Despite his 1-7 record on the job and lack of collegiate or NFL coaching experience outside of those eight games, Saturday was reported to be one of four finalists for the permanent head-coaching job. In a video posted Tuesday from a lake somewhere, Saturday seemed content with the Colts’ pick.
Colts Nation- love y’all! pic.twitter.com/7aFIy8jwUq
— Jeff Saturday (@SaturdayJeff) February 14, 2023
“I’m so grateful for the last eight weeks of the season and the opportunity to represent you guys,” Saturday said, thanking the coaches and players. He acknowledged that his tenure wasn’t ideal, but, “it was an absolute blessing. I look fondly upon it. Wish we would’ve done better. But ultimately, that is where it is.”
Saturday added that after playing center for the Colts for 13 seasons, he’s still a fan and will root for the organization. His role in Indianapolis’ Super Bowl XLI win was enough to keep him endeared to fans, but not as a head coach. That sentiment triggered a petition for the organization to hire someone other than Saturday, who referenced the effort in his video.
“So, for everybody out there — including however many thousand who signed a petition, which may have included my wife and son, not exactly sure,” he said, “but in all honesty, I’m so grateful for Colts nation and who you are. To represent the horseshoe, it meant the world to me.”
Saturday extended well wishes to Steichen to conclude his fond message to the Colts. “You’re going to get great support, and I look forward to watching your success,” he said.
Shane Steichen’s emotional introduction
When Saturday was hired, Colts players and assistants reportedly learned the news from Twitter and other alerts on their phones. They were both “in shock” and “frustrated” to realize that they recognized Saturday only from his role as an ESPN analyst.
This time around, the team said it interviewed 13 candidates. It was a seemingly more holistic process, which reportedly included team personnel and owner Jim Irsay in second interviews that took up to 12 hours each.
Steichen, 37, was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator for two years and emerged as a top candidate late this season. He is credited with helping develop quarterback Jalen Hurts and calling plays for the impressive offense.
The new head coach was almost immediately emotional in his introductory news conference Tuesday, fresh off the Eagles' tough Super Bowl LVII loss Sunday.
Shane Steichen gets emotional right out of the gate of his press conference
Thanking the Colts, his friends and family pic.twitter.com/rgQJRpC8HB
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) February 14, 2023
During the conference, Irsay told reporters that the process was difficult, but Steichen pulled away from the field during his interview. After leaving the organization impressed with his leadership, toughness and fast mind, Steichen will now be tasked with improving the Colts beyond their most recent 4-12-1 finish.