matter of when he can get back on the field and pick up where he left off at. He’s veteran enough to know how to play the game now so I think he’ll come in ready to play and we’ll all fit together.”


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