Jeff Saturday wants Colts fans, including those who supported him being the interim head coach, to know that he is still a “huge fan” of the organization.
After Frank Reich was fired amid a 3-51- start to the season, team owner Jim Irsay named Saturday the coach on an interim basis. On Tuesday, the Colts announced the hiring of Shane Steichen as the team’s next head coach.
Saturday tweeted a video message on the heels of the Colts’ announcement in which he expressed his gratitude to the organization and the fans.
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The former six-time Pro Bowl center shared his well-wishes for Steichen and said he is “still a huge Colt fan.”
“First, I just want to say to the Colts organization and Colts Nation how much I appreciate the opportunity,” Saturday said. “I’m so grateful for the last eight weeks of the season and the opportunity to represent you guys. I appreciate the coaches for all your time, energy and effort.
“To all the players, laying it out there each and every week. I can’t tell you how much I respect and appreciate what each and every play — not only for the Colts but the NFL — (does) and what they put on the line each and every week.”
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He also mentioned the petition that some fans started, which encouraged the Colts not to hire Saturday. At one point in the video he even joked that his wife’s signature may have ended up on the petition.
Saturday was considered a finalist for the full-time coaching job, despite going 1-7 during his time at the helm. He decided to leave his NFL analyst job to become the interim coach, despite having no coaching experience at the professional or collegiate levels.
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But, Irsay appeared to remain supportive of Saturday.
“(I) certainly want to thank Jeff Saturday for his committed and professional effort for what he did, coming in, in a very difficult situation and doing an admirable job,” Irsay noted during Steichen’s introductory news conference on Tuesday. “I really appreciate Jeff and thank him. He means a lot to this organization.”
Saturday played in the NFL with the Colts from 1999 to 2011, and won a Super Bowl with the team. He spent one season with the Packers.
Saturday’s only football coaching experience came at the high school level from 2017-2020. Before taking the interim coaching job he also worked as a consultant for the Colts.
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Steichen served as the Eagles offensive coordinator for the past two seasons. Quarterback Jalen Hurts praised Steichen for his ability to “put guys in positions to make plays.”
He will now be tasked with turning around a franchise who has spent the past several seasons in desperate search of its next franchise quarterback.