Reggie Wayne Is My AFC South Crush of the Week

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistApril 6, 2012

Reggie Wayne is one of the greats.
Reggie Wayne is one of the greats.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Welcome to the "Crush of the Week," where I go all jelly-legged about someone who relates in some way to the AFC South.

This week, I want to express my undying love and affection for Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. As someone who has been writing about the Colts for a long time, Reggie Wayne has always been easy to love. He's a bit of a second fiddle in Colts history, but when the team re-signed him, they secured his place in franchise lore.

I interviewed Wayne back in January and was completely blown away by his incredible attitude and professionalism. So it's safe to say that it's no stretch to name Wayne my crush of any week.

This week, however, I spent some time looking deeply at his 2011 numbers for my rankings of the AFC South's receiving corps. Wayne's 2011 season is one of the most impressive of his career.

Sure, he didn't break 1,000 yards receiving and in many ways showed signs of age, but did you notice who his quarterbacks were? Despite the obvious limitations that are a now permanent part of his game, Wayne stepped up and led the team in receiving yards. He managed to post a positive DVOA and showed tremendous pride and a will to win in what qualified as one of the few big moments for the 2011 Colts. He didn't pout. He didn't mope. He didn't complain. He just played as hard as he could all year.

We can't stop age, but we can choose how to confront it. Reggie Wayne will be part of a rebuild in Indianapolis, and that is a good thing for everyone.

So hugs and kisses, Reggie Wayne. You are my AFC South Crush of the Week.

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