Kayvon Thibodeaux on Colts coach Jeff Saturday: ‘I don’t know who he is’
Kayvon Thibodeaux completely dismissed Colts head coach Jeff Saturday and his criticism of the Giants rookie’s sack celebration next to an injured Nick Foles as “tasteless” and “trash.”
“I don’t know who he is,” Thibodeaux said Wednesday. “So I’m not really too concerned about people who comment on me and I don’t know them.”
Thibodeaux, who didn’t know initially that Foles was injured on the play, reiterated that he hopes the Indianapolis quarterback recovers from his resulting rib injury.
“God willing he continues to get better and continues to recover,” he said.
But Thibodeaux was not backing down or apologizing for doing snow angels next to Foles or putting his hands into a ‘go to sleep’ sign on the sideline.
“I play this game to be successful, and the only way I’m successful is if I take down quarterbacks,” he said. “That’s what I get paid to do. That’s what I did, and celebrations are legal in football.”
He especially didn’t want to hear about the opinion of Saturday, a six-time Pro Bowl, two-time All-Pro, one-time Super Bowl champion in his playing days.
“I don’t know who he is,” Thibodeaux repeated later. “I just don’t know who — like, anybody who comments on it, unless I know who they are, it doesn’t really affect me.”
Thibodeaux posed the rhetorical question: “Who’s the gatekeeper of when to do something?”
He reminded everyone that inside linebacker Jaylon Smith had pulled up on Foles in Sunday’s game to avoid a roughing the passer call, even though the Colts QB hadn’t thrown the football, and Smith was being criticized for erroring on the opposite side of the spectrum.
“So what am I supposed to do now, like every time I sack a quarterback, stop and look and make sure that he [is OK] and help him up?” Thibodeaux continued. “You don’t play the game for anybody to get injured, but I play defense. They brought me here to be a savage and to take over the game and to impact the game. We preach [that] impacting the game is affecting the quarterback, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
As for making the go to sleep sign on the sideline while Foles was still on the ground receiving medical attention, Thibodeaux said “people don’t understand” what they’re watching if they think he knew Foles was hurt.
“After you make a play and I look to the sideline and my team calls for special teams to go out there, I don’t look back to see who’s on the field,” the No. 5 overall pick out of Oregon said. “I never look back. There is no looking back. Once you go straight to the sideline, we sent them home. And at that point, the game was over. Once you get the ball back and you knock them out again — as far as them as an offense — and you end it, it’s over.”
The Los Angeles native confirmed he was imitating Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry’s ‘goodnight’ celebration for a reason.
“Yeah, when does Steph Curry do it? When the game’s over,” he said.
Thibodeaux said no one in the Giants’ building cautioned him about how to do anything differently next time. When asked if someone had approached him about doing things a different way, he said: “as far as handle what a different way?”
Head coach Brian Daboll had defended Thibodeaux on a Monday Zoom, insisted he didn’t know Foles was injured, and deferred further comment to the player.
Thibodeaux was so adamant in his own defense that when he was asked if he’d reached out — presumably meaning to the Colts — he said: “Reach out to who? To do what?”
Saturday, the Colts’ coach, had also expressed disappointment in his own players for not defending Foles or reacting to Thibodeaux’s actions.
When asked if the Giants would have been angry if the same thing had happened to Daniel Jones, Thibodeaux said: “We got a different culture. We’re a family. We’re a different team than other people. So I can’t speak on what anybody else would do, but I have a clear understanding of how each team reacts. And that’s up to each team.”
Asked to clarify if he meant the Giants would react, he answered: “I can’t say because we haven’t been in that situation, but we all get paid to do a job, and when you do a job, the only thing that comes are benefits.
“Once we figure out who the gatekeeper is, then we can write the rules and we can establish the narratives,” he said, posing the question about who can say what’s right and wrong. “But until you guys are actually in the sport and do it and be in that moment, you can’t create a narrative on it.”