News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 18, 2012

Older guys had it all worked out for Colts

Tom James
The Tribune-Star

INDIANAPOLIS — The old men of the locker room. 

That’s how placekicker Adam Vinatieri, 39, and wide receiver Reggie Wayne, 33, view themselves as the Indianapolis Colts’ makeover their roster. But it was Vinatieri and Wayne who were largely responsible for the Colts’ 23-20 last-second win over Minnesota on Sunday. 

Vinatieri booted three field goals against the Vikings, including a 53-yarder with eight seconds remaining in the game to secure the victory. Wayne, meanwhile, hauled in six passes for 71 yards and had a 30-yard touchdown catch in the closing seconds of the first half. He also caught a 20-yard pass during the game-winning scoring drive. 

“They’re great pros and great [veterans]. They prepare and they’ve done this many, many times before. Adam’s been in that situation many, many times before. And that’s why he’s probably going to be in the Hall of Fame someday. He’s just one of those guys that it doesn’t matter what the situation, he’s got the confidence and he’s done it over and over again where he just goes out and he’s won a lot of games,” coach Chuck Pagano said Monday. 

“That’s the same with Reggie. The guy’s a great pro. Both of them are. They practice better anybody else out there. They work at their craft. They put the time in Monday through Sunday. It doesn’t surprise me at all to see the success that those guys are able to have on game day.”

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, 23, likes having both “old men” around. 

“I’m probably closer in age to his kids than [Vinatieri],” Luck joked. “It’s fun to be on a team with a kicker of that caliber. Just having him as a teammate. It’s cool.

“When you’re told that this is the spot [on the field] that we need to get to [set up for a kick], once you get there, don’t mess it up because Adam is about as close to a sure thing as there is.”

Luck is 14 years older than Vinatieri’s oldest child, who is 9. Luck is 16 years younger than the Colts’ placekicker.

The Colts’ No. 1 draft pick says that having players who possess the experience of a Vinatieri or Wayne is comforting in tough game situations. 

“There are a lot of young guys playing in a lot of key positions. [Vinatieri and Wayne] are not the most vocal guys. They’re not going to be in your ear about everything,” Luck explained. “But to watch them operate, see how they come in early and take care of their bodies late. How they approach meetings. What types of questions they ask. The example they set, I think, is as huge for me and all the younger rookies and the second-year guys.”

* Noting it — According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Luck is the first rookie quarterback to lead a fourth-quarter game-winning drive in September since Manning — make that Archie Manning — for New Orleans in 1971. 

Also, Wayne tied a franchise career record against the Vikings when he caught a second-quarter scoring pass. The Pro Bowl receiver has now hauled in touchdown passes from seven different players while playing for the Colts — six quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi, Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Luck) and one running back (Joseph Addai). Wayne holds the record along with Marvin Harrison and Glenn Doughty.

* Injury report — Center Samson Satele (left knee) underwent an MRI on Monday. According to Pagano, Satele’s injury looks positive and may not be as bad as originally thought. The Indianapolis offensive lineman was still waiting to get a diagnosis from team medical personnel. 

Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (ankle) missed the Minnesota game after he was hurt a week earlier against Chicago. Freeney continues to be listed as day-to-day. There has been no official announcement as to whether the injury is a high ankle sprain. 

Wide receiver Austin Collie (concussion) did not play against the Vikings. He will be listed as day-to-day after sitting out two days of practice last week. Also, offensive tackle Winston Justice (concussion) might be able to return to play against Jacksonville this week. 

Justice sat out the Minnesota game after suffering a concussion against the Bears a week earlier. He saw some practice time last time but was scratched before the Vikings game. Pagano said that the Colts are taking a wait-and-see stance right now. 

Offensive guard Joe Reitz (knee) continues to be listed as day-to-day. Reitz has battled a gimpy knee since training camp. He returned briefly for practice but has been sidelined since the regular-season began. Outside linebacker Mario Addison, meanwhile, had his right knee wrapped during media availability on Monday. There has been no announcement on Addison’s possible injury or his status for practice this week.