No Coaches Allowed: Colts hold players-only meeting

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Colts receiver Reggie Wayne catches a pass during practice at the team’s 56th Street headquarters.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Significant revelations aren’t usually apart of the final week of the regular season for the Colts.

Since Chuck Pagano took over the reigns of the franchise in 2012 the team qualified for the postseason before their 16th game of the season.

That is the case in 2014 as the Colts head to Nashville two weeks removed from clinching the AFC South and six days after getting locked into the fourth seed in the AFC Playoffs.

But just making the playoffs isn’t enough for a team that preaches the need to win a Super Bowl above anything else. The sting of a 35-point loss in Dallas erases the joy of qualifying for the postseason.

Maybe that’s why Reggie Wayne had a bit of a surprise for reporters during his weekly media session on Friday-48 hours before the season finale.

It wasn’t supposed to get out.

“T.Y. said that? I’d call T.Y. a snitch if that was the case,” said Wayne when told that T.Y. Hilton said their was a players-only meeting this week.

Of course he was joking. Wayne was actually more than happy to open up about the gathering-which featured no coaches-as the team approached their final game on this holiday week.

“We had a chance to meet as a team and really put our priorities in place. Really find out who was all-in and who wasn’t,” said Wayne. “It was a chance if a player, if he wanted to leave, it was his chance to leave and not be crucified, you know?

“But yeah, it was a chance for us as a team to really figure out if everybody was on the same page and going forward what we needed to do.”

The receiver said it was the veteran players on the team that called the meeting. The specific day wasn’t mentioned but it does come in the right time frame for a team has presented a cloudy picture of its Super Bowl potential.

True the Colts did win four-straight games in late November and early December but none of those teams will be in the postseason next week. In fact the Jaguars and Redskins won’t even be close.

Last Sunday’s game against the Cowboys-the eventual NFC East Champions-figured to provide some perspective on the true potential of the Colts moving forward. Confidence wasn’t high after 60 minutes of football or even ten.

A penalty and botched punt had the team behind by 14 points early in the first quarter and only a “Mop Up” time touchdown kept the Colts from being shutout in a 42-7 thrashing at the hands of Dallas.

It was a performance that raised a few eyebrows of the veterans like Wayne who felt the need for a players-only session before the playoffs.

“Yeah, we wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. We wanted to make sure if there’s any discrepancy in there, this is your chance to speak up, speak now or forever hold your peace,” said Wayne. “Were we all on the same page? Are we all heading in the right direction? It was a chance for everybody that normally doesn’t speak, just a chance to speak.”

With a hope the team can be heard before it’s too late in January.

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