Jim Irsay expresses his updated feelings about Jeff Saturday as coach of the Colts
Jim Irsay had thought highly of Jeff Saturday when he hired him as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. How does Irsay feel about Saturday now?
After the Indianapolis Colts lost to the New England Patriots in Week 9, team owner, Jim Irsay, did something that no one saw coming. Irsay fired Frank Reich and hired Jeff Saturday to be Indy’s interim head coach. Saturday is a franchise legend and was working as an ESPN analyst at the time, but without college or professional coaching experience, no one even knew Saturday was on the radar of candidates. However, Jim Irsay made it happen.
Irsay hired Saturday because he had a deep belief in him as a leader and as a competitor that knows football. Jeff Saturday quickly won people over with his passionate and straightforward speeches about his love for the team and the city. That was all punctuated with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Saturday’s first game. For a second, it seemed like Irsay may have been a genius and he and Saturday would silence all the critics. Unfortunately for the Colts, things quickly went downhill.
After the first win in Vegas, the Saturday-led Colts have lost six straight and currently sit at 4-11-1 with one game remaining in the season. During that stretch, Indy has had some historically bad moments, including giving up 33 fourth-quarter points to the Dallas Cowboys and blowing the largest lead in NFL history to the Minnesota Vikings. Now, everyone who criticized the Saturday hire is parading around with a sense of vindication and making the argument that Indy needs to find a more experienced coach this offseason.
However, those people aren’t the ones who will be hiring Indy’s next head coach; Jim Irsay is. So how does Irsay feel about Saturday now that Jeff hasn’t been able to lead the Colts to more than just one win? Well, Irsay still feels highly of Saturday. In an interview with ESPN, Irsay expressed, “Jeff I believe is an outstanding candidate,” alluding to the possibility of Saturday being a part of the coaching search this offseason.
Jim Irsay still believes Jeff Saturday is an ‘outstanding candidate’ for Colts
Considering that Saturday is still the active head coach for Indianapolis, it was unlikely that Irsay would just disparage Saturday and his coaching efforts. However, many people find it hard to believe that Saturday would be a serious candidate after how his stint as interim head coach has unfolded. One thing that’s certain, Jim Irsay has already made clear that he’s not entirely concerned with everyone’s thoughts and that Indy’s coaching search will be an unorthodox one.
The NFL world is just a couple of weeks away from seeing what exactly that means. Irsay already hired Saturday who had no high-level coaching experience, so it can’t get more unorthodox than that. Soon, it will also become clear if Jeff Saturday is actually going to be a candidate for the Colts.