INDIANAPOLIS – One day, long after the cleats of No. 87 are stored away, Reggie Wayne could take pen to paper and write a New York Times best seller on the Colts/Patriots rivalry.
Another chapter will be written this weekend with Wayne once again playing a lead role in a rivalry that has shaped nearly every AFC race for the last dozen years.
Past history with Wayne and the Patriots indicates Sunday means a little more to the 14-year veteran, not to mention the current ramifications of this week's contest.
"A lot of the guys on the team don't really know the history with these two franchises as far as when we always play each other," Wayne said on his weekly radio show on WNDE.
"What makes this game so important is this game could easily have playoff implications at the end of the year as far as home field, things like that. It's a big game because it's the next game, but for me there's always a little added something to it."
Images of Reggie over the last couple of years!
During the Colts bye week, Wayne "relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated" his 35-year old body knowing what was coming this week (he turns 36 on Monday).
In his early film study of the Patriots, Wayne sees similar Belichick tendencies with some particular impressive players now at the back end of the defense.
"I think this is the best secondary they've had in a long time," Wayne says. "So they are able to do different things with their linebackers and defensive line up front than they normally do.
"(Belichick's) going to have something different. He's not going to be the typical coach Belichick you watch on film throughout the year in this game plan and it's up to us to be able to find out what it is, figure it out and figure it out fast."
Belichick and Wayne are two of the few mainstays throughout the bulk of this historic matchup.
Reports had the Patriots trying to pursue Wayne during the 2012 free agency process.
On a Wednesday conference call with Indianapolis media, Belichick called Wayne "one of the best route runners maybe ever in the game."
The Patriots head coach, who always speaks highly of Wayne, detailed earlier this week what exactly he likes about the Colts wide receiver's game.
"He's still really good at everything," Belichick said of Wayne. "[He's] obviously a real smart and experienced guy; knows how to set up routes, make all of his routes look the same, does a great job of releasing and then at the top of his routes being able to create separation at just the right time when the quarterback is ready to throw.
"He's been a key guy for them in critical situations and third down-type situations. I'm sure that there's a lot of confidence that he's going to be open and he usually is. Excellent hands; made a lot of tough catches. They move him around. He plays a decent amount in the slot, but also out on the perimeter where we saw him for so many years in their former offensive system. But he's probably a little more in the slot now with [Hakeem] Nicks and [T.Y.] Hilton outside. But they move all those guys around so finding him is a problem. He's still a very dangerous receiver, clutch player and a guy who really, when they need a play, they're not afraid to go to him and he'll deliver for them."
Belichick has seen first hand Wayne thriving in those clutch situations.
Back in 2009, Wayne's one-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds remaining gave the Colts a 35-34 victory over New England.
Following that 17-point comeback in the Colts last win over the Patriots, Peyton Manning said it was Wayne who called that slant route instead of a fade.
Wayne had 10 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns on that Sunday Night which also happens to be the last time the Colts have played host to the Patriots.
As Wayne looks back on his previous 15 Colts/Patriots matchups, he wants this rivalry to swing back to Indy's side with the stretch run of the 2014 season beginning at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"We need to get that win-loss situation taken care of," Wayne says of his 5-10 mark against the Patriots.
"We need to start winning some of these games against them. Let's make sure we get that done this week."