When the Colts signed Kerry Collins roughly two weeks before Week One, veteran wideout Reggie Wayne didn’t react well. At least one Indianapolis-based columnist gave Wayne cover, claiming that Reggie was simply trying to give Peyton Manning extra motivation to will that pesky nerve to regenerate.
On Thursday, Wayne made his feelings clear. Appearing on Michael Irvin’s radio show on WQAM in Miami, Wayne explained that he believed the team should have relied on the guy who already was on the roster.
“It took me two years to learn this offense,” Wayne said. “Now, you mean to tell me you’re gonna bring in somebody and he’s gonna learn it in 18 days? That just didn’t sit right. That just didn’t sit right with me. And I know we had Curtis Painter who’d been here for three years. You just gotta give him a shot. We gotta give him a chance.”
Wayne said that the move conjured memories of his second year with the Colts, when the team brought in Qadry Ismail without giving Wayne a chance to show what he had learned and how hard he had worked to show that he can play.
“I may get a lot of flak about this, but that’s all the way different from what our whole motto is. Our whole motto’s always been ‘the next man up.’ And then we went and got somebody else. I’m like, ‘Well, that’s not how we roll, really.’”
Wayne’s comments come at a time when it appears likely that “the next man up” approach will give Wayne exactly what he wants for Painter. Though the team won’t use the “c” word, Collins apparently has a concussion. And Painter apparently will play on Monday night at Tampa.