Andrew Luck has improved significantly since the early part of the season, says Colts veteran receiver.
Reggie Wayne's career has been revitalized since the Colts fired Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell and replaced them with Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano. It was Pagano who hired coordinator Bruce Arians, and it is Arians that installed the offense that he used with tremendous success in Pittsburgh.
Instead of Wayne lining up in one spot... every game... every year... he is now lining up in different locations on offense. He's going in motion, pre-snap. He's being used as a blocker. He's Indy's version of Hines Ward, the hard-hitting, clutch-catching Steelers receiver who retired after last season.
"It's not like he's sitting on that left side, and you just throw balls to him, like you used to, and get the route tree down" said Arians at his Wednesday presser. "He's got 50 or 60 different alignments and different routes."
Another reason for Wayne's resurgence is Andrew Luck. Luck and Wayne have developed a nearly unstoppable dynamic. Despite not having much time together during the offseason, what time they did have was put to good use. The results are 69 catches, 931 yards, and 3 scores for Wayne. Statistically, Wayne is the No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
Better than Megatron.
Better than Andre Johnson.
Better than Welkah!
So, when Wayne was asked by Indianapolis radio station WNDE hosts Jake Query and Derek Schultz about how Luck has improved from his Week One debut, Wayne responded (via SportsRadioInterviews.com):
I think he’s come…it’s night and day yet I just think it’s him. I think as a team we are much better. I think we much better from last game from the time we played Jacksonville the first time. We’ve gelled. We kind of know our roles now. We have some guys back that were injured and didn’t play in the first game, so I think as a team we are much better. I think Andrew would also echo those remarks and as far as what goes on the sidelines and during the game? I mean nothing has really changed on that aspect. He’s still taking control of the huddle being the leader as the quarterback. He’s been doing that. He’s continuing to do that as well as everyone else.
While it is probably a strong stretch to consider Luck an MVP candidate, Wayne for MVP isn't so implausible. National media types, like Tom Curran of Comcast Sports, point to Wayne's leadership and production as reasons why he should get MVP consideration.
Realistically, he won't get it. The MVP award is firmly in the grasp of Wayne's old buddy, Peyton Manning. The same Manning that Andrew Luck is replacing in Indianapolis.