Reggie Wayne: 'If I'm allowed, I'll be back' as Colts WR's coach despite beach's pull

INDIANAPOLIS — Reggie Wayne has never kept his feelings a secret.

As much as Wayne remains drawn to the football field he once dominated as a player, the legendary Colts receiver also loves the life of leisure he’s sometimes been able to live in his post-football life.

That’s why it took Frank Reich four years to convince Wayne to join the Colts coaching staff, why he’s repeatedly referenced the sheer effort it takes to be a coach in the NFL throughout this season.

“If we were 14-2, I’d still be thinking about the beach,” Wayne said. “It doesn’t matter, win or lose, I’m still going to be thinking about me going to the beach. But I still wake up with a smile.”

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A smile that is there because of the players he’s been coaching.

Wayne has forged instant bonds with most of the players in the wide receiver room, building relationships and getting more collectively out of the starting trio of Michael Pittman Jr., Parris Campbell and rookie Alec Pierce than most people expected at the beginning of the season.

“I’m an education major, I enjoy teaching,” Wayne said. “I enjoy seeing a kid go out there and do well, score touchdowns, catch passes. … I enjoy that part of it. Now, there’s always a negative side. I didn’t have these bags under my eyes before I got here.”

That leaves one question.

Will Wayne be back as a member of the Colts coaching staff?

“That’s not up to me,” Wayne said. “I’ve got another year on my contract, so if I’m allowed, I’ll be back.”

Wayne, typically ready with an answer on just about any subject, tried to hold back a little on his thoughts about the current status of the Colts franchise, including what he thought Indianapolis should do about its head coaching position, a position that will be open the moment the final horn sounds in Sunday’s season finale against the Houston Texans.

Brought here by Reich, Wayne has been working for former teammate Jeff Saturday for the past two months.

“I can’t answer these questions without pissing somebody off,” Wayne said. “We’ve got to find the right guy, and that’s not easy.”

Despite the Colts’ 4-12-1 record, their steep decline in the second half of the season and the fact that they hold the worst point differential in the NFL, the Colts legend believes a return to competitive football isn’t far away.

“I think the pieces in this building are already here,” Wayne said. “There’s just a couple of things they’ve got to fix.”

Wayne will not know if he’s going to get a chance to help fix the Colts until the team makes a decision on its next head coach, and likely until after that.

While he waits, he’ll also be waiting for news on his Hall of Fame candidacy.

For the fourth year in a row, Wayne was named one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. Five men will be chosen from that group for the next Hall of Fame class.

And like his musings on his coaching position with the Colts, Wayne is taking all that in stride.

“It’s not my first rodeo, but no matter what, whether it’s the fourth or the 40th time, I’m going to enjoy the process and go with the flow,” Wayne said. “Whatever happens, happens. Just know, as I say every year, whenever it does happen, there’s going to be a big-(expletive) party.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Reggie Wayne: 'If I'm allowed, I'll be back' as Colts WR's coach