It was called egregious.
It was called disrespectful.
But there is now another way to describe the Indianapolis Colts’ decision to hire Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach.
After a week of criticism from all corners of the NFL world, Saturday took the field as an NFL head coach for the first time on Sunday, and guided the Colts to their fourth win of the season, a 25-20 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The victory came with a returning face under center for the Colts. After the team benched Matt Ryan in place of second-year passer Sam Ehlinger, Saturday made the decision to return Ryan to the starting lineup for Sunday’s game.
Ryan responded by completing 21 of 28 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown in his first game back in the starting lineup That scoring play came with just over five minutes remaining in the game, giving the Colts the lead for good:
Ryan hits Campbell in stride on the in-breaking route, and the receiver does the rest, as he runs by, around and through the secondary for the go-ahead score.
The veteran quarterback also had a 39-yard scramble a few plays before the touchdown strike to Campbell, a run that Saturday would describe as “lighting” after the victory:
Las Vegas would drive down the field and reach the red zone, but a fourth-down pass from Derek Carr to Davante Adams was broken up by Stephon Gilmore, preserving the victory:
After the game Colts owner Jim Irsay, who came under fire for both the decision to name Saturday the interim coach, and his performance at the introductory press conference, had nothing but praise for his new head coach:
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who had 22 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown, also had praise for Saturday and his leadership:
As for Saturday himself, as he addressed the Colts in the locker room after the victory, he brought up Parks Frazier, the young assistant Saturday tapped to call the offensive plays. Then Irsay presented Saturday with a game ball from his first NFL win:
One of the arguments advanced for Saturday as a head coach was the idea that as a former player, he would get the buy in necessary from the locker room to be successful.
Maybe there is something to that.
Because at the end of the locker room celebration, the new head coach then said the two words every NFL player wants to hear on a Sunday.
Could this work out after all?
Content Published on: 2022-11-14 13:00:00