Fritz Pollard Alliance opens inquiry into Colts’ Jeff Saturday hire

 

The decision by the Indianapolis Colts to hire Jeff Saturday as interim head coach is being questioned yet again, this time by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

The foundation, which consists of scouts, coaches and front office personnel in the NFL committed to equal opportunity and diversity, made a statement on Thursday regarding the hire.

“In light of the recent interim head coaching hire in Indianapolis, the FPA has initiated an inquiry with the NFL into whether this hiring process conformed with NFL Hiring Guidelines for naming an interim Head Coach,” it read via NFL Network.

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Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday speaks as owner Jim Irsay listens during a news conference at the team’s practice facility, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Saturday’s hire met mixed reactions when Colts owner Jim Irsay made the announcement that the Indy legend, who hadn’t coached in the league yet since he retired following the 2012 season, would be head coach after Frank Reich was fired.

Some of those reactions were more spirited than others, including that of Pittsburgh Steelers former head coach and Hall of Famer Bill Cowher, who believed the coaches already in the building deserved the role.

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“I am speaking on behalf of the coaching profession. I know for a fact that Jeff Saturday was offered an opportunity to become an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts multiple times within the past four years,” Cowher said. “He declined, citing he had a TV job and wanted to spend more time with family. I get it. Coaching is about commitment and sacrifice. It’s not just a job. It is a lifestyle. That being said, Jeff Saturday has taken the position this year as a consultant for the Colts, and he’s talked to them weekly from his home in Atlanta.”

Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday greets defensive tackle Byron Cowart before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Nov. 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/Matt York)

“Now to find out, in a short period of time, that he’s the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, overseeing a staff he chose not to choose because of a lifestyle,” he continued. “Jeff Saturday talked about in his first press conference the fact that he’s going to use this second half to build his resume and to see if he can coach in the future. I say to that, what about the assistants on the staff right now? The guys that were there in training camp, the guys that were there early in the mornings and late at night. … Don’t they deserve the opportunity?”

Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas also called the move the “most egregious thing I can ever remember happening” in the league.

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But Irsay hasn’t listened to the critics, as they were silenced a bit with Saturday winning his first game this past Sunday, a 25-20 defeat of the Las Vegas Raiders on the road.

“All you critics…you criticize all of us in the NFL for losing…When we make moves to Win… you act so righteous! “Who You Crappin’..”. Just Win, Baby!!” Irsay wrote on Twitter.

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday speaks during a news conference at the team’s practice facility, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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The Colts will take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday for Saturday’s second career game, his first at home.