When the Broncos lost two starting centers, quarterback Peyton Manning stepped up to find a new one.
Manning told the Denver Post that after centers J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen got hurt, front office boss John Elway asked Manning to be the one to coax Ryan Lilja out of retirement.
“Hey, look, we just had a bad string of luck there between J.D. and Dan,” Manning said. “John asked me about Lilja. I told him he’s as good a teammate a quarterback can have. So John said, ‘Why don’t you reach out to him to see where he is?‘”
Lilja blocked for Manning on the Colts’ offensive line from 2004 to 2009, and now Lilja will block for Manning again in Denver. Lilja retired at the end of last season, but he began to reconsider recently, and the Bears had also contacted him.
“I’m glad to have Ryan as a teammate and glad to be reunited with him,” Manning said.
And Elway is glad that Manning can serve as not only the Broncos’ quarterback, but as an assistant to the general manager.