Pagano and Wayne show the special bond between coach and player
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano found himself on the edge of an emotional drive when he revealed that receiver Reggie Wayne had picked up a severe knee injury. The duo has enjoyed a close relationship since Pagano was an assistant at the University of Miami and Wayne was playing under Hurricanes colors.
A special bond has been formed between Pagano and Wayne, a bond that has strengthened a lot during the past year. Pagano talked about how Wayne donned orange gloves to express his support when Pagano was battling with leukemia last year. Pagano said that it was time he backed and helped Wayne get back to full health from his ACL injury, just as he once did for him.
“I think everybody has heard by now and knows that Reggie suffered an ACL tear. He’ll be lost for the season,” Pagano said. “We hate to lose anybody, but this one stings. See, you just don’t replace guys like 87. Again, we hate to lose anybody, but he’ll be back. I know how he’s wired. I know what his DNA is. I know how he is as a man. Everybody is going to say no way, but after the conversation I just had with him, just wait and see. So, we’ll all put on the gloves for Reggie and we’ll help him get through this and get him back.”
The medical staff has ruled out Wayne till 2014. Pagano has confirmed Wayne will be absent from Colts’ action till next year, but the coach has urged the 34-year-old receiver to continue with his role as a team leader.
“He’s going to be there. He’ll miss, he’s going to have to go have something done surgically but I told him whether it’s on a stretcher, wheelchair, if we have to carry him in and out, he’ll be there every step of the way,” Pagano said.
Pagano further said that he often advises younger players to follow Wayne’s footsteps if they want to have a long and healthy career. Pagano added that Wayne is not only a productive player, but a leader in team.
“He’s a pro through and through,” Pagano said. “It’s easy for those young guys because I told them just get in his hip pocket and follow and do exactly what he does on a daily basis. You want to stick around for a long time? You want to be productive? You want to write your own legacy? You want to be a guy in the National Football League and not an also-ran, not just a guy that collects a paycheck and stuck around for a couple years. You want to be a guy? Then just do exactly what Reggie does.
“From a leadership standpoint, mentoring standpoint, all those kind of things, it’s off the charts. He’s not the only one. We got a locker room full of guys like that. So, that’s why it’s so important. In talking to him, he’ll be away and have to get that thing fixed, but he’s going to be with us every step of the way and he’s got to be right next to us.”