Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Colts have tone-setters in Wayne, Mathis
By Paul Kuharsky
There is a lot of rubble at the Colts headquarter in Indianapolis.
But in reaching a three-year agreement with receiver Reggie Wayne, the team re-signed a second long-time veteran.
With defensive end Robert Mathis on defense and Wayne on offense, the team maintains a link to the highly successful Peyton Manning era.
Wayne and Mathis will be surrounded, largely, by kids.
I was struck Super Bowl week when I spoke with Wayne and he said he would welcome an opportunity to be part of the Colts’ rebuild, that he’d be honored if they wanted him as a piece of the foundation.
“This is what I have, this is all I know,” he said. “So I wouldn’t mind being part of a rebuilding process. They need some old heads too, you know? It would be an honor to still be part of this organization even with a rebuilding phase. I know there are going to be some guys on the team that I still know, I know the head coach, Chuck Pagano, pretty good (from time together at the University of Miami.) I’d just look at it as my rookie year all over again.”
I thought it was insulting to suggest he’d wait around and make his move as a free agent only after Manning landed with his new team.
Wayne will be a huge guy for Andrew Luck, offering precise routes and regularly showing up where he’s supposed to be to convert third downs.
Wayne is a polished pro who works extremely hard, just as Mathis does.
With those two in place, the Colts have tone-setters and models. Now they need to find a lot of the guys they will ask to follow the leaders.