INDIANAPOLIS – For the first decade of his career, it is not that the offense
Wayne joined the Colts in 2001 as Peyton Manning and company started a fourth year together, and the offense remained intact and potent for years.
Now starting his 13th season, Wayne is being fed something new. This will mark his third different offense since 2011.
“Three in three years. I take my hat off to those guys who learn new offenses every year throughout their careers,” said Wayne. “It definitely has given me some gray hairs, but it keeps me fresh, keeps me focused.
“I know one thing, I won’t get tired of boredom. There’s always something new that you have to learn. It takes away from the family time but at the same time, it’s pretty fun.”
Last year, Wayne re-upped with the Colts at the urging of Chuck Pagano, who knew Wayne from collegiate days at Miami.
Wayne was learning the new offense being installed by Bruce Arians, one that kept him in Indianapolis for longer periods of an off-season than many previous ones.
It was a from-the-ground-up process for one of history’s top wide receivers.
Now, his new offensive sheriff is Pep Hamilton. Hamilton is installing an offense with West Coast and other principles, preferring the term, “No Coast offense.”
“I’m still getting to know him. So far, so good. (We’re) not too far away in age, I realize that,” said Wayne of Hamilton. “I’ve heard some pretty good things about him. He definitely wants us to succeed, be positive and do great things because he’s out there in the classroom teaching, telling us to ask questions.
“So far, so good. Hopefully, we can go out there and make him look good.”
Focus never had been a problem for Wayne. His aptitude and talent have placed him within 32 receptions of being the ninth NFL player with 1,000 career catches. He already is one of 14 players with more than 13,000 career reception yards (968-13,063).
After 779 receptions for 10,602 yards and 67 touchdowns with Manning from 2001-10, Wayne went through three quarterbacks in 2011 – Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky – before settling in with
In 2012, he and Luck teamed on 106 connections for 1,355 yards and five scores. It was his fourth career 100-reception year and a sixth time exceeding 1,200 seasonal yards.
While both totals are among the best in NFL history, Wayne is back and learning a new process. It is one that seems to fit.
“Not too bad. I’ve seen steeper (learning curves),” said Wayne. “Guys, offensively, seem to be picking it up pretty fast, faster than last year it seems like. That’s good.
“That’s what this time is for, to get in our playbooks, doing a lot of classroom work, go out there on the field and do whatever we are allowed, go out there on the field and build some chemistry. It’s not too bad. As long we gain something out of it and move forward and not backwards, then we will be alright.”