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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Peyton Manning shares his reaction to Jeff Saturday hire

Peyton Manning in a suit

Dec 15, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Former Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning’s longtime former teammate Jeff Saturday was hired on Monday as the interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Saturday has no previous coaching experience in college or the NFL, making his hiring nothing short of shocking.

Even Manning admitted the hire left him surprised.

“I was surprised; I didn’t know anything about it,” Manning said on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show. “I talked to Jeff. It’s a big challenge. Jeff’s made of the right stuff; he was the ultimate teammate. My locker was right next to him. He’s a high- character guy. He’s a great leader.

“He’s going to have to rely on these players to kind of get him comfortable and try and get a win there in Indianapolis. A win there could solve a lot of things. Hopefully he can get in there and help the Colts get turned around.”

The Colts are 3-5-1 after their 26-3 loss to the Patriots in Week 9. Frank Reich was in his fifth season on the job and had led the team to the playoffs twice in four years and had a winning record in three of his four full seasons.

Now Indianapolis will be led by Saturday, who will be coaching a team that’s trying to compete with Sam Ehlinger at quarterback. The combined inexperience from the two men will be a major concern, and Manning knows it.

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