INDIANAPOLIS— As the Colts ran out of the southwest tunnel at Lucas Oil Stadium during the second half of the 2013 season, something was missing.
The chants of “Reggie, Reggie Reggie,” were faint from the north end zone.
Wayne wasn’t running to his customary end zone to acknowledge the fans reciting his name.
Instead, Wayne would head straight for the Colts sideline before positioning himself next to head coach Chuck Pagano for the National Anthem.
Following the anthem, a street-clothed Wayne would offer a final “good luck” to Pagano before watching a young Colts receivers group try and replace No. 87’s elite numbers.
Now as Wayne looks back on the 2013 campaign, he could not be prouder of what he witnessed from his position group.
“You saw that whole (wide receivers) room grow,” Wayne said on his radio show last week.
“It was good for them to see that they could go out there and play at this level, at a high level. Those guys really did a great job. I’m proud of them. They had some nicks and bruises that they played through all year.”
Hilton caught 82 passes for 1,083 yards in 2013. His 10 career 100-yard receiving games are the second most after a player’s first two NFL seasons since 1970.
“T.Y. Hilton is a young player but he’s a young player that understands what it means to be a pro,” Wayne said.
“I was actually sitting down with him (last week) and we looked at the season and I told him, ‘I’m proud of you, man. You put us on your shoulders and you did your best.’ At the end of the day, that’s all that you can ask for, ask for your teammates to lay it on the line and give you everything they can give you.”
Wayne was also impressed by what he saw from
Brazill had six catches for 127 yards in the playoffs, including the Colts two touchdowns in the Divisional Round loss to the Patriots.
“Being in a big game of that magnitude and being able to score two touchdowns against a good New England…I think if Brazill can just bottle that all up and just continue to save it and work on it, and work on it, then I think next year will be a breakout year for him,” Wayne said
Come training camp, Wayne is hoping to be back out there with the likes of Hilton and Brazill leading the receivers through positional drills at Anderson University.
Chuck Pagano says “you can’t put a price” on what Wayne meant to the Colts young receivers this past year.
Hilton has spoken highly of Wayne’s guidance and the pupil earns his own praise from No. 87.
“He’s going to be very good and the only thing that you can tell (Hilton) is to keep it up, get better, never stay the same and he’s one of those guys that I know will work hard each offseason, and go out there and want to be better the next year.”
ICYMI: Last week Wayne gave an update on his rehab and shared his thoughts on the 2013 season.