Future Hall of Famer Buries Colts For Head Coach Hire

The Indianapolis Colts have been roundly panned for their hire of Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach on Monday, but the discourse may have hit a new peak. Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas took to the air on Friday to engage in some rare offensive lineman on offensive lineman violence when he slammed the Colts' organization for the insulting decision. Thomas, a 10-time Pro Bowler at left tackle, showed absolutely no loyalty to his positional fraternity by burying Saturday, a six-time Pro Bowler at center. He instead showed his empathy for the countless hard-working, obsessive coaches who have toiled in obscurity that Saturday cut in line. 

With no coaching experience at the professional or even the college level, Saturday was certainly an odd hire for a team that aspires to compete in the AFC, but maybe that isn't the Colts. At 3-5-1, it's not impossible the Colts have decided to engage in an all-time tank job and wanted to spare a hard-working, career coach the indignity of eight straight humiliating losses.

The Colts know how much an awful season can transform a franchise's long-term potential to win. Peyton Manning, their first-overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, led them to 11 winning seasons in 13 years. Following the two losing seasons over that span, the Colts drafted Hall of Famer Edgerrin James fourth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft and seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney 11th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.

Perhaps most significantly, the Colts earned the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft when Peyton Manning missed the 2011 season with a neck injury. That one bad year following nine-straight winning seasons allowed the team to stumble into another franchise quarterback: Andrew Luck, a player frequently tabbed as the greatest draft prospect ever at the time.

If the Colts want to lose, Saturday may be the man to do it. Sunday's matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders should go a long way toward clarifying the team's intentions.
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