Peyton Manning On Jeff Saturday Hiring: 'I Was Surprised'

The Indianapolis Colts surprised the football world by hiring Jeff Saturday to be their interim head coach replacing the fired Frank Reich. Now, former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has given his take.

The 3-5-1 Colts are 2nd in the AFC South but decided to give Reich the boot. Saturday comes to the team without any previous coaching experience at the NFL or college level.

Peyton Manning talked about the team's hiring on the Monday Night Football pregame show.

“I was surprised, I didn’t know anything about it,” Manning said. “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."

Saturday played center for the Colts over 13 seasons, from 1999 to 2011, during that time he played alongside Manning. They had quite a bit of success together, and Manning had great things to say about himm but they did butt heads on at least one occasion.

Saturday's only previous coaching experience is at the high school level where he led Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula, GA.

“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," Manning said. "A win there could solve a lot of things.

"Hopefully he can get in there and help the Colts get turned around.”

Saturday's first game as the Colts interim head coach will come Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.