Reggie Wayne is tired of seeing the team with which he was a part of so much success wallow in so much failure.
The former standout Indianapolis Colts wide receiver believes there’s a way for the Colts to return to strength, and it’s obvious: Quarterback Andrew Luck must get and stay healthy.
‘We need a hundred-percent healthy Andrew Luck’
It will take more than Luck recovering fully from shoulder surgery that he underwent after the 2016 season and that sidelined him for all of last year.
“The thing with Andrew Luck, first and foremost, he needs to come back healthy. We need a healthy Andrew Luck,” Wayne told Cole Wright and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “We don’t need him coming back 80 percent, we don’t need him coming back 90 percent. We need a hundred-percent healthy Andrew Luck under center and we’ve got to find a way to keep him upright.
‘Every year he’s under the center, he’s leading the league in quarterback hits’
“I think this guy, every year he’s under the center, he’s leading the league in quarterback hits. You can’t do that. You’ve got to find a way to keep him clean and protect him, whether it’s getting a better run game, getting the ball out of his hand quicker, whatever the case may be. And I think (new coach) Frank Reich is the perfect guy to come in to the fold to get that done, to keep the franchise player healthy and ready to go.”
Wayne is realistic enough to realize the Colts aren’t likely to put together a top-flight pass-protecting line in one offseason. Fortifying Luck’s protection would help, of course, but Wayne believes the quarterback can do much more to help himself avoid contact.
‘Andrew Luck needs to think about living to fight another day’
“There’s not very many great offensive line teams out there, but what they do great jobs of doing is getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands fast. I think that’s kind of where a 28-year-old Andrew Luck needs to think about living to fight another day. He’s the type of quarterback that just thinks that every play, he’s got to find a way to get a positive yard. And he may take a shot or two when he shouldn’t. But now I think he understands that, hey, sometimes you’ve got to get down or you’ve got to throw the ball away or whatever the case may be.
“I don’t think it’s a make or break, but I do believe it needs to be a good season This Colts football team hasn’t made the playoffs in the last three years. It’s time for this team to take back over the AFC South. In some kind of way, they’ve got to get that done, but I don’t think they can get that done without a hundred-percent healthy Andrew Luck.”