Bill Cowher Steelers

One thing is for sure when it comes to the Indianapolis Colts hiring Jeff Saturday away from ESPN to be their interim head coach despite having no pro coaching experience, the NFL media world is not a fan of it.

While NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt was initially skeptical that Saturday’s former media colleagues would be able to criticize him in his new role, the truth has been anything but. ESPN talent has lined up to take shots at the Colts for hiring an unproven person as their head coach over credible assistant coaches regardless of the fact that Saturday was their co-worker up until Monday.

Then, NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas called the hiring “one of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

Now, Bill Cowher, who won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers and spent over 20 years coaching in the NFL, did not mince any words when he spoke about the Colts‘ hiring an unproven person as head coach instead of elevating a long-time assistant. During a segment on CBS’ The NFL Today, Cowher said the decision was “a disgrace to the coaching profession.”

“I am speaking on behalf of the coaching profession. I know for a fact that Jeff Saturday was offered an opportunity to become an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts multiple times in the past four years,” Cowher said. “He declined, citing that he had a TV job and wanted to spend more time with family. I get it. Coaching is about commitment and sacrifice. It’s not just a job, its a lifestyle. That being said, Jeff Saturday has taken the position this year as a consultant for the Indianapolis Colts, and he’s talked to them weekly from his home in Atlanta.

“Now to find out on Monday in a short period of time that he’s the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, overseeing a staff he chose not to choose because of a lifestyle. Jeff Saturday talked about in his first press conference the fact that he’s going to use this second half as an opportunity to build his resume and to see whether or not he can coach in the future. I say to that, what about the assistants on the staff right now? The guys that were there in training camp. The guys that were there early in the mornings and late at night… Guys like Gus Bradley, Scottie Montgomery, John Fox. Don’t they deserve the opportunity?

“For an owner to hire a coach who has never been an assistant at the college level or the pro level, and overseeing a lot of candidates that are qualified for that job, as we see in Steve Wilks, an opportunity to build a resume, it’s a disgrace to the coaching profession. And regardless of how this thing played out, what happened in Indianapolis is a travesty.”

[The NFL Today]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to