According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero recently on ‘The Rich Eisen Show,’ he’d be surprised if the Indianapolis Colts’ Jeff Saturday ultimately ends up as the franchise’s next head coach:
“Jeff Saturday is a candidate,” Pelissero said on ‘The Rich Eisen Show’ on Friday. “Always has been a candidate for that job. Jim Irsay likes him a lot and wanted to see him get a fair shake through the interview process. I would say, Rich, I would be surprised if Jeff Saturday ends up being the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.”
“They’re bringing through some really good coaches this week. Ejiro Evero had an interview [Thursday] that went for something like 12 to 14 hours. The Broncos defensive coordinator who’s really impressed everybody, all of these other teams he’s spoken with through the process. They’ve got Raheem Morris there [Friday], they’ve got Wink Martindale [Saturday] in the place of Dan Quinn in that slot, and they still might bring back more candidates like Eric Bienemy, Brian Callahan, Shane Steichen, who are currently in the playoffs and cannot have a second interview until next week. This could easily go into next week. It’s the most thorough search being run by anyone.”
“You never say never, because again, Jim Irsay just has a high degree of belief in what Jeff Saturday can be, but do I anticipate Jeff Saturday being the coach? Do I believe he’s the frontrunner? I would say not as of now.”
This has to be an encouraging update in the minds of many Colts fans, as while Saturday was beloved as a former All-Pro center for the franchise (during its prior glory years), he looked inexperienced and largely outmatched during his interim stint as head coach this past year.
Under Saturday, the team won his coaching debut, but then proceeded to lose its next seven games to close out the season—and got arguably worse in the process.
Saturday conducted his second round interview last Wednesday. While the odds are out of 7 or 8 other second round finalists—all of whom appear much better qualified, he won’t actually get the job in the end, it cannot be completely ruled out right now either.
Saturday remains a sentimental favorite of team owner Jim Irsay, who’s been known to be at times under his leadership, overly loyal and make decisions based on gut and instinct—and ultimately has the final say regarding the next head coaching hire of the franchise.
It appears that Saturday’s initial momentum appears to be stalling—especially after reportedly (and perhaps desperately) requesting the local media to provide more favorable press.
However, the final trump card still remains with Jim Irsay, and what the Colts sometimes impulsive and always impassioned owner will ultimately do is anyone’s best guess.