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Colts wouldn’t have fired Frank Reich without Jeff Saturday certainty

Jim Irsay spoke out about the Indianapolis Colts’ rough 2022 season and shed light on the team’s midseason coaching change.

The Colts fired their head coach Frank Reich in November after a 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots and a 3-5-1 start to the season. Reich was 40-33-1 in four years as the Colts’ head coach and recently signed an extension through the 2026 season.

Irsay wasn’t sure about the extension, however, and said he offered it “reluctantly” and sooner than he wanted to. Despite the fact that he would owe Reich $36 million over the next four years to not coach the Colts, Irsay fired him.

Irsay replaced Reich with former Colts center Jeff Saturday, who left his job as an analyst at ESPN to accept to take over the team.

The move was seen as shocking and unorthodox, particularly for how it happened.

Jim Irsay
Jim Irsay reflected on the tumultuous Colts season.
Getty Images

“The process was a very, very unusual process,” Irsay said on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” ahead of Chargers-Colts. “Jeff had to be certain. ‘Did you talk to Karen, your wife. Are you sure you’re all in?’”

When asked if Reich would have been fired if Saturday said no, Irsay said “certainly not that week.”

Regardless of if the move was right or wrong, Irsay continues to stick by the choice that he made and believes Saturday could be the long-term solution for the Colts’ head coach position.

“Jeff I believe is an outstanding candidate,” Irsay said. “So obviously he’s competitive for that.”

Jeff Saturday
Jeff Saturday needed to be certain he wanted to coach before the Colts fired Frank Reich.
Frank Reich
Frank Reich was fired as head coach of the Colts in November.

Saturday may have lost some credit after the Colts’ nightmare outing against the Vikings, where they squandered a 33-point lead as Minnesota completed the biggest comeback in NFL history. The result was beyond shocking to Irsay.

“It’s almost impossible what happened,” Irsay said. “It was incredible how they played and how poorly we played. We let them steal our lunch money.”

There is a lot of instability in the Colts organization currently and until the offseason rolls around it will continue to be that way. The team will likely once again have to discuss quarterback options and need to decide if Saturday is the long-term option.

“This journey keeps going and I am all in for it,” Irsay said.

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