After interviewing eleven candidates, ten from outside the organization, the Indianapolis Colts have finally completed an interview with their interim head coach of the latter half of the 2022 season, Jeff Saturday.
How the Colts got here
Saturday was brought into the organization to coach the team after Jim Irsay, the owner of the Colts, parted ways with their head coach Frank Reich on November 7, 2022. Prior to his hiring, Saturday was an on-air analyst with ESPN, and had zero coaching experience at any level of the game. At the time, the hiring was considered a reach by the NFL community, and Irsay and the organization have faced their fair share of criticism for the hiring.
In Saturday’s first outing as head coach for the Colts, the team scored a surprising victory in the November 13 match up with the Las Vegas Raiders. Unfortunately for Saturday and the Colts, that was the last victory for the team in the 2022 season. The Colts went on to lose there last seven games under Saturday, including a historic loss against the Minnesota Vikings when the Vikings completed the largest comeback in NFL history, coming back for a 39-36 win in overtime after being down 33-0 at the half.
Despite the rough tenure at the helm as interim head coach, Irsay has not been deterred in his view that Saturday deserves a chance to interview for the permanent role. Ahead of the December 26 Monday Night Football match up between the Colts and Los Angeles Chargers, Irsay sat down with ESPN’s Michelle Beisner-Buck and spoke about Saturday as a candidate.
“Head coach is unknown until the interview process goes forward. Jeff [Saturday] I believe is an outstanding candidate.” Irsay said.
Jeff Saturday vows things will be different
Irsay has certainly backed that up, interviewing a dozen candidates for the role so far, and on Thursday January 19, Saturday finally got to present his case.
There is no question that the few months of Saturdays tenure were challenging to say the least, but the experience has not put Saturday off from wanting to become the permanent head coach. In his post season media availability press conference on January 9, Saturday spoke about what his time as head coach taught him and his expectations moving forward.
“I have learned a ton about myself, about my leadership style, about people and how you carry yourself in difficult times. I’ve looked at it and learned an enormous amount.” Saturday said. “I’ve looked at the things that I really like about what we do, and the things that I don’t necessarily like that we do. To lead an organization, there has to be alignment from all of us, from Mr. (Jim) Irsay, (Chris) Ballard, myself and the entire organization, of how this thing looks. As a leader, if you don’t have that, I don’t think you’d be effective.
Saturday went on to talk about what he intends to bring to the table if he is brought back as head coach in a permanent role.
“If I get this job, there’s going to be significant change.” The way I do things is not the way it’s been done,” Saturday said emphatically. “When I came in, I’m thrust into how things had been done for the past however many years. I’m appreciative of that, the work that they’ve done and the success that they’ve had, but it will look different.”