New England Patriots: Reggie Wayne

Survey/respected player: Patriots

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
Of all the categories in the NFL Nation player survey, the "most respected" was the one that piqued my interest more than the others. I like to hear how players view their peers on other teams.

Of the 10 players surveyed, I heard nine different answers. The only repeat was Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (who won the overall vote, with Tom Brady second).

For me, the qualities of the most respected player is one who rises up in the critical situations, has done it for an extended period of time, and carries himself with class in victory or defeat.

I thought Colts receiver Reggie Wayne would be a good choice, especially after hearing one Patriot mention him. I also like the fact he stayed with one team throughout his career, which isn't always an option for players, but it's a choice that Wayne made in 2012 after the team bottomed out and he was a free agent.

ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, a lifetime Patriot, sometimes talks about his approach of preferring to "right the ship" instead of "jumping ship."

That type of approach leads to respect and it's one of the reasons Wayne gets the vote from here.

Colts receivers impressed by Talib

November, 18, 2012
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New Englanders weren’t the only ones impressed by cornerback Aqib Talib in his debut in a Patriots uniform.

“He’s played football before. He’s not a rookie, he knows how to play,” said Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, who drew Talib in coverage at least half of the time. “He did a great job, pick-6. Good job for him.”

Talib started at left cornerback and played the majority of defensive snaps. His performance was highlighted by a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown, though he was also in coverage on two plays in which he gave up touchdowns.

“He looked like he picked up their scheme pretty well,” said Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, who led the team with 100 yards receiving on six receptions. “He’s a great cornerback, that’s why they traded for him. He was able to do some things tonight.”

Generally speaking, the Patriots fared well in covering Wayne, who entered Week 11 as the league leader in targets (105) and receptions (69). Wayne was targeted 15 times Sunday against the Patriots. Talib and the secondary held Andrew Luck to a sub-50 completion percentage when targeting Wayne for the first time this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Wayne finished the game with seven receptions for 72 yards, his second-lowest yardage total of the season.

Colts' Wayne made the right call

November, 16, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS -- As if rubbing salt in the wounds of New England fans, Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne compared his audible on Sunday night's winning touchdown to a certain pitcher for the world champion New York Yankees.

Wayne caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning with 13 seconds remaining as the Colts shocked the Patriots 35-34 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"I gave [Manning] my CC Sabathia shake off," joked Wayne. "It was initially a fade route. We had just run the fade and it was unsuccessful. I wanted to do the same thing, show fade and just come with the slant, and it worked."

Matched up with one-on-one coverage with cornerback Jonathan Wilhite on the outside, Wayne took a step toward the outside, faking the fade route as Manning sold it in his drop back, then cut hard inside as Manning delivered a near-perfect ball where only Wayne could catch it.

"I'd been running pretty much takeoffs all game," said Wayne. "I thought that would be an ideal time to change it up. We had just thrown a fade earlier on the drive and it was unsuccessful. I just wanted to do the same thing, but convert the fade into a slant route, and it worked for us."

Manning, well-known for his audibles at the line of scrimmage, gave all the credit to Wayne for the play call.

"Reggie called the last play," said Manning. "We threw a fade route to him earlier and they defended it well. I was going to throw the fade again, but he wanted the slant. It is hard for me to say it was his best catch ever because he has made so many, but it was timely."

Where did it rank for Wayne?

"As far as catchwise, it was just a routine catch," said Wayne. "It was just a slant pass. Peyton did a great job of putting it out front. If I want to go home smiling, I make that catch. If I want to go home upset, I drop it. The catch, it was just routine, but situations and moments, it was up there."