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Jeff Saturday hired as the Indianapolis Colts interim coach as the NFL world reacts

Indianapolis Colts Jeff Saturday
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Potentially more so than any other player outside of Peyton Manning, six-time Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday is synonymous with Indianapolis Colts football.

The former North Carolina player starred with the Colts from 1999-2012, acting as Manning’s center in the process. An undrafted free agent of the Baltimore Ravens in 1998, Saturday morphed into one of the game’s best centers. He helped Indy to a Super Bowl title and was inducted into their Ring of Honor back in 2015.

Despite all of this, not a single person outside of Colts owner Jim Irsay saw Monday’s news coming. Immediately after Indianapolis fired head coach Frank Reich, it was reported that the team had named Saturday as its interim head coach. The Colts made that official a short while later.

“The Colts on Monday named Jeff Saturday as interim head coach. Saturday, a five-time Pro Bowl and two-time first-team AP All-Pro center, played 13 seasons for the Colts from 1999-2011 and spent 2012 with the Green Bay Packers,” Colts announcement on Saturday’s hiring, via the team’s official website. “He has consulted for the Colts over the last few years, and visited Colts training camp in 2022. He began serving as an analyst for ESPN in 2013.”

Say what? Currently a member of ESPN’s broadcasting team, Saturday is more recently known for his appearances on NFL Live and SportsCenter. He was also the head coach of Hebron Christian Academy in the high school ranks from 2017-20, posting an average 20-16 record during that span.

Related: Indianapolis Colts standing in Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings

NFL world shocked by Jeff Saturday becoming next Indianapolis Colts head coach

jeff saturday, indianapolis colts head coach
Matt Kryger/IndyStar

It must be noted that the Colts were going nowhere fast under Reich. Including a brutal 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, this team sits at 3-5-1 on the season. It boasts the worst scoring offense in the NFL (14.7 points per game) and is being outscored by nearly a touchdown per game.

Indianapolis opted to bench future Hall of Fame quarterback Matt Ryan for Sam Ehlinger leading up to Week 8. In the two games with Ehlinger under center, this team has tallied 19 total points and 445 total yards of offense. The status quo was not working.

Even then, Monday’s shocking decision to go with Jeff Saturday as their interim coach threw the NFL world for a loop. In fact, he now becomes the first NFL head coach without any experience as even an assistant in the college or professional ranks since Norm Van Brocklin back in 1961.