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Jeff Saturday Is 'Outstanding Candidate' for Colts' Full-Time HC Job, Jim Irsay Says

Doric SamDecember 26, 2022

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, left, speaks as interim coach Jeff Saturday listens during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday has only a 1-4 record since taking the helm, but his lack of success apparently hasn't hurt his chances to hold onto the position permanently.

Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke to ESPN before Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers, and he said he views Saturday as "an outstanding candidate" to be the team's head coach beyond this season.

Irsay noted that he won't make a final decision on the Colts' head coaching position until after completing a full interview process at the conclusion of the 2022 season. He also added that Chris Ballard will remain the team's general manager going forward.

After winning their first game under Saturday, the Colts are riding a four-game losing streak heading into Monday night's matchup. Last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings was particularly demoralizing, as Indianapolis blew a 33-0 lead in the second half before suffering a 39-36 defeat in overtime.

This season has been particularly tumultuous for the Colts, who rank near the bottom of the AFC with a 4-9-1 record. The team fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady in November and head coach Frank Reich a week later, leading to the hiring of Saturday despite his lack of head coaching experience beyond the high school level.

Indianapolis also has endured constant quarterback shuffling, which continued this week with the insertion of Nick Foles as the starter against the Chargers. Veteran Matt Ryan has struggled in his first year with the team, and second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger failed to impress in two appearances this year.

To make matters worse, star running back Jonathan Taylor was placed on injured reserve last week because of an ankle injury, ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

The Colts will likely have a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL draft, so it's imperative that the team makes the right head coaching hire who can help change the direction of the franchise.