With the Indianapolis Colts reportedly set to hire an outside candidate to be their next head coach, Jeff Saturday will soon be free to return to ESPN.
Sunday morning, Adam Schefter reported the Colts decided on Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their next coach. The pending hire means Saturday’s tenure as interim head coach in Indianapolis will officially come to an end after eight less than impressive games, and the former offensive lineman will almost certainly be offered his spot as an analyst back with ESPN.
During ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday, they discussed the Colts coaching decision, with Robert Griffin III coming to the realization that it means Saturday will likely return.
“Guess we’re getting Jeff Saturday back,” Griffin casually said with a laugh, drawing a chuckle out of Booger McFarland.
Obviously, Griffin’s prediction doesn’t make Saturday to ESPN official, but it does seem like a probable scenario. Griffin was one of the many ESPN personalities who slammed the Indianapolis Colts for hiring Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach last year, while simultaneously celebrating Jeff Saturday for being hired by the Colts.
“Lots of tip toeing around the Jeff Saturday hiring for the Colts,” Griffin tweeted after Saturday was hired by Indy last November. “Jeff was a BLAST to work with at ESPN, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a HEAD SCRATCHING-SLAP IN THE FACE TO EVERY COACH ON THAT STAFF type of decision. Stephen A. Smith will be coaching the Nets next.”
One day later, Griffin tweeted he hopes Saturday does well enough that it inspires more teams to hire others directly from TV.
I hope @SaturdayJeff does amazing so it can be a catalyst for more players to get Head Coaching opportunities right off the field or off TV. The NFL needs a shake up in the coaching ranks and players having a faster track to becoming a Head Coach like the NBA is much needed.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) November 10, 2022
“It can be a catalyst for more players to get Head Coaching opportunities right off the field or off TV,” Griffin tweeted, which sounds like a contradiction previously calling the practice a slap in the face to aspiring coaches. “The NFL needs a shake up in the coaching ranks and players having a faster track to becoming a Head Coach like the NBA is much needed.”
ESPN personalities attempted to be both critical and supportive of Saturday after the Colts bypassed the Rooney Rule to name him their interim head coach last season. Despite many blasting the hire, Saturday’s former ESPN colleagues almost unanimously lauded his character, making his potential return to the Worldwide Leader a little more palatable.
Saturday could probably find an opportunity as an assistant on the sideline if he really wants to pursue a coaching career. But that’s something he resisted doing in the past, making ESPN his most likely landing spot. During his tenure with ESPN, Saturday made frequent appearances on First Take, Get Up and SportsCenter.
[Postseason NFL Countdown]