The Colts kept veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne for many reasons, primarily to give rookie quarterback Andrew Luck a reliable target.
But Wayne added extra value Sunday, by giving his young teammates a talking-to at halftime of their 19-13 overtime win over the Titans.
Down 10-3 at the half, Wayne had seen enough.
“Sometimes you have to do more than lead by example,” Wayne said, via Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.
“I was [upset],” Wayne said. “There was no false enthusiasm on this one. I was [upset] because I knew what we were capable of. We should have had a lead at halftime and we were behind.
“I felt like we needed a little fire. I had to speak up.”
It must have helped, because the Colts won their first road game since December 2010, by locking down the Titans and cutting out the mistakes that plagued them in the first half.
“Reggie told us to look at everybody and see if we wanted to fight for each other,” center Samson Satele said. “It just fired everybody up. I was looking around and thinking, ‘I don’t want to leave here with a loss.’
“Not after that speech Reggie just gave.”
Wayne and the Colts are in an interesting spot. While they were generally considered on the upswing, they’re sitting at 4-3 at the moment, level with the other wild card-level teams. They’re two games behind the Texans for the division lead, and no one thinks they’re catching up.
But no one thought they’d still be in playoff contention, either.
Maybe no one but Wayne, anyway.