Two Reggie Wayne stories bundled together.
The first is the footballoutsiders look at reciever catch rate. This study looks at how often a receiver catches the ball versus how often he is expected to catch the ball given the down and distance of the throw. In other words, does the player bring in the pass when given a reasonable chance? This is a Reggie Wayne-centric link because not only did he have the single best season of any receiver in the last 4 years (2007), but he also showed up on the list for 2005 and 2006. 88 had the third best season in 2006.
On a "per target basis" (how much better than average per passing attempt), Wayne's 2007 was fourth best. AG made the list at #9 in 2007 as well.
When the ball is thrown to Reggie Wayne. He catches it.
That leads us to our second link, John Oehser's story about how important Wayne is to the Colts. In the past few days, Wayne's importance and influence have become more apparent than ever. Now that Marvin is gone, Wayne has a chance to establish himself as more than star, but rather a legend in Indianapolis. Should his leadership and efforts bring the Horse another ring, numbers in the 80s might become harder than ever to secure for new Colts WRs. Says Oehser:
Wayne long has been one of the most respected players in the locker room. Now, with Harrison and P Hunter Smith gone, Wayne has been with the Colts longer than any position player other than QB Peyton Manning and C Jeff Saturday. Still, not every long-time veteran's words carry cache in the locker-room. Wayne's do -- as much as any Colts player.