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September 18, 2012

COLTS NOTEBOOK: Indy veterans Vinatieri, Wayne know how to win

Indianapolis — The old men of the locker room.

That’s how placekicker Adam Vinatieri (39) and wide receiver Reggie Wayne (33) view themselves after the Indianapolis Colts’ roster makeover. 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 0:08 remaining in the game to secure the victory. Wayne, meanwhile, hauled in six passes for 71 yards. He had a 30-yard touchdown catch in the closing seconds of the first half and a 20-yard reception during Indianapolis’ game-winning scoring drive.

“They’re great pros and great [veterans]. They prepare and they’ve done this many, many times before,” coach Chuck Pagano said Monday. “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.

“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.”

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