Peyton Manning 'Surprised' Jeff Saturday Became Colts HC: 'I'm Pulling Hard for Him'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2022

Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning takes the snap from former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday during halftime ceremony an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. The Colts retired Manning's jersey during the ceremony. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Just like everyone else in the sporting world, Peyton Manning was "surprised" when Jeff Saturday was named interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

"Yeah, I was [surprised]," Manning told Chris Bumbaca of USA Today. "I didn't have any insider information there. Obviously, Jim [Irsay] and Jeff had been in conversation throughout the year. I'm happy for Jeff. I'm pulling hard for him. And look, the Colts will always be an important part of my life."

Manning spent 13 years of his career with Colts, earning four MVP awards with the team while leading the squad to a Super Bowl title in 2006. Saturday played center alongside him every year but Manning's rookie season in 1998 and was twice named first-team All-Pro.

Saturday's history with the Colts helped him get his current job after Frank Reich was fired earlier this month. The former player spent some time as a high school coach but never worked on the sidelines at either the NFL or college level.

Though it was a shocking move, the Colts are 1-1 since the new hire and only lost to the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles by one point on Sunday.

Manning will hope for more success from his former teammate and longtime organization.