According to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, interim man Jeff Saturday is not currently considered the front-runner for the Indianapolis Colts head coach opening:
“Furthermore, based on recent conversations I’ve had with those familiar with the search, I don’t get the sense that Saturday remains a front-runner for the job, despite what some national reports have indicated,” writes Keefer. “We know, with this franchise, that anything is possible — and owner Jim Irsay will make the final call — but at this point, a Saturday hire seems less likely.”
While Saturday remains beloved as a former player for the franchise—as an All-Pro NFL center during its prior glory days, he appeared inexperienced and overmatched after taking over near midseason of last year—albeit by inheriting an already bad football team.
The Colts went 1-7 and were outscored by -87 total points during Saturday’s interim stint.
Saturday’s squad was outscored 33-0 by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter, suffered a 33-0 blown lead to the Minnesota Vikings, and then failed to beat the once lowlier Houston Texans at home in the season finale.
Saturday may remain a personal favorite of Irsay—and that’s okay, but he did nothing to show that he’s well qualified for the job right now. The team got arguably worse in almost every phase of the game—save for maybe the offensive line, which got slightly better.
It would be one thing if Saturday wants to return as the new offensive line coach, but being the head coach is a different story entirely.
Given some of the candidates the Colts have already brought in—including the Cincinnati Bengals Brian Callahan, the Los Angeles Rams Raheem Morris, and the Philadelphia Eagles Shane Steichen, it would be a travesty if Saturday was actually awarded the job full-time.
However, given that Irsay can sometimes make decisions off of feeling and gut, it can’t be completely ruled out either—which remains a scary proposition for most Colts fans.
That being said, Keefer’s latest update remains encouraging news on that front.