There has been an open discussion in the media about whether the Indianapolis Colts were wrong to not promote a coach on the staff to interim head coach following the firing of Frank Reich. Colts wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne didn’t do much to put a damper on those discussions.
When asked on November 17 if he would have taken the interim head coaching job if offered the role, Wayne had a bit of an unusual but enthusiastic response.
“S*** yeah! Why wouldn’t I?”
Wayne, though, was far less enthusiastic when talking about how former Colts head coach Frank Reich lost his job. In fact, Colts insider Joel A. Erickson tweeted that Wayne said he wouldn’t have taken his first NFL coaching job this season if he considered Reich getting fired a possibility.
Wayne Opens Up About Reich
It’s not surprising that Wayne said he was sad when Reich lost his job. In his first season as an NFL assistant coach this year, Wayne received his first coaching opportunity from Reich. Wayne also worked as a consultant for Reich and the Colts for several seasons, so their relationship goes beyond just this year.
Wayne shared with the media on November 17 that he felt partly responsible for Reich losing his job.
“Man, I’m sorry,” Wayne said he wrote in a text to Reich. “I wish I could’ve done better [for you.”
It was a bit of a slow start for the Colts wide receivers in 2022, with veteran Michael Pittman Jr. producing a majority of the yards at the beginning of the season. That was a problem when Pittman missed Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The contest ended in a 24-0 shutout loss in part because of the lack of depth at receiver.
But rookie Alec Pierce has come on since the beginning of October. He is second on the team with 396 receiving yards and leads the Colts with a 15.8 yards per reception average.
Parris Campbell has also improved as the season has progressed. Campbell is second on the team with 39 catches and third with 373 receiving yards.
Pittman leads the Colts receivers with 61 catches and 603 receiving yards.
Wayne Responds to Interim Head Coach Possibility, Backs Jeff Saturday
Fans might see Wayne wishing better for Reich as a diss to new interim head coach Jeff Saturday. But that’s really not the case.
“This is merely Reggie acknowledging the truth: Frank Reich is the single biggest reason he took this job,” ESPN’s Stephen Holder wrote in a tweet. “Frank twisted his arm for years before he came onboard.”
Wayne grew close to Reich over recent years, but Wayne was teammates with Saturday for a decade from 2001-11. And despite saying he would have taken the interim head coach job if offered, Wayne has given his support to his former teammate, now his boss.
In a way, Wayne acknowledging that he would have accepted the interim head coaching role if offered it defends Saturday’s actions.
Some media members have criticized Saturday for accepting the coaching offer from Colts owner Jim Irsay. But Wayne’s clear, enthusiastic response implied that he believes anyone would have, or at least should have, said yes to the role if offered.