Many would like for the Jeff Saturday experience with the Indianapolis Colts to be over but some players have voiced their support for a return.
The Indianapolis Colts randomly named Jeff Saturday as the interim head coach after Frank Reich was fired and the NFL world was baffled. Saturday didn’t have any experience coaching in college or the NFL, so a lot of people criticized the decision and vehemently argued that the experiment wouldn’t work out well. After Saturday went 1-7 during his interim stint with the Colts, those same people are saying I told you so and are ready for Indy to move on from Saturday to a more legitimate head coach. Unfortunately for those people, Saturday may not be going anywhere.
On Monday, Jeff Saturday spoke with the media and declared that he still wants to be a candidate for Indy’s coaching vacancy. He explained that the 1-7 record wasn’t really reflective of his true coaching abilities since he was brought on in the middle of the season with little control. The media and some fans weren’t buying that excuse but the Colts were. Chris Ballard, in a Tuesday press conference, explained that Saturday will be a candidate and that the 1-7 record won’t be held against him because Indy put him in a tough spot.
Still, many members of the media and Indianapolis’ fan base think it’s silly that Saturday could ultimately become Indy’s actual head coach. However, there are some people who don’t think it’s silly: Colts players. A few of Indy’s most respected leaders, Shaquille Leonard, DeForest Buckner, Ryan Kelly, and Kenny Moore, have already expressed support for Saturday to return next season as the head coach and that has to mean something.
Shaquille Leonard, DeForest Buckner, Ryan Kelly, and Kenny Moore support Jeff Saturday as coach of the Colts
Leonard and Buckner both spoke to the level of accountability that Saturday brought to the team and felt it was much needed. Leonard also talked about how much of an impact Saturday had on him as he was dealing with his injury and how Saturday encouraged him while also making the right decision to shut him down. Kenny Moore expressed that he didn’t feel like the team missed a step when going from Reich to Saturday and that the guys really wanted to play their best for Coach Saturday.
Considering the fact that the players being coached by Jeff Saturday know Coach Saturday the best, their opinion has to mean something. Does it mean that Jeff is a lock to be the team’s next head coach? Not quite. But it does show that there’s some merit to him being a candidate, and the fact that Indy’s Pro Bowl team captains are on his side could also give him an advantage in the coaching search.
Whether or not that advantage is enough for Saturday to actually receive the job remains to be seen. The Colts have already started the process of requesting several coaches for interviews and it’s a very talented pool of candidates. We’ll see if the players get their wish and if Saturday is actually hired.