Reggie Wayne

Why Reggie Wayne wants us to 'pump the brakes' on N'Keal Harry hype

Why Reggie Wayne wants us to 'pump the brakes' on N'Keal Harry hype

N'Keal Harry has respectable 10/1 odds to win NFL Rookie of the Year in 2019. But it doesn't sound like Reggie Wayne will be taking that action.

Wayne, who had a cup of coffee with the Patriots during the 2015 preseason, said on NFL Network this week he doesn't expect Harry to be an immediate contributor in New England's offense despite early positive signs from the team's No. 32 overall pick.

“I think you have to pump (the) brakes a little bit on N’Keal Harry and understand it’s going to be a process," Wayne said, via Patriots.com, "and give him a year or so before he can actually go out there and play fast."

Wayne had 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts under his belt before signing with the Patriots in August 2015. But he struggled to pick up the offense before his release in early September and warned that Harry may face a similar learning curve under quarterback Tom Brady.

"I’ve always said that it’s going to take a year, maybe a year and a half before you can adjust to the speed and what’s going on for an NFL football team, especially for a quarterback like Tom Brady," Wayne added.

There's some evidence to back up Wayne's caution: Terry Glenn is the only wide receiver in Patriots history to tally 1,000-plus receiving yards as a rookie, and since that 1996 campaign, no Pats rookie has topped 600 receiving yards.

Then again, Harry has the potential to snap that streak. Julian Edelman admitted last month he's been impressed with how quickly Harry is picking things up, and the 6-foot-3 Arizona State product even scored an invite to Brady's exclusive throwing sessions.

Now, Harry has bulletin board material from Wayne as he eyes a prominent role in the Patriots' offense.

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Patriots have a history of taking chances on receivers drafted in first round

Patriots have a history of taking chances on receivers drafted in first round

The New England Patriots haven't drafted a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft since 1996, but the signing of Corey Coleman marks the 13th time New England has brought in a former first-round wideout in that timespan. The receivers have been a mix of veterans, underachievers, and top end talents.

THESE MOVES WORKED

  • 2007-2010: Randy Moss (1998, 21st pick, MIN) - The Hall of Famer is by far the best receiver to land with the Pats. In 2007, he set the NFL record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season with 23. In each of his three seasons in New England, he posted 1,000+ yards.
  • 2007, 2012: Donte Stallworth (2002, 13th pick, NO) - Stallworth was productive in 2007, catching 46 throws for 697 yards and three touchdowns. He had just one catch in 2012.
  • 2017: Brandin Cooks (2014, 20th pick, NO) - Cooks was the best deep threat the Patriots had since Randy Moss. Last year, he logged his third 1,000-yard campaign in just his fourth pro season. The St. Louis Rams acquired him for a first and a sixth rounder last offseason.

THESE DIDN'T

  • 2017: Kenny Britt (2009, 30th pick, TEN) - The Patriots acquired Britt last season but his playing time was limited while he learned the playbook. A preseason injury led to his release this summer.
  • 2016: Michael Floyd (2012, 13th pick, ARI) - The Patriots took a flyer on Floyd after a DUI suspension with the Vikings. The former 1,000-yard receiver played in just two games and caught four passes.
  • 2005: David Terrell (2001, 8th pick, SEA) - Terrell blamed bad quarterbacks for his underwhelming four years in Chicago, but even Tom Brady couldn't help him. He never appeared in a game with New England.

COULDN'T BEAT FATHER TIME

  • 2003: J.J. Stokes (1995, 10th pick, SF) - New England was the final stop in Stokes' career. He had just two catches in two games.
  • 2009: Joey Galloway (1995, 8th pick, SEA) - Galloway was 38 when he came to the Patriots and it showed. Over the span of three games, he had just seven catches.
  • 2010: Torry Holt (1999, 6th pick, STL) - An injury led to Holt's release before he could play a snap. He never played in another NFL game.
  • 2015: Reggie Wayne (2001, 30th pick, IND) - New England brought in Wayne, but it wasn't a good fit to say the least. Wayne asked for release due to a work environment that a source close to him said was "too tough" and "not fun."

THE JURY'S STILL OUT ON . . . 

  • 2018: Corey Coleman (2016, 15th pick, CLE) - Coleman had 56 receptions and 718 yards in his first two years with the Browns before asking for a trade this summer. The Buffalo Bills later released him. The Pats are taking a chance on the talented but underachieving receiver.
  • 2018: Phillip Dorsett (2015, 29th pick, IND) - Dorsett had limited production in 15 games last season, but got off to a nice start this year with 7 catches, 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. His first-round talent was evident and he could prove a very nice piece this season.
  • 2018: Cordarrelle Patterson (2013, 29th pick, MIN) - Patterson is a solid receiver, but his real value is in his returning. He had five touchdown returns in his first five seasons, which included two Pro Bowl appearances.

 

Tom Brady takes high road after hearing Reggie Wayne called him a 'cheater'

Tom Brady takes high road after hearing Reggie Wayne called him a 'cheater'

The argument could be made that, even after just four games, Tom Brady deserves to be considered the front-runner for the NFL's MVP award. He's leading the league in completion percentage (73 percent), yards per attempt (9.8) and quarterback rating (133.9). 

But not everyone feels Brady should even be in the running for the league's top individual honor. 

MORE BRADY: Tom on possibility of being traded -- 'I hope it never happens'

"There is no way Tom Brady can win MVP," former Colts and Patriots receiver Reggie Wayne said on NFL Total Access recently, "because he was caught cheating this year." 

Brady and Wayne spent part of the 2015 preseason together as teammates but Wayne, who was 36 at the time, was released at the end of training camp. When Brady heard mention of Wayne on WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday, he had nothing but good things to say.

"I don't know what Reggie said or anything, but I liked being with Reggie," Brady said. "Had a lot of great conversations with him, played against him for a long time. He's a Hall of Famer. I always wish Reggie the best. He was a great player."

After Brady was told that Wayne called him a cheater, the Patriots quarterback chuckled.

"Well, I still think he's a great player, and it doesn't change the experience I had while he was here," Brady said. "I think there's been a lot of people over the years who have said a lot of things that I've disagreed with but it doesn't . . . I try to get up every day and do the best I can do." 

When the hosts of the show, Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan, expressed some disappointment that Brady would not show any ill will toward someone who had disparaged him publicly, Brady held firm.

"You give everyone else your power when you start reacting to everything that they say," Brady said. "I wouldn't change places with anybody. I got healthy kids. I love my family. And I love doing what I love to do."