Jeff Saturday on SportsCenter at the Mall of America in 2018 around Super Bowl LII. Photo by Wayne Davis / ESPN Images

While Jeff Saturday signed an extension this August to continue as a NFL analyst for ESPN studio shows, his plans are now changing. That’s thanks to the Indianapolis Colts surprisingly tabbing him as their interim head coach Monday following the firing of Frank Reich. Saturday’s (now-former) ESPN colleague Adam Schefter broke that news on Twitter:

And here’s how Hannah Storm and Jay Harris discussed this on ESPN’s SportsCenter shortly afterwards:

The revelation that Saturday (seen above on the SportsCenter set at the Mall of Americas ahead of Super Bowl LII in 2018) was supposed to show up on this edition of SC Tuesday is great. It seems like he won’t be doing that now. And this move took many by surprise; Saturday has been an ESPN NFL analyst since 2013 and has done a solid job there, including in bringing an often-underrepresented perspective from his career as an offensive lineman, but he hasn’t been frequently mentioned in coaching or GM rumors. Meanwhile, many others at ESPN have gone to or back to the pro or college football coaching ranks during that time, including Jon Gruden, Chip Kelly, Dan Hawkins, Herm Edwards (now back at ESPN again), and Mack Brown, and others including Louis Riddick have been repeatedly mentioned for front office jobs and have sometimes interviewed for them. And Riddick had quite the stunned reaction here, first on Twitter and then on TV:

Following a college career with the North Carolina Tar Heels, Saturday entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 1998, but was cut before playing in a regular-season game. He signed with the Colts in January 1999 thanks to an endorsement from former college teammate Nate Hobgood-Chittick , which convinced Saturday’s eventual ESPN teammate Bill Polian (then the Colts’ GM) to bring him in for a workout.

Saturday would play for the Colts from 1999-2011, earning six Pro Bowl selections, receiving two first-team and two second-team All-Pro nods, and helping them to a Super Bowl XLI win. He then finished his career with the Green Bay Packers in 2012, then joined ESPN the next year. But his main head coaching experience came as the head coach of Georgia high school Hebron Christian Academy from 2017-20. We’ll see how he does with the Colts.

[The Comeback; photo from Wayne Davis/ESPN Images]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.