HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 11: Jeff Saturday #63 of the Indianapolis Colts watches the replay board whereas the Colts play towards the Houston Texans on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans received 34 to 7. (Photograph by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Pictures)
The Indianapolis Colts tabbed former All-Professional heart Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach on Monday, and it says loads to everybody within the constructing.
You may’t coach, and you haven’t any future right here.
That’s the message Indianapolis Colts proprietor Jim Irsay despatched to each high-level coach on his workers Monday morning when he fired head coach Frank Reich and changed him with Jeff Saturday.
Saturday, a 13-year veteran who reached six Professional Bowls and was a two-time First-Staff All-Professional as a participant in Indianapolis was a fantastic heart who deserves Corridor of Fame consideration. Nevertheless, he’s by no means coached on the faculty or skilled degree. Tagging him because the interim over males akin to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and particular groups guru Bubba Ventrone — who’ve 41 years of expertise between them — is a stunner and an insult to everybody already on the workers.
“Most stunning rent in my 30+ years on this league,” texted one NFL supply to FanSided upon listening to the information.”
Indianapolis is 3-5-1 with no quarterback and no actual hope of a turnaround. Firing Reich after the previous couple of years is comprehensible, because the Colts haven’t received a playoff sport since his first season of 2018. Irsay was justified in that call, however hiring Saturday is way extra puzzling on myriad fronts.
One other essential situation at play requires a broader scope.
In a league with solely six Black or biracial head coaches, the Colts handed the job to an unqualified white coach. And whereas Irsay can discuss Saturday being a legend in Indianapolis who followers will like, he may have employed Reggie Wayne if he needed to take that course. Wayne is at present the receivers coach and had each bit the profession Saturday did after which some.
There are different coaches of coloration on the workers who additionally deserve an opportunity together with working backs coach Scottie Montgomery, who was the East Carolina head coach from 2016-18 earlier than coming to the NFL and serving to Jonathan Taylor grow to be an All-Professional expertise. All advised, Montgomery has 17 years as a coach on his resumè.
This transfer can actually be seen as a tanking maneuver. Whereas Saturday might have an excellent soccer thoughts, he’s by no means been anyplace near this seat, maybe the hardest task soccer has to supply.
“I’m certain this ensures the No. 1 general choose and the Ohio State quarterback,” one other league supply advised FanSided.
To that finish, the Colts have work to do. The Houston Texans solely have one win and seem in no rush to earn many extra this season. Indianapolis may lose out and nonetheless not get C.J. Stroud from the Buckeyes, though in a rookie crop loaded with quarterback expertise, the Colts ought to have a number of terrific choices.
In the end, Irsay’s transfer, no matter his true intent, is odorous. It leaves the rest of his present workers with bewilderment and undoubtedly, anger in some corners. His selection says loads about what he thinks of the lads already within the constructing with out Irsay having to voice it out loud. And whereas maybe Irsay felt going with Saturday could be headline-grabbing and a worthwhile experiment, the entire notion misses the bigger level.
There are coaches in Indianapolis who’ve waited a lifetime for such a possibility, toiling over lengthy hours, attempting to earn such a second. Saturday was given it.
On Sunday, the Colts play the Las Vegas Raiders. Final yr, the Raiders changed Jon Gruden with particular groups coordinator Wealthy Bisaccia, a person with 20 years of NFL expertise who was by no means seen as a head-coaching candidate. But Bisaccia, who took over one of many worst conditions in soccer final season, posted a 7-5 file and improbably took Las Vegas to the postseason.
Within the offseason, proprietor Mark Davis by no means critically thought-about Bisaccia, and as an alternative employed Josh McDaniels. The Raiders are at present 2-6, worse than the Colts.
On Saturday, Indianapolis’ workers will board a airplane for Vegas hoping to earn a win.
However they’ll accomplish that understanding their proprietor doesn’t consider in them. Figuring out their future is elsewhere.