ANDERSON -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne has been through the training-camp grind before. He knows the ins and outs.
As the first week of camp wrapped up, Wayne answered reporters questions about his quarterback, his statistical achievements and who leads the 2013 Colts:
What do you need to see from yourself in training camp?
“Just make sure I learn this offense. Make sure when it's all said and done, there's no second-guessing, there's no time where I'm not sure of something. I want to be able to play fast. As a skill position guy, you want to be able to play fast. Whenever you're out there thinking too much, you're not able to go out there and run full speed. So, for me it's to learn this offense, get everything down pat so I'm able to go at my normal speed.”
What's the biggest difference you've seen in T.Y. Hilton this camp?
“Just his growth, just him understanding his role. T.Y., he's young but he's a professional, he's what you want in a young guy. He's in meetings asking questions, writing down notes, making sure he's on the right page with Andrew (Luck). So he's doing everything right. Whenever a young guy like T.Y. is constantly just growing and growing, that's all you can ask for.”
What will it mean when you get to 1,000 catches?
“That I've been playing a long time. It means I'm doing my job. I just want to be able to do my job. When it's all said and done, I want to be where I'm supposed to be, get there on time, and help this ball club win games. That's all I've been ever wanting to do since I first got here. It'll be sweet, but we got to get there first.”
Do you know how many have been there before you, with 1,000?
“No, I do not. But I'm sure you're going to tell me.”
“That ain't bad. Let's do it. Let's try to get it done. I really feel like whenever I'm getting some kind of record or getting some kind of accolade, I'm doing something right, I'm helping this team do something, and that's all I can do is do my part and it starts with me. Being a veteran on the offense, everybody is going to be watching me, looking to see what I do, so I'm there to show them what should be done. So I don't have time to really say 'These old bones hurt and ache,' because I don't want them to say the same thing. So I got to push forward and do the things that pros do.”
Are you maybe more pleased with the consecutive games, that you're there everyday type of thing?
“Oh yeah. Let me tell you something, me being able to be there each week and answering that bell is bigger than everything else, believe it or not. I take pride in that. I want to be there for the guys. When they go down in the foxhole, I want to be available to go with them. All that goes into coordination with my offseason workout. I get up too early to not play. I take pride in it. I want to be there each week. I know if I'm there each week, I have a shot, I've got an opportunity to do something. Like I say, you can't make the club in the tub, so that's not where I want to be.”
What's your impression of Darrius Heyward-Bey thus far?
“Growing, growing. I tell him every day I wish I had his body type. He can be in that elite group of big receivers, the Andre Johnsons, the Calvin Johnsons, guys like that. But he's growing, he's getting better and better each week. He can be a freak of nature, he really can be. So I'm here to help him in whatever way I can. He had two good practices, obviously, see him on film today, and see how he did today but I'm sure he did well. I'm glad he's on our team. He can really, really help us get something done.”
Yet he comes here with a reputation of drops.
“Is that right?”
Once you get a reputation, is it kind of hard to get rid of it?
“Not if you catch the ball and do something with it. That reputation is coming from what, when he played with the Raiders? Well he's not with the Raiders anymore. So hopefully this is a new bed for him to lay in. He can come here, catch the ball and then all the Raider Nation fans can say whatever they want, Colts Nation is going to have something different to say. We're all behind him, he works on the JUGS machine every day, we talk every day, he knows what he has to do.”
Last year you looked around and you saw Smurfs, this year not so much. What do you think of the group this year compared to last?
“Still Smurfs. Still a young team, especially on the offensive side in the skill positions, we're still young. We still got two-year tight ends. Take me and DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey) out the system, we still got two-year receivers. We're still young, we're still growing, we just got one year under our belt. So now they know what it tastes like, so hopefully they can tell us if it's enough pepper or not.”
What have your impressions been of the two young tight ends?
“You know what, those guys, they did so much last year for us, they stepped up big time for us so hopefully they can just stay on the same course. This year don't seem like there's been any drop-off. But as an offensive unit, we're still trying to learn the system. We're still trying to get everything in place. Training camp and OTAs and stuff, it's a different animal. We're all just trying to put it all together, which we're doing a pretty good job of, and hopefully we can get it all together at the right time. Those guys, they've done good, they've got their hands full with a hungry defensive team. So they're doing fine. They're catching the ball when it's thrown to them, they're blocking the way they're supposed to. Hopefully we can just keep that up.”
Andrew Luck was mentioning how you're still the leader of this team. He's taken on more of a role, but he still looks to you. How much are you embracing that role and the transition you've made into being that guy for this squad?
“I'm just keeping the seat warm for him. At the end of the day, he's our leader. He's been more vocal this year and rightfully so. I'm the vice president, I'm not the president. It's his team. He sets the tone, he sets the pace, especially for the offense and whenever he has another mission to take care of, that's when I step in. That's what vice presidents do.”