INDIANAPOLIS – Wide receiver Reggie Wayne is preparing to make his 132nd consecutive start on Sunday night, and it will be his 153rd straight game as well.
Wayne is the current NFL leader among receivers for consecutive starts, and he is on the verge of passing two milestones.
With two receptions against Pittsburgh, he will hit 800 for his career, and he needs 80 reception yards to reach 11,000 for his career.
Wayne has made deep footprints among Colts all-time receivers. He has surpassed all previous Colts in receptions, yards and touchdown receptions except Marvin Harrison.
Wayne is like any player who notices his accomplishments, but his true aim is for team-related goals. He stands as one of 13 Colts players who have participated in more than 100 regular-season victories. Wayne has been steady along the way, and he says the team's approach this week is just as steady.
"(We will) stick to the same journey as we have had since day one," said Wayne. "Take one game at a time and do the best we can to win the game. Everybody's on the same page. We all have the same agenda. Hopefully, we can go out and get a 'W.' There's nothing more that we have to do (in terms of practicing during the week). We just have to go out there and just play ball on game day. The preparation each week has been pretty good. We had a good week of practice, as well as we did the first two weeks. We just have to figure out a way on game day to make everything come to light and have fewer mistakes.
"I feel like we have a good game plan. I feel like everybody is into it, everybody is believing in the system, everybody knows what to do. I feel like we will go out there Sunday night and play well. I believe the team thinks that, too."
Wayne will be one of a few notable receivers on the field Sunday night. Another is Pittsburgh's Hines Ward. Ward has 963 career receptions for 11,802 yards and 83 touchdowns. He soon could become the eighth NFL player to top 1,000 career receptions.
Wayne looks forward to competing against one of the best, and he is candid about his appreciation of Ward.
"We're two old heads, I guess," said Wayne. "He's definitely a guy I always looked up to. He's one of the guys since I've been playing who has been building that foundation of a hard-working receiver. He goes out there and gets the job done. There's nothing flashy about him. He just goes out there and puts his hardhat on and grinds it out. I kind of look at myself as the same way. I don't want to give myself too much (credit), but he's definitely a guy I've always matched myself to. I've learned a lot from just watching him on film. You can tell he enjoys the game. If it's a good or bad year, he's always smiling. That's one thing that always stands out about him. It's hard to win and also lose and always have the same smile. He's someone that you kind of look up to. Just go out there and be a kid again and have fun."
While Wayne is excited about sharing the field with Ward, he also is motivated about helping the Colts get into the victory column. He is motivated not about the prime-time stage, but for the chance for the team to compete.
"It's not necessarily getting cranked up (for prime-time), it's just really wanting to go out there and put on a good show," said Wayne. "You are the cornerstone (of TV coverage that week). The world is watching. You want to go out there, not just individually but as a team, and put on a good show. I couldn't think of a better time for us to go out there do that, being 0-2. I couldn't figure out a better time to go out there and show the world that we are who we are, and that's the Indianapolis Colts. That's the same team that's been in the playoffs for how many ever consecutive years in a row."
Wayne joins everyone associated with the club in believing that winning is the only barometer for competition. There is nothing else that matters.
"There are no moral victories," he said. "I don't think there is a column that says, 'Moral.' It's either you win, lose or tie. We're definitely going for that first one, and that's win. Everybody's been in tune, everybody's been upbeat. There's no one here hanging their heads, and that's good."