Colts Assistant Reveals He Declined Promotion Amid Jeff Saturday Hire

Jeff Saturday

Getty An Indianapolis Colts assistant coach admitted that he turned down added responsibilities amid the team hiring Jeff Saturday as interim head coach.

The turmoil surrounding the Indianapolis Colts coaching change ceased for a few days following the team’s 25-20 victory against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10. But it doesn’t appear to be completely gone.

Colts quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich told reporters on November 17 that he turned down an offer from interim head coach Jeff Saturday to call offensive plays for the rest of the season.

Milanovich shared that he said no to the offer after discussing the opportunity with his wife and others close to him.

“Ultimately, it just wasn’t the right situation,” Milanovich said to the media. “I don’t think for me at the time and the team.”

The offensive play-calling instead went to offensive assistant Parks Frazier. In Frazier’s first game calling plays, the Colts posted a season-high 207 rushing yards and their most points in a game since Week 7.

Milanovich Turns Down Play-Calling Duties

Rumors are likely to circle why Milanovich declined the opportunity to call plays. Perhaps firing Frank Reich left Milanovich a bit shaken. On November 17, wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne talked about the impact Reich’s firing had on him. A lot of players such as offensive lineman Quenton Nelson voiced their frustration about the coaching change too.

It’s also possible that Milanovich didn’t find his offensive philosophy to be the best fit for the Colts current offense. At the beginning of last week when Saturday was looking for an offensive play-caller, second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger was still the team’s starter.

Or perhaps the Colts quarterback coach felt slighted that he and none of his peers on the team’s staff were considered for the interim head coaching role.

Colts fans have their own Twitter theories, suggesting that money was the issue.

Regardless of the reason, Milanovich passed on becoming the Indianapolis offensive play-caller. Instead, the role went to Frazier, who did well in his first opportunity.

Milanovich has 19 years of coaching experience, most of which stems from stints in the CFL. His previous NFL coaching experience was with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2017-19. He coached Blake Bortles during his best season in 2017 and then in 2019, Milanovich tutored Gardner Minshew II when he initially took the league by storm.

Milanovich Compliments Saturday

If Saturday is somehow related to the reason why the Colts quarterback coach didn’t accept the play-calling duties, Milanovich is not showing it publicly.

He raved about Saturday in front of the media on November 17.

“Jeff has done an amazing job, and that’s undeniable,” he said. “I can’t think of a harder situation for a guy that hasn’t been in the building every day to come into.”

Milanovich also added that Saturday “crushed it” during his first meeting with the team.

It’s been a taxing year for the entire Colts coaching staff, but for Milanovich in particular. Two weeks before the Reich firing, the Colts benched veteran Matt Ryan. Very quickly, Milanovich’s role turned from getting a veteran more acclimated to the Indianapolis offense to helping an inexperienced signal caller make his first start in the league.

Now Ryan has returned behind center. The Colts will face the Philadelphia Eagles in Saturday’s second game during Week 11.

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