Jeff Saturday remains a contender to fill the Indianapolis Colts' head coaching vacancy.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the team plans to speak with Saturday for a second time. He's one of seven candidates who moved on to the second round of interviews.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports later reported more on the state of the Colts' coaching search:
In Indy, I'm told Jim Irsay still has desires to hire Jeff Saturday, but some who work w/ the owner or have his ear, while feeling Saturday is a great person—are not in favor of him as a HC, per source. We'll see if the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Colts</a> make it through the list of expected 2nd interviews.
Saturday's continued inclusion is bound to raise eyebrows.
The six-time Pro Bowler didn't have the necessary qualifications before he replaced Frank Reich as Indianapolis' interim head coach in November, not having coached above the high school level.
His stint did little to quiet the skeptics, as the Colts went 1-7 with Saturday at the helm.
That run included allowing the biggest comeback in NFL history to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15. Two weeks earlier, they surrendered 33 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Indy closed out the year by falling to the two-win Houston Texans.
As much criticism as team owner Jim Irsay faced when he first hired Saturday, the dissenting voices could be deafening in the event Saturday takes over on a long-term basis.
"If the Colts end up hiring Jeff Saturday, then that would not only make a mockery of the Rooney Rule, but it'd make a mockery of the entire hiring process in the NFL in general," a league insider told The Athletic's Zak Keefer.
The relatively wide scope of Indianapolis' search could reflect how Saturday is still a bit of a long shot. He's going up against some tough competition.
Nate Atkins @NateAtkins_
So far, the Colts have now requested second interviews with the following (per ESPN and NFL Network):<br><br>Jeff Saturday<br>Ejiro Evero<br>Raheem Morris<br>Dan Quinn<br><br>That snow you see outside your window is making this all a challenge, however. This round is all in-person.
Bob Kravitz of The Athletic posited this may all be by design, though. The Colts could be giving numerous coaches second interviews to provide themselves with enough plausible deniability when they stick with Saturday.
If recent history has proved anything, nothing is off the table when Irsay is making the decisions.