The Indianapolis Colts lost their fifth consecutive game Sunday, falling 28-24 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Some Indianapolis fans already have given up on the 2011 season and want the team to do the same, using local radio shows to urge a push for next year's presumed No. 1 overall draft pick, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
But don't tell that to the team's veterans, as a sportswriter for The Indianapolis Star learned when he asked Colts defensive end Robert Mathis if the team should write off the season and try to draft Luck.
"You really want me to address that?" Mathis asked. "You have to understand we're professionals. We don't go through training camp, minicamp, OTAs, offseason training just to tank a year for a college player that's unproven. To hell with that. I'm not tanking anything. You can write that. I'm not sucking for nobody."
Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne echoed Mathis' comments.
"It's ridiculous, man," Wayne said. "We've got 12 games left. Who knows what's going to happen? We don't even know if Luck is what everybody says he is. One thing we do know is there is a big difference between college and the pros. You don't know what's going to happen until he makes it to the next stage. Until then, we have our quarterbacks. We're going to go rock with them."
Painter, who stepped in for Kerry Collins after the veteran suffered a concussion and was ineffective for the team's first three games, told The Star that Colts fans "have been good all along in some tough situations for us, but they've been really great all year. I expect the same."