HomeSportsColts Owner Jim Irsay Calls Jeff Saturday an ‘Outstanding Candidate’ in Head Coaching Search

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Calls Jeff Saturday an ‘Outstanding Candidate’ in Head Coaching Search

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1) owner Jim Irsay doesn’t know who will be his team’s head coach in 2023, but he has an idea of who one candidate will be.

For said candidate, he doesn’t have to search far. Perhaps, a stroll down the hall in the team facility to the office of interim head coach Jeff Saturday will do. Speaking with ESPN ahead of the “Monday Night Football” matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers (8-6), Irsay discussed the prospects of Saturday returning as the permanent head coach next season.

“Head coach is unknown until the interview process goes forward,” Irsay said, via Pro Football Talk. “Jeff I believe is an outstanding candidate.”

Irsay hired the former Colts center last month, relieving Frank Reich of his duties after a 40-33-1 mark over four-plus seasons. Shortly after announcing the hiring, Irsay called Saturday the “best man for the job.”

“He’s the best man for the job,” Irsay said. “And there’s no question about it in my mind. I’ve been around [football] a long time. He’s extremely tough and he’s a leader. You have to be a great thinker, work with people, be open-minded, create a culture where people trust you. You have to have experience, draw on experience in your life. [And] you know it when you see it.”

Per a report from NFL Network last month, Colts president Pete Ward and general manager Chris Ballard had reservations with bringing in Saturday — who has zero professional or collegiate coaching experience — as the team’s interim head coach. Speaking of Ballard, Irsay confirmed he will return as the general manager in 2023.

“Chris Ballard will be our General Manager,” Irsay said.

Colts Underachieving Under Jeff Saturday

Indianapolis is 1-4 under Saturday, the latest loss one of the more crushing ones of the 2022 NFL season. The Minnesota Vikings (12-3) defeated the Colts, 39-36, in overtime after Indianapolis blew a 36-7 third quarter lead. The 33-point lead was the biggest blown lead in the history of the NFL.