Colts GM Chris Ballard Says Jeff Saturday Will Be Candidate for HC Job

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 09: Interim head coach Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts speaks to media at a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on January 09, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard confirmed Jeff Saturday will be a candidate for the permanent head coaching job, via ESPN's Stephen Holder.

Ballard noted he will conduct the search for a new coach, although team owner Jim Irsay will make the final call, per Ben Arthur of Fox Sports.

Saturday went 1-7 as the team's interim coach after replacing Frank Reich in Week 10. The squad lost its final seven games of the year to finish 4-12-1, the fourth-worst record in the NFL.

Irsay has continued to praise Saturday, saying last month the coach would be "an outstanding candidate" for the full-time role.

The 47-year-old told reporters after the Week 18 loss to the Houston Texans that he already has plans for the job going forward.

"If I get this (full-time) job, there's going to be significant change," Saturday said.

He also said he has staff hires in his mind for next season, per Nate Atkins of the Indy Star.

Saturday is in the Colts' Ring of Honor after spending 13 of his 14 NFL seasons as a player with the team. The six-time Pro Bowl center was on the 2006 squad that won a Super Bowl.

It was still a major surprise when the coach was hired on an interim basis after Reich was removed following a 3-5-1 start. Saturday had never coached in either the NFL or college, only having limited experience at the high school level.

According to Zak Keefer of The Athletic, players were expecting special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone or defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to become the interim coach, but found out about Saturday through social media and texts.

Linebacker Zaire Franklin called it "a weird situation."

Saturday is now hoping to get the full-time position after a disappointing end to the 2022 campaign.