Since the end of the 2022 regular season, one decision has been most prominent for the Indianapolis Colts; who will be the next head coach? Across the NFL media landscape, one name in hiring process has emerged as potential front runner for the Colts’ head coaching vacancy, Jeff Saturday, the 2022 interim head coach of the team, but one NFL Insider would be ‘surprised’ if he received the full-time gig.
The sentiment that Saturday has the inside track for the job has been echoed throughout the hiring process, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believing the “longer Saturday remains in the mix, the greater the chance he gets the job.’ But, according to one NFL insider, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Saturday getting hired for the head coach of the Colts would be a “surprise” to him.
“I would be surprised.”
In a January 28 appearance on the Rich Eisen Show, Pelissero stopped by to discuss the open head coaching jobs across the NFL and had some interesting things to say about the prospects of Saturday getting the head coaching job for the Colts.
“[Saturday] always has been a candidate for that job. Jim Irsay likes him a lot and wanted to see him get a fair shake through the interview process. I would say, Rich, I would be surprised if Jeff Saturday ends up being the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.” Pelissero said.
The reason for his surprise? The thoroughness of the hiring process by the Colts organization.
As the hiring process has drawn out, the organization has looked far and wide for the ideal fit at the position. With over a dozen interviews in the first round of the process, and up to 8 scheduled second interviews, Jim Irsay, owner of the Colts, and the rest of the Colts top brass are leaving no stone unturned in the process.
“I think the pool needs to be broadened somewhat more,” Irsay said ahead of the hiring process in an interview with ESPN’s Michelle Beisner-Buck.
Pelissero went on to look at the current candidates of the Colts, and see’s the other candidates as impressive prospects for the job
“Ejiro Evero had an interview [Thursday] that went for something like 12 to 14 hours. They’ve got Raheem Morris there [Friday], they’ve got Wink Martindale [Saturday] in the place of Dan Quinn in that slot, and they still might bring back more candidates like Eric Bieniemy, Brian Callahan, Shane Steichen, who are currently in the playoffs and cannot have a second interview until next week.” It’s the most thorough search being run by anyone.” Pelissero said on the Colts current crop of candidates.
Opposition from the fans
Pelissero’s report will be received warmly by at least one select group of Colts fans who have been adamantly opposed to the prospect of Saturday getting the full-time job. Since it was announced that Saturday would get a second interview, fans of the team have flocked to an online petition on Change.org, calling for the Colts to pass on Saturday for the job. Surpassing the initial goal of 2500 signatures, the online petition is currently on its way to 5000, with over 3500 having signed as of January 31.
Do I believe he’s the front-runner? I would say not as of now” Pelissero said.