INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says Jeff Saturday is the right man to take over as interim head coach of his team going forward.
On Monday, Irsay made the decision to fire Frank Reich as the head coach of the Colts, the first time in his ownership tenure he has relieved a coach mid-season. He called the decision to fire Reich a tough, but necessary one.
“It’s a very difficult and tough day,” Irsay said. “Because I told Frank, you know, I was hoping Chris (Ballard), him, and I, you know, we were going to grab that Lambardi Trophy someday.”
Jeff Saturday, a former All-Pro center for the Colts during the years of Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and many others, has been hired to right the ship. Saturday has never coached in the NFL before.
“I am very excited, as Chris (Ballard) is, to have Jeff here next to me as the interim head coach,” said Irsay. “Couldn’t be more thrilled. He is fully experienced enough. Yes, he is fully capable. He’s smart, extremely competitive. He understands the game.”
Irsay added that he hired Saturday because he “doesn’t have the fear” of other coaches in the league.
Saturday said he was shocked to get a call from Irsay about the job but is eager to get to work.
“It was a twelve-hour whirlwind,” Saturday said. “We talked about it. We prayed about it and as the day progressed we finally came to a conclusion. I feel fully capable. Excited about the opportunity.”
General manager Chris Ballard said he’s all in on Saturday being head coach saying they’ve tried to hire him a couple of times for coaching jobs with the team. Ballard also added that they are “not throwing the towel in” on the season yet.
Saturday’s first game as an NFL head coach will be against the Raiders in Las Vegas this coming Sunday.