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Colts pluck Jeff Saturday from ESPN to fill Frank Reich’s shoes on interim basis


The Indianapolis Colts named Jeff Saturday their head coach on an interim basis after the team fired Frank Reich on Monday following the team’s 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

Saturday, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro selection, served as an analyst for ESPN after he retired from the NFL in 2013. He also briefly played for the Green Bay Packers. 

Saturday has never coached in the NFL or college before but coached high school football at Hebron Christian Academy in Georgia.

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 Quarterback Peyton Manning, #18 of the Indianapolis Colts, looks for an open receiver as he receives protection from offensive guard Ryan Liljat, #65, and center Jeff Saturday, #63, against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Nov. 29, 2009 in Houston.

 Quarterback Peyton Manning, #18 of the Indianapolis Colts, looks for an open receiver as he receives protection from offensive guard Ryan Liljat, #65, and center Jeff Saturday, #63, against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Nov. 29, 2009 in Houston.
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

He played 13 seasons for the Colts alongside Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

According to Pro Football Talk, Saturday is the first NFL head coach with no college or pro experience to take the gig since Norm Van Brocklin coached the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. Gus Bradley and John Fox, who are on the staff, both have NFL coaching experience.

Reich was let go earlier Monday.

Indianapolis dropped to 3-5-1 with the loss, as their offensive struggles just could not get corrected. The Colts have scored fewer than 20 points six times this season, including a shutout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second week of the season.

COLTS FIRE FRANK REICH FOLLOWING BLOWOUT LOSS TO PATRIOTS

Center Jeff Saturday, #63 of the Indianapolis Colts, watches play against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 16, 2008 in Atlanta.

Center Jeff Saturday, #63 of the Indianapolis Colts, watches play against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 16, 2008 in Atlanta.
(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

The team thought that acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason would have provided some extra juice with Jonathan Taylor at running back and Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce and Parris Campbell returning as key targets.

The Colts have floundered and replaced Ryan with second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger. The team dismissed offensive coordinator Marcus Brady six days ago.

Reich, a former NFL quarterback who was known for leading the Buffalo Bills to a comeback victory over the Houston Oilers in the 1992-93 playoffs, served as the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator during the team’s Super Bowl run and took over as the Colts’ head coach for Chuck Pagano.

Reich’s tenure started with Andrew Luck as the starting quarterback, but his early retirement left the franchise in shambles while looking for a new face of the franchise. Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Ryan have not proved to be the long-term answer.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich walks off the field after losing to the Washington Commanders 17-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Oct. 30, 2022 in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich walks off the field after losing to the Washington Commanders 17-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Oct. 30, 2022 in Indianapolis.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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The 60-year-old wrapped his career with the Colts 40-33-1 with two playoff appearances. He is the second head coach to be fired in the middle of the season. The Carolina Panthers dismissed Matt Rhule earlier in the year and replaced him with Steve Wilks.



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