From 2007, the go-to receiver on the Colt offense has consistently been the great Reggie Wayne. Since the start of 2004, whether it has been Peyton Manning
, Andrew Luck
...or even the likes of Dan Orlovsky
and (*yawn*) Curtis Painter
under the helm in Indy, Wayne has always been the integral part of a high-flying Colt passing attack.
The 6 time Pro Bowl reaches 35 in November, and I think he will not be the go-to guy anymore. Conventional numbers point to a stellar showing in 2013, as he eclipsed the 80 yard mark 9 times (the highlight being a 212 yard show against a very solid Green Bay defense
, in which he boasted a very high Win Probability Added).
Luck, however, gave Wayne 195 targets(second most of any wideouts). This showed that Luck had enormous trust in Wayne and it also shows that Wayne's production line may be a bit inflated. This is reflected in advanced stats, as Reggie has gone from the 6 ranked receiver in 2009
with a catch rate of 67%, to ranked 23 in 2010
with a catch rate of 63%, to rank 31 in 2011
with a catch rate of 57% and then to finally number 40
with a catch rate of 55%. It's understandable to see a decline such as this, as age catches up with WRs. Wayne will go down as one of the elites as he has played at a very high standard on a position that has a short career span
However, the future is now and things are about to change..and the future also looks very bright for the Indianapolis Colts
i.e. HOPE IS NOT LOST!...
Going back to the wide receiver numbers
, ranked at number 27 (out of the 86 that qualified) was TY Hilton. For good measure, that's ranked in front of heralded veterans such as Boldin (rank 29), Lloyd (rank 30) and Austin (rank 31) and just behind the likes of Victor Cruz
(rank 26) and A.J Green (rank 23). Just to show how in front of the curve Hilton is, 2012 rookies drafted in front of TY were ranked 72 (Michael Floyd
), 76 (Kendall Wright
) and 77 (Blackmon). Granted, Lindley/Skelton, Locker and Gabbert/Henne (the QBs throwing to Floyd and Wright last year) are no where the standard Luck is at, but it is very promising to see very strong chemistry between two 23 year olds. Hilton's rookie season can be easily summarised as an explosive one (17+yards/ reception), with big plays but one that can definitely be improved (dropped rate-wise). Matt Miller knocked him big time for these drops, but I question the low ranking
when I see the likes of Blackmon, Floyd, Jeffrey and even Wright ahead of TY. I also want to point out that a big loser from last year ranked 82/86 (i'm looking at you Donnie. 48% CR, 3 TDs is a train wreck). Heyward-Bey, who was not in a good situation in Oakland, was still 19 spots ahead of Avery.. (back on subject). In 2012, I'm predicting top 20 production from TY advanced stats-wise and an improved conventional stat line (1200 yards, 10 TDs, and a drop rate of 9-10). My prediction is that these numbers will all exceed Reggie's next year.
Another reason to not lose hope is because of the Colt's two young TE's
. Dwayne Allen's production last year was ranked
near the elite TE's last season by Football Outsiders and it was good to see Matt Miller agreed
. Young Coby Fleener is expected to improve
on his rookie year that was injury plagued.
The signing of a good RB
, Ahmad Bradshaw
, in addition to these young playmakers is another reason to expect Reggie will not be relied on as much.
Wayne has had fine moments in Indy. He was a big time player in the 2006/07 SB
against a very strong Chicago defense. With the dominant seasons of TY and Allen (especially considering they were rookies), with the potential of Fleener and the signing of Bradshaw, I can't see Wayne being the focal point of the skilled players on offense. His intangibles for a young Colt receiving core at this point is still essential and I'd love to see him perform in Indy for hopefully another 5 years. I think 2013 will see another era change in the Colt offense.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.