Jim Irsay Says Jeff Saturday Among 'a Lot of Great' Candidates for Colts HC Job

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts looks on in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday that interim head coach Jeff Saturday is a candidate for the team's permanent head coaching position.

When speaking to reporters, Irsay noted that Saturday is one of "a lot of great candidates" who are being considered for the job:

"I'm looking forward to the interview process. I think Jeff's a candidate, but there's a lot of great candidates out there. I think there's a lot of great candidates in college. I think the pool needs to be broadened somewhat more. There's some great college coaches that may be capable. There's some unknown coaches that may be capable."

Irsay took the football world by surprise in November when he named Saturday the Colts' interim head coach following the firing of Frank Reich, despite Saturday having no previous coaching experience beyond the high school level.

Reich had been the Colts' head coach for parts of five seasons, leading them to the playoffs in 2018 and 2020, but falling short in 2021 due to a late-season collapse.

The Colts were off to a 3-5-1 start when they fired him this season, and the offense was a disaster, which had led Reich to bench veteran quarterback Matt Ryan in favor of Sam Ehlinger.

Ryan was reinstalled as the starter when Saturday arrived, but it hasn't made much of a difference, as Indy is just 1-3 since Saturday took over.

The 47-year-old Saturday is best known for his 13-year run as a center for the Colts, during which time he was a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro and one-time Super Bowl champion. He also earned a Pro Bowl nod in his only season with the Green Bay Packers in 2012.

While Saturday was a great player, the jury is still out on his coaching ability, and he will likely need to finish the season strong in order to have a legitimate chance at the full-time job.

Irsay did not indicate any specific coaching candidates he is considering outside of Saturday, but it sounds like he is planning to look far and wide based on his comments regarding college coaches.

Not counting interim coaches, the Colts have had only four different head coaches since 2002, making them one of the more stable franchises in the NFL during that time.

They have been more tumultuous in recent years, though, and with only two playoff appearances in the past eight seasons, it is easy to see why.

The Colts have some big-time talent on defense and in the backfield in the form of running back Jonathan Taylor, but until they figure out their quarterback and coaching situations, they aren't much of a factor in the AFC.