Manning’s former Colts teammates react to his retirement

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 7, 2016) – Former Colts teammates of Peyton Manning are reacting to the 18-year veteran’s decision to retire.

Former Indianapolis Colts Center Jeff Saturday –

“It’s been an honor to have spent my career with one of the greatest, if not the greatest to have played the game. I cherish the amazing years we had together with the Colts, which included a Super Bowl XLI Championship. Peyton is not only my teammate, but a great friend. The impact he had on the NFL is unparalleled. He displayed the perfect example of the way the game is supposed to be played and he’s the definition of a professional. I congratulate him on a phenomenal career.”

Former Indianapolis Colts Tackle Tarik Glenn –

“Peyton is a good friend and teammate. It was an honor to see him grow into one of the greatest of all time. He was not only a rare talent, he also was a hard worker. What has made his legacy great is not just his accolades and his rings, it is that throughout the years, he has earned the respect of his family, teammates, opponents, coaches and fans.”

Former Indianapolis Colts Tackle Ryan Diem –

“I couldn’t be happier for Peyton and his family. To watch him resurrect this season and ride off a champion was truly special. It speaks to the kind of person he is, and was a perfect way to cap off an incredible career. He faced all kinds of adversity and persevered. The 11 years that I spent with the Colts were transformative in many ways because of teammates like Peyton. I witnessed the core leadership of our team grow within the locker room and within their own families. I witnessed a town and fan base grow and support our team with pride. I saw young men become engaged in the community. Peyton exemplified all these traits. His involvement in the Indy community is well documented, but there are so many other things he did under the radar that were even more meaningful. It was an honor for me to be a part of this team, and a part of Peyton’s career. Congrats 18 – you are the GOAT!”

Former Indianapolis Colts Tight End Dallas Clark –

“Peyton is a true pro! He represented the Colts, Broncos and NFL with great respect and honor. His passion, love and competitiveness was infectious and made everyone around him better. Peyton helped take the quarterback position to a level that might never be touched and he did it with class! It was an honor to have Peyton as my quarterback!”

Former Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne –

“18…Congratulations on an outstanding career. I appreciate the hard work and dedication you displayed along our journey. The memories we share as a team will never be forgotten. Now you can chill, breathe and enjoy you a nice cold adult beverage. Wishing you the absolute best in your future endeavors.”

Former Indianapolis Colts Running Back Edgerrin James –

“Playing with Peyton was an incredible experience. You play the game, but you’ve never seen someone that gave their all to the game until you met Peyton Manning. Once you’re around him you see how serious the game is and what it means to a person. That’s the one thing that separated him from most players. Some play football and it’s just a game, but to Peyton it was life. From my first year in Indy to now you see how he’s evolved into the greatest player ever. It’s that work ethic and non-stop commitment to his craft that has him where he is.”

Former Indianapolis Colts Running Back Donald Brown –

“Peyton is a consummate pro. After watching the way he prepares week in and week out, it is no surprise he was able to play at such an elite level for his entire career. It was an absolute honor and privilege being his teammate.”

Former Indianapolis Colts Defensive End and Current Arizona Cardinals Outside Linebacker Dwight Freeney –

“I want to congratulate Peyton on an amazing career. Being around him for 10 years made me a better player and professional. His off the field preparation for a game is second to none which I am thankful I could learn from and be a part of. I wish him the best of luck in wherever life takes him next!!”

Former Indianapolis Colts Linebacker David Thornton –

“For me to be able to play with him for four years and then compete against him for five years, as a teammate to service captain with him, that was an honor, that was a special treat. I had a great deal of respect of just watching how he prepared himself as a professional. That was something that I really kept under my bill as a professional. The unique thing about him in the locker room, Peyton made other guys around him better. Several times I would hear the o-line say, ‘Hey, we got to make sure we keep 18 clean today.’ Even on the defensive side of the ball, you knew if Peyton was going to score points, ‘Hey, we got to go out there and get a three-and-out.’ That’s the mark of a good leader when you’re able to help those around you elevate their game. That’s something that I would like to think that he was able to do here for a number of years. Going to Nashville and playing against him, that was tough. It’s one thing to be with him, but to compete against him, I think my level of respect went up even more just to see how precise he was with that football and just the decisions he made in certain situations. It’s probably going to be unmatched for someone at that position.”

Former Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Gary Brackett –

“We played together for nine seasons, was a co-captain for six of those years, so we had a lot of one-on-one conversations throughout that time. Just really the knowledge, the wisdom and his work ethic is something that was contagious. It was almost Reggie (Wayne), himself, Dwight Freeney, who was going to get here first and who was going to leave here last. That’s the kind of makeup that the team had. We were just going to outwork folks. It was just contagious about him being relentless about film study and just always grabbing me, asking me a question about a defense or when we were going against each other. We always would say, ‘We don’t play each other on the roster during the regular season.’ During practice when we’d do something that’s out of the ordinary or I picked up one of his signals, he would ask me like, ‘Hey, how did you see that?’ Then I would walk him through, ‘Hey, because this guy pulled around this way and that kind of took me away from this.’ Then they would adjust in the game plan, and that’s how we had a very successful team.”

Indianapolis Colts Kicker Adam Vinatieri –

“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to play with one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Peyton epitomizes professionalism and he prepared week in and week out at the highest level. He is one of the greatest leaders I’ve had the chance to share a locker room with. I congratulate him on a tremendous career and wish him the best.”

Indianapolis Colts Punter Pat McAfee –

“Peyton Manning was the consummate professional. It’s a cliché but it’s true, he was the first one in the building and the last one out. He was a friend to everyone he encountered. A superstar with the humility of a blue-collared mill worker. It was a true honor to be his teammate for three years. Watching him work, both on the field and in the community, inspired me to become the absolute best human I could be. Thanks for everything big fella and congrats on 18 incredible years. Good luck with whatever profession you decide to dominate next.”

Indianapolis Colts Offensive Lineman Joe Reitz –

“It was an honor to get to play with Peyton. He was the ultimate competitor and teammate. As a kid, I grew up watching him and the Colts and then I had the privilege of being in Indy with him for two years. I’ll always respect the way he approached the game, but also as a man and the lasting impact he has left in this great community!”

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