Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday said Tuesday he regrets not using his remaining timeouts during the final drive of the 24-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12 on “Monday Night Football.”
Saturday opted not to use a timeout after quarterback Matt Ryan scrambled for a 14-yard gain to set up a third-and-3. Ryan dove short of the first-down line to gain with 51 seconds remaining. Saturday, who had three timeouts at his disposal, did not call one as the Colts struggled to quickly line up to catch Pittsburgh off-guard. The decision cost the Colts precious seconds, who then failed to convert on a third-down run from Jonathan Taylor.
“I wish I had that third down back and, in all honesty, wish I’d used the timeout,” Saturday said Tuesday, via ESPN. “Just looking at it on film… from a time perspective, I felt good. But you could tell we were in disarray. I just didn’t have a great feel.”
Tuesday’s comments are a reversal of the ones he made directly following the game, in which Saturday said he thought they had “plenty of time.”
“I thought we had plenty of time,” Saturday said. “We still had timeouts. I wasn’t really concerned. When he was going down, I couldn’t tell where they were going to [mark] Ryan from going down… I expected us to get on the ball and have another play a little bit quicker than that. This wasn’t a press for time. We just didn’t make enough plays.”
Jeff Saturday Further Explains Thought Process
Saturday used the word “disarray” Tuesday, primarily caused by the third-down play calling for multiple receivers to be lined up in different spots than the previous one. By then, the play clock had trickled down to 34 seconds when the Colts snapped the ball.
Saturday called the mistake a “learning experience.”
“That’s on me [not] understanding, what personnel is in the game, what formations we were in, and guys getting back to their natural positions of where they’re gonna line up,” Saturday said. “I was like, ‘Man, let’s go get this first down really quick. Keep them on their heels without substitution.’ … I thought we had the advantage, but unfortunately, we should have hit the timeout, give us our best play, best opportunity.”