Colts Catch Heat From Former NFL GM Over ‘Disrespectful’ Move

Jeff Saturday

Getty The Indianapolis Colts are transitioning to Jeff Saturday as their head coach in Week 10.

Every NFL team goes through adversity each season. But the Indianapolis Colts seem to be dealing with a very unique type of adversity created by their own choosing with the hire of Jeff Saturday as interim head coach.

And that’s probably putting it a little mildly. Former NFL general manager and 2000 NFL Executive of the Year, Randy Mueller, wasn’t as kind.

Mueller called the hiring of Saturday “disrespectful” to the coaches who deserve the chance of being an NFL head man.

“I felt that by naming Saturday his new head coach, Colts owner Jim Irsay sent a bad message to his own building, and really to the game as a whole,” Mueller wrote. “It was disrespectful to the people, not to mention those of color, who deserve this opportunity.

What Colts Coaching Staff Faces Going Forward

NFL coaches are used to failure in their game plans and criticism from the media. But nepotism isn’t not usually something NFL coaches face from their own staff.

One could argue that’s what the Colts coaching staff must overcome to finish the 2022 season strongly.

“The Colts assistant coaches who Saturday will now walk by every day on his way to the big office have got to find a way to set their pride and ego aside to now help educate a guy — in a new and very unfamiliar role — who is the boss and has never spent a day in any of their shoes,” wrote Mueller.

Not only has Saturday never coached in the NFL, he’s never coached at the college level — as a head coach or in any other role along the sideline.

Saturday’s only coaching experience came for a high school team from 2016-19. But he’s getting a shot at being an NFL head coach because of his prior relationship with Colts owner Jim Irsay.

“By naming a person with zero coaching experience above high school, Irsay is suggesting you don’t need the knowledge, perspective or experience with this part of the game/business to be successful,” Mueller wrote. “I really struggle with that assessment.”

Saturday Introductory Press Conference ‘Awkward at Best’

Some positives have come from the Colts this week with the installation of the team’s new head coach. Saturday has provided great energy at practice and can really command a room. His expertise as a former All-Pro center could also be useful for the Colts struggling offensive line.

Even still, it’s hard to make a great argument that Saturday deserved this opportunity. Then somehow, Irsay’s explanation of why Saturday was best for the job in the new coach’s introductory press conference may have made everything worse.

“I understand that he’s fully capable of doing this and more than capable,” Irsay said when describing Saturday. “No, [the job] wasn’t offered to anyone else, and I don’t know, Chris and I, what we would have done, if anything, if he wasn’t available and willing. That’s kind of how it came together.”

That wasn’t a satisfactory explanation for the 2000 NFL Executive of the Year.

“I also thought his reasoning and explanation were poor, to say the least,” Mueller wrote. “The introductory press conference that he and GM Chris Ballard (another who I know and respect) was awkward, at best, and was a wandering thought process that had me just shaking my head.”

Saturday will have 8 games to prove he did deserve this opportunity with the Colts. He will make his NFL coaching debut on November 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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