One of the most polarizing head coaching hires in NFL history is back on ESPN airwaves. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Get Up began with a cold open featuring host Mike Greenberg in the green room imploring panelists Dan Graziano, Dominique Foxworth and Robert Griffin III for “something special” to get the show going. After Griffin suggested that the show could use some “pancakes,” an energized Jeff Saturday proceeded to burst through the door with a plate full of them as the panel erupted in excitement.
“Pancakes are back, baby!” Saturday shouted.
Get Up welcomes back Jeff Saturday to ESPN after his brief tenure as Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts. pic.twitter.com/FRXnbY1MFA
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 19, 2023
Saturday’s return to Get Up marks his first appearance on the show since his controversial stint as the Indianapolis Colts’ interim head coach last season. After firing Frank Reich following a 3-5-1 start, Colts owner Jim Irsay made the surprising decision to hire Saturday, who was serving as an analyst on ESPN at the time and possessed no previous NFL coaching experience.
While Saturday was largely popular as an analyst — his “pancake” awards for impressive offensive line plays was a fan favorite — his hiring in Indianapolis drew plenty of criticism, most notably from Hall of Fame left tackle/NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas, who called the hiring “the most egregious thing I can ever remember happening in the NFL,” as well as Hall of Fame head coach/CBS analyst Bill Cowher. His hiring by his former team also led to questions regarding how he’d be covered by his former colleagues at the “Worldwide Leader.”
The former All-Pro center would briefly silence critics with the Colts winning his first game as their interim coach, but Indianapolis proceeded to lose its final seven games of the 2022 campaign. After Saturday wasn’t retained following the season, he was linked to a potential return to ESPN on multiple occasions, which ultimately came to fruition on Tuesday morning.