One of the big subjects of discussion in Indianapolis and among Colts fans today was about Reggie Wayne and his comments about the Colts, as well as Trent Cole’s response to Wayne.
If you missed their comments you can read them here, but basically here’s a summary: Reggie Wayne said that the big issue for the Colts is their front office decisions, while Trent Cole humorously then tried to defend the team while saying that Wayne didn’t know the locker room, needed to put down his drink and cigars, and should “watch the dam game” because “the film don’t lie,” also adding that Wayne shouldn’t criticize the team that gave him his opportunity.
We could laugh at a lot of what Cole said, but NFL Network gave Wayne the chance to respond to Cole’s comments today, and Wayne’s comments about the team will surely endear himself to Colts fans even more because of his love for the organization.
After confirming that he does indeed smoke cigars and “enjoy an adult beverage from time to time,” Wayne then responded to Cole’s criticisms.
“Well first of all, listen: he was talking about me disrespecting or so the team that gave me opportunity,” Wayne said. “I wasn’t saying anything about the organization. I absolutely love the Indianapolis Colts. I love Jim Irsay. I love his family. I love the people in that building. That’s not what I was talking about. I was just talking about some of the swings and misses that’s happened. I am now a fan, I’m just like everybody else, I’m just stating all the stuff that the fans say. I’ve been here [at NFL Network] for weeks, I’ve been supporting the Colts for weeks. And I just spoke the facts. I’m a facts guy, everybody that knows me knows I speak facts. I wasn’t trying to put attention or whatever to the players over there in Indianapolis, to the coaches over there, I love all them dudes. There’s plenty of guys on that team that I played with. I watch film. I’ve seen every single one of their games, offense, defense, and special teams. So I want to let Trent Cole know that I do watch film. I was just stating facts; I’m a facts guy, that’s all I did.”
Wayne’s response did a good job of addressing Cole’s criticisms (about watching film and the Colts giving him an opportunity), while also making clear that he wasn’t meaning to just bash the Colts - because he loves the organization.
Wayne was also asked about the 30+ year old guys on the team and had this to say:
“Well I’m not against having older guys on a team,” he said. “Those older guys are guys that can be the voice, give you the veteran leadership. But for a lot of those guys that are on the team that’s over 30, that’s been there for years, I’ve played with. I’m living through them. I’m supporting them. I watch all their games. I woke up at 9 o’clock last week to watch a 9:30 game in London. Like, I’m still watching these guys. I want to be there, I want Robert Mathis to do well, I want D’Qwell Jackson to do well, I love [Adam] Vinatieri, he’s looking younger every year. I want those guys that have an opportunity [to do well], because when you’re at that pinnacle in your career where you don’t know what the future holds, you want to see those guys have success. So I’m not against having an older roster. That’s part of it; I do understand it’s a young man’s game. But at the same time, like I said, I’m a fan, man. I’m living through those guys. I’m an Indianapolis Colts fan. That’s all I know. I’ve been there for 14 years and there’s still a lot of guys on that roster that I know. Maybe I care too much. Maybe that’s what the problem is, I care too much. Maybe I should just sit back like some – or most – ex-players and not watch football or go to a football game. Maybe I should go to a cigar bar and just smoke cigars, I don’t know. So it’s something that I enjoy doing. I watch film every morning like I still play, so I don’t only watch Colts games; I just broke down film on my own of Julio Jones and A.J. Green. I watch T.Y. Hilton film. That’s what I do. I enjoy doing that. So maybe I care too much. Maybe I should just sit back and relax and kick my feet up.”
Lastly, NFL Network played some of Chuck Pagano’s comments from this afternoon about the frustration of being 1-3 and trying to climb out of it, which gave Wayne an opportunity to address that situation and comment on Pagano, too.
“You know what, I consider Chuck Pagano a family member,” Wayne said. “And like I said earlier, I wasn’t trying to add any distractions to that team. That team’s 1-3, they’re trying to climb themselves out of a hole and I understand that. So I wasn’t trying to add an extra distraction to them, but that’s Chuck Pagano right there. He is working every day – I know that for a fact – every day to get that team better. And I know that he’s in a situation that, as he said, was foreign territory, and I support Chuck Pagano, man. That’s like family to me. So I really feel like whenever he’s in a foxhole, I’m in a foxhole with him. So that’s Chuck Pagano in a nutshell.”
I think most Colts fans agreed with Wayne’s initial comments about the questionable front office decisions and some of the moves that the team had made, and Wayne listed a number of them: signing LaRon Landry and getting rid of Antoine Bethea; Arthur Jones; Trent Cole; Todd Herremans, Bjoern Werner, Khaled Holmes, and Trent Richardson. Wayne was absolutely right, and he also pointed out that unlike the Seahawks, the Colts didn’t build the foundation around their quarterback despite his low salary in recent years. I think most Colts fans agreed with Reggie and mocked/laughed at Cole’s comments initially, and I think most Colts fans will like his latest round of comments too.
Reggie made clear that he’s not trying to criticize the team and add distractions but made it clear that he’s a fan of the team and wants them to do well. I think a lot of Colts fans can relate to that: when they’re so invested in wanting their team and it’s players to do well, it can lead to an even more pressing desire to see them correct the issues. Wayne pointed out those issues as front office decisions, and he’s right. And as one of the all-time great Colts, as a Colts fan, and as an NFL Network analyst, Wayne has every right to express those opinions - whether Trent Cole likes it or not.