Saturday: QB-center combo 'takes time'

May, 20, 2014
May 20
10:07
AM ET
ATLANTA -- Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday spoiled fans during their time together with the Indianapolis Colts. The quarterback-center duo started 170 games together and helped lead the Colts to two Super Bowl appearances.

Quarterback Andrew Luck came on board in 2012 and fans expected the same out of him and center Samson Satele.

Satele started every game at center he played, but he struggled at the position and was released in March.

One of the Colts' favorite phrases is "next man up." The next man up who will attempt to start a strong bond with Luck the same way Manning and Saturday had it is unproven second-year player Khaled Holmes.

Holmes, the team's fourth-round draft pick in 2013, will be the Colts' starting center next season, barring a collapse.

"The reason why Peyton and I had the rapport we did was because we played so many games together," Saturday at the NFL owners meetings. "If you think about it, you're starting 16 games a year, not including the playoffs, for how many years in a row. It was a rarity that one of us was not at a practice or at a game.

"You begin to build relationship because you're always there together. That is something that takes time. It's not going to happen overnight."

Saturday didn't go into much detail about Holmes because, like most people outside of the organization, Holmes is still a mystery because of his lack of playing time last season. Holmes played only 12 snaps as a rookie.

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson has been remained firm in his commitment to Holmes, with the reminder that he started 37 games at USC and not at "‘Whatsa Matta U.'"

Luck and Holmes will spend as much time as possible together in the offseason getting reps together so that they'll be ready for the Denver Broncos in Week 1.

"You would definitely like to get consistency from a quarterback-center perspective, but at the end of the day, that has to form itself, you can't manufacture that," Saturday said. "If it's Holmes and he's in there this year, you'll see that chemistry begin to bond and those guys will get close and it'll continue to ramp up."

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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