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Legendary former Colts executive defends Jeff Saturday hire
Legendary former Colts executive defends Jeff Saturday hire,Saturday received some strong support from a former Colts front office member.

Legendary former Colts executive defends Jeff Saturday hire

The Indianapolis Colts stunned a lot of people by naming untested former offensive lineman Jeff Saturday as the team’s interim head coach. However, one of the franchise’s iconic figures strongly feels that the move could actually work.

Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian, who ran the Colts from 1998 to 2011, wrote for 33rd Team that Saturday has long been seen as a potential head coach, turned down a staff role before and had been working as a paid consultant for the team. While Polian acknowledges the lack of NFL experience, he clearly believes Saturday has done enough to at least hold his own.

“During this season, starting with minicamp, Jeff served as a paid consultant to the coaching staff,” Polian wrote. “He broke down film, evaluated players and schemes and made game plan suggestions. He spoke to the team as a group and offered guidance to individual players. In short, he is not a stranger but a respected member of the organization.

“To those inside the building, Frank Reich and myself included, Jeff’s character, intelligence, leadership skills, football acumen and work ethic tabbed him as head-coaching material as far back as his playing days. His appointment as interim head coach may have come as a shock to outsiders but not to those inside the Colts’ football operations. Will Jeff succeed? It’s a tall order, and only time will tell. Knowing him as I do, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

Few would question Saturday’s leadership capabilities from his playing days and he certainly knows the sport. There is a big gap between knowing the league, however, and being able to coach in it.

One thing is clear: those who know Saturday well are much higher on the decision than the general public is. Perhaps they will end up right, but it would certainly defy convention for it to work.