Jack Del Rio, who once worked with Jeff Saturday, is intrigued by the Colts

Del Rio is intrigued by Colts' controversial coaching hire originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ASHBURN, Va. -- Jack Del Rio's weekly press conferences with the Washington media are typically quite straightforward. The Commanders defensive coordinator has never been one to give expansive answers to questions, and usually, his voice hovers just above a monotone.

On Thursday, however, Del Rio lit up when talking about an NFL topic that has nearly everyone else lit up, too.

For a 3-5-1 club, the Indianapolis Colts sure as hell are interesting. That's largely thanks to their recent and highly unconventional decision to hire Jeff Saturday, who's set to debut this Sunday as Indianapolis' head coach after a long stint as a TV analyst.

No one can fully relate to what Saturday is currently experiencing, but Del Rio can at least come close, seeing as he, too, made the leap — albeit not as large as Saturday's — from ESPN to the sidelines when Washington hired him in 2020. In fact, during his brief time with the network, Del Rio overlapped with Saturday.

Because of his relationship with Saturday and, of course, the general absurdity of all that's going on in Indy, Del Rio plans to follow the Colts' progress in the coming weeks as best as he can.

"I think Jeff's a fun guy," Del Rio said. "He was fun to work with. He is sharp, he does know ball. It's going to be interesting to watch."

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Del Rio was so tickled by the entire situation that he made a point of tuning into the presser where owner Jim Irsay, General Manager Chris Ballard and Saturday sat down to discuss the franchise's new direction.

"I'm entertained by it," Del Rio said, after first labeling that particular event as "awkward." "I plugged in to watch that press conference. I thought there was some value in watching that, so I enjoyed that as a fan of the league."

Now, while Del Rio certainly isn't alone in his Colts-related amusement and intrigue, others were put off by the hiring of Saturday.

To that camp, plucking Saturday from his ESPN gig and handing him such a powerful role was insulting to the many coaches on that staff and staffs around the sport who've devoted years to their profession.

When that aspect of the story was brought up Thursday, though, Del Rio demurred.

"I'm not looking to make issues out of things like that," he said. "Opportunities are made available. It's more about taking advantage of the opportunities you get. I don't concern myself with things like that."

Instead, Del Rio is content with merely acting as a bystander and waiting for whatever's about to unfold to do exactly that.

"I'll be watching," he said, "and I'll be interested."