Make your home page

Jeff Saturday still pulling for Colts ‘like crazy’ despite not getting head coaching position

Jeff Saturday, interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, talks with the news media on Jan. 9, 2023. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Thursday, former Indianapolis Colts player and former Interim head coach Jeff Saturday was back in Indianapolis.

Saturday, who took over for former head coach Frank Reich, who was let go mid-season last year, spoke with News 8 for the first time since he was told he wouldn’t be the Colts’ permanent head coach.

The former Colts center went 1-7 in eight games last season, but despite the team’s struggles, Saturday was still a finalist for the head coaching position that eventually went to former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.

It was a roller-coaster ride for Saturday and the team last year. Bad losses and nightmare primetime performances on the NFL’s biggest stages. Saturday says he learned a lot from the entire journey, and when Colts owner Jim Irsay calls, he will always answer.

“You understand the business of football, but coming in and stepping in, I wouldn’t have changed it,” Saturday said. “It’s an organization I believe in. It changed my life. I would always step in and do the best I could. Win, lose or, draw, do your best, and that’s what we did.”

During his time as interim coach last season, fans witnessed arguably some of the most dramatic and frustrating losses in the history of the organization. Despite the tough times guiding their team, Colts Nation has remained loyal to Saturday, who played 13 seasons in Indy.

“Fans have been great, people have been great.” said Saturday. “The notes I’ve gotten, former players, you name it. I’ve never wavered in that part. It never bothered me. People get upset and they have their opinion. None of that bothers me. I still love the Colts and I pull for them like crazy, and hopefully we will have a good year, a better year, and get this train going in the right direction. “

This year, Saturday, like many Colts fans, are excited to watch rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.

”We got to get him as many reps as we can get him.” Saturday said. “It’s experience, especially at that position. I kind of likened it to when Peyton came in. The team wasn’t great, not a lot of success. They were kind of ugly, but you saw him build into what he’s going to be that year. I think that’s what Richardson is going to look like this year. What are the good things we can do? What can we show? We’re going to have to build in and just take your time with him, and understand it’s not always going to be good. He’s going to be a rookie. Sometimes, he’s going to play like a rookie, and sometimes, he’s going to play hopefully above that, but the expectations should be the future.”

Colts head coach Steichen announced Thursday that Richardson will start on Saturday in Buffalo in the Colts’ first preseason game of the season.