According to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer (subscription), one offseason priority for new beloved Indianapolis Colts wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne is improving top rookie wideout Alec Pierce’s footwork when initially starting his routes—which could use some further refinement:
“The GM (Colts GM Chris Ballard) also expects new receivers coach Reggie Wayne to work with Pierce on the start of his routes, particularly his footwork,” writes Keefer. “It needs to be cleaned up a bit.”
“‘It’s about attacking,’ Ballard said of fighting off press coverage, one area Pierce must improve in. ‘You know, you don’t want to work at the line. You want to continue to move up and attack them and get (the cornerback) on their heels.’”
Wayne should be a welcome addition to the Colts coaching staff this year and hopefully for many more to come, because not only is he a former player, but a truly great one at that.
Never known for blazing fast speed, Wayne had a Hall of Fame caliber career for the Colts based on his impeccable route running, incredibly sure hands, and the ability to make clutch catches—and consistently move the sticks.
If any coach knows a thing or two about improving Pierce’s somewhat still raw rookie footwork, it’s probably Wayne, who was one of the best route runners in the game during his illustrious playing career—with the type of consistency, precision, and polish that should be emulated by any young wideout.
Having had a 14-year long playing career, Wayne probably also knows some of the veteran maneuvers and fine nuances of route running that should allow for greater self-created separation—without necessarily just using speed to outrun the opposing defensive back.
Whatever the case may be, Wayne figures to put in some work with Pierce this offseason to try to improve his routes and get the rookie fine tuned for the start of the season—where Pierce can hopefully hit the ground running.