Colts Introduce Interim Head Coach Hire

The Indianapolis Colts shocked the NFL world when they hired Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach this afternoon. They introduced Saturday Monday evening at a curiously scheduled press conference that conflicted with Monday Night Football, and Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed his confidence and commitment to his former star. Saturday has never coached football beyond the high school level, making him a startling choice to guide the Colts through the final eight games of the season. Saturday played for the Colts from 1999 to 2011, earning five Pro Bowls with the team and winning a Super Bowl in 2006.

A Colts Ring of Honor member, Saturday clearly has an excellent relationship and history within the organization. Though players of his calibre don't typically excel as head coaches, success wouldn't be totally unprecedented. Mike Ditka coached the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl win after a Hall of Fame career as a tight end, and Dick Lebeau won two Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers decades after earning three bowls as a cornerback.

The shockingness of Saturday's hire can simply be attributed to the suddenness of his rise to power. Typically, interim head coaches are hired from within the existing coaching hierarchy in order to maintain a semblance of continuity. The jobs also tend to go to a steady hand with an abundance of experience, ala Steve Wilks replacing Matt Rhule for the Carolina Panthers. Saturday checks neither of those boxes.

Time will tell if Saturday has the temperament and talent to coach NFL football. Maybe he'll make the most of his exceedingly rare opportunity. Or maybe he'll go down as an odd footnote in one of the Colts' most tumultuous seasons.
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