3:10 PM EDT, August 3, 2012
ANDERSON - Call it a big of Vegas in Indianapolis-and no one is more game than Reggie Wayne.
Escape was more than plausable in fact more than invitable it seemed when the Colts began to dismantle the decade-long dynasty which the receiver played a major part.
But rather than depart for the sunny skies and home of Miami-or even a trip to the rockies with former quarterback Peyton Manning-Wayne reupped with the only team he's known in the NFL since 2001.
The reason? The resign was a simple gamble.
"I mean, I love the teams of the past, but we know once we sign those contracts anything can happen," said Wayne of the rebuilt Colts. "I wanted to be here. I wanted to help build this foundation, and keep it going."
The intoxication of rebuilding was enough to lure Wayne back to Indianapolis for a situation that is heavy in the unknown and light in certainty. Manning and the oft famillar faces are long gone, replaced by a rookie quarterback and young players hoping to show they belong in the NFL.
"We’ve got a nice young team, but we’ve got a hungry team," said Wayne. "So we’ve still got some guys at each position that can lead the way and show the young guys what to do.
"So we’re just going to take that and build off of that.”
It will start with quarterback Andrew Luck, the NFL Draft's top pick who replaces four-time MVP Peyton Manning and will be the focal point of the rebuilding franchise
As the most experience remaining veteran on the offense, Wayne may be called on to offer some tutledge to the first year quarterback, but for the receiver time is the key.
"We are just going to take it day-by-day, continue to build our relationship, build our trust, just like all the other receivers, lineman, and running backs, tight ends," said Wayne. "We are just going to take it one day at a time and build from there."
A good connection could mean improvement for Wayne in 2012 from a year ago, when the Colts were muddled in quarterback inconsistency without Manning. With Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky tossing passes to him over 16 games, Wayne had 75 catches for 960 yards and four touchdowns.
But it won't be just the quarterback Wayne will have to adjust to, since Bruce Arians will bring a revamped offense to the field in 2012. Its one reason why Wayne has been hesitant to refer to himself as the go-to person for younger players but at the same time believes he can lend some help.
"As I’m telling them too I said, ‘Look I’m a rookie all over again myself,’ just dealing with the whole new offensive terminology and philosophy," said Wayne. "But at the same time I guess they figure since I’m the older guy that I can grasp it a little easier.
"It’s fun man, by them asking me questions it’s keeping me on my toes.”
Adam Vinatieri has simliar sentiments as he enters his 17th season in the NFL.
"Across the board from the (general manager) all the way down to the rookie free agents, there are a lot of new faces out on the field," said Vinatieri of the team. "It’s also a lot of fun. The intensity level is there. Coach Pagano is keeping it fun. It’s a lot of work.
"They’re working us pretty good. He’s also keeping the attitude light."
Even if the responsibilities for veterans on the Colts in 2012 is not.
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