AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Jeff Saturday’s 1-7 record as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts apparently won’t stop Jim Irsay from bringing him back on a full-time basis next season.
According to The Ringer’s Benjamin Solak, the feeling among NFL employees and those close to the Colts’ coaching search is that Saturday’s hiring is the “expected result” as the team continues to interview candidates.
It’s been a long time since a coaching search was as extensive as what the Colts seem to be going through right now.
NFL Networks Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport As reported Thursday, the Colts are nearing the conclusion of their second round of interviews and are considering a third round that would consist of “a select few finalists” before making a final decision.
Mike Garafolo @Mike Garafolo
#colts GM Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay are conducting one of our more thorough searches ‘seen. Lots of candidates and lengthy face-to-face interviews (around 12 hours in some cases) so another round would fit to make sure they are happy with their choice.
ESPN’s Adam Scherter reported last week that Saturday was one of seven candidates brought back by the Colts for a second interview.
Aaron Glenn, Ejiro Evero, Rich Bisaccia, Brian Callahan, Shane Steichen, Raheem Morris and Wink Martindale have also met with the Colts twice.
Solak noted that the lengthy search allows the Colts to sift through a wide variety of candidates with different ideas on how to fix the problems, and one of them could potentially catch Irsay’s attention to make him change his mind.
The Colts’ decision to hire Saturday as interim head coach after Frank Reich was fired on November 7 drew much criticism.
According to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, Irsay’s decision to hire an interim coach who had no experience past the high school level “ruffled coaches and executives across the league — especially those of color.”
The Rooney Rule does not apply to hiring an interim head coach.
This season has been nothing short of a disaster for the Colts. They ranked in the bottom five in the NFL in terms of points scored and allowed. They finished 4-12-1, had the most losses in a season since 2012 and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in the last eight years.