Reggie Wayne is one of the best wide receivers in Indianapolis Colts history. But on May 4, he provided the media with some of the best quotes in recent memory.
His most memorable line praised the leadership from new Colts quarterback Matt Ryan. Like Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay, Wayne said Ryan reminds him a lot of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Peyton Manning.
But Wayne added a little color to his Manning comparison to Ryan.
“It almost makes me throw up how much [Ryan] reminds me of Peyton [Manning],” Wayne said to the media on May 4. “He’s the epitome of a leader.”
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Matt Ryan Compared to Peyton Manning
Wayne comparing Ryan’s leadership to Manning’s comes just two days after Irsay did the same. While on The Pat McAfee Show, Irsay compared Ryan to a Navy SEAL or an astronaut going to Mars.
“He’s the type of guy that if you’re landing on an aircraft carrier, you want him to be the pilot,” Irsay said to host Pat McAfee. “I mean special, guys.
“You look in the eyes of [head coach] Frank Reich or [general manager] Chris Ballard, people in the organization, they just turn into a big smile.
“I haven’t really experienced this since Peyton’s days having a guy like this.”
Wayne played the first 10 years of his career with Manning before the quarterback missed the 2011 season because of a neck injury. After the 2-14 campaign in 2011 that saw Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins behind center, Wayne finished his career with Andrew Luck throwing him passes.
With Wayne’s pedigree as a receiver and experience playing with elite quarterbacks, his praise for Ryan is even more noteworthy than Irsay’s.
Reggie Wayne ‘Trying to Build’ an Avenger for Matt Ryan
Now that Ryan has settled quarterback for the Colts, Indianapolis is trying to surround its new signal caller with as many weapons as possible. The Colts drafted Cincinnati wide receiver Alec Pierce and Virginia tight end Jelani Woods with their first two selections in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Wayne, the new wide receiver’s coach in Indianapolis, is responsible for the development of Pierce and the other young wideouts on the roster. The Colts don’t have a wide receiver older than 25.
Wayne used another unusual quote to describe what he wants to accomplish coaching the Indianapolis receivers this season.
“You’re trying to build your best Avenger,” Wayne said.
Wayne sounded confident while speaking to the media on May 4 about developing maybe even a couple of Avengers at receiver for the Colts.
But don’t think for a second Wayne is about outside flash at wideout. He made it pretty clear in another colorful quote that he’s not coaching to gain attention for himself or his receivers.
“This generation is all about the gram,” Wayne said. I ain’t coaching for the gram.”
This season will be Wayne’s first as a full-time coach in the NFL. He coached the Colts wideouts on a voluntary basis during the 2018 offseason.
If he can help some of the Indianapolis receivers develop this summer, maybe Colts players will remind analysts of not only Manning but also Wayne this fall.