A year ago Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and receiver Reggie Wayne were preparing for the Super Bowl, but this year they have to settle for the Pro Bowl. And Wayne said the Colts’ struggles in 2010 helped him understand that Manning (who had a career-high 4,700 passing yards but also his most interceptions and lowest passer rating since 2002) isn’t perfect.
Asked today by Jay Glazer on NFL Network how he responded to Manning faced while throwing 11 interceptions during a three-game losing streak, Wayne said that was a stunning part of the season for him.
“It was a shock,” Wayne said. “The main thing we realized, he’s not immortal. He’s real. He’s not a machine. It goes to show you this game is so competitive, even the guys on top can hit a wall somewhere. As a team we just stuck behind him, kept pushing, told him, ‘Keep throwing,’ and hope he throw it to us. And it was good, everybody stuck together and we found a way out of that rut.”
At least, the Colts found a way out of that rut until they met the Jets in the playoffs, and the Colts lost while Wayne caught one pass for one yard.
“My number wasn’t called the way I wanted, but that’s the way it goes,” Wayne said of that loss to the Jets. “I was a little upset, basically, because we took an L — we lost — and you feel like you didn’t get your number called enough to help the team move on. It’s playoff time. You want to win, you don’t want to go home. It was tough for me — that was the first time I had been in that situation. But it is what it is. I’ve just got to keep playing ball, I guess.”
Wayne stressed that he’s excited about continuing to play ball, and that at age 32, he hopes to have many more years of playing with Manning. Even if the 2010 season didn’t go quite the way he wanted.