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Colts’ Jeff Saturday responds to Joe Thomas, Bill Cowher criticism following first win as interim coach

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Jeff Saturday had many hurdles to overcome when he accepted the position as interim coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Along with the need to prepare the Colts to face the Raiders, Saturday also had to face criticism from outside, including from a future Hall of Famer offensive lineman and a Hall of Famer coach.

Former linesman Joe Thomas said the Colts’ decision to hire on Saturday was “disrespectful” in the NFL, as well as league coaches. Thomas also accused Colts owner Jim Irsay of simply hiring one of his “drinking buddies”. Hall of Fame coach Bill Cowher went even further, saying Saturday’s hiring was “Shame on the coaching profession.” Both comments were asked Saturday after the Colts’ victory over the Raiders.

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“I had no idea he said that,” Saturday said of Thomas’ comments during interview with Peter King of NBC Sports. “I assure you, I never drank with Jim. I don’t even know what Jim drinks. I don’t drink very much either.

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“I don’t know Joe. I don’t care what Joe thinks of me or anyone else. As I told you, the Lord will protect. I feel called to do this, so I made the decision to do it. Again, no disrespect to any of these men. They are who they are and said what they said. It won’t shake me.”

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Saturday said he respects Cauer’s opinion when asked about the former Steelers coach’s comments that were made during CBS Sports’ “NFL Today.”

“That’s the problem. God is my protector, man,” Saturday said, hinting at Cauer’s criticism. “I don’t need to defend myself. I am completely comfortable with who I am. I respect all these guys. I have no idea and still don’t know how successful I will be, but we are going to work hard on this and I believe I can lead people and manage staff. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

One of the reasons Saturday said he accepted the job is because he may have wanted to help other former players get the opportunity to train. Saturday mentioned Aaron Boone, who also worked for ESPN before he got the opportunity to manage the New York Yankees.

Saturday said his job as interim coach is to do everything he can to empower and support coaches and players “to be the best they can be.” He said his ability as a leader and unifier is what he will draw on during his tenure as interim coach.

Although it was just one game, the Colts played winning football and Saturday served in his current role on Sunday. Saturday’s fingerprints were clearly on the Colts’ 25-20 victory. Matt Ryan, who was re-started by Saturday after spending the previous two weeks on the bench, hit two touchdowns and completed 75% of his passes without throwing a turnover. The Colts offense gained 415 yards under the guidance of Parks Frazier, 30, a former assistant quarterback coach who was promoted to offensive coordinator on Saturday.

“I thought Parks did a hell of a job,” Ryan said. via the Colts website. “This is a difficult situation. And doing it for the first time, going on tour, having all the changes we’ve had this week – I think he’s done a great job… Parks is going to be a really good coach. in this league for a long time.”

Looks like Saturday is hitting the right buttons in Indianapolis for now. While the situation visibly upset some on the surface, Saturday said the decision was based on his family’s motto.

“If life is not an adventure, it is not worth living,” Saturday said. “We want adventure in our lives. We teach this to our children. I told her, listen, I’ve been in this game for 25 years, playing, coaching and even more from the media.

“I have never heard of a player having the opportunity to become a head coach. First of all, I would like this because I love this organization. I care not only about the players and coaches, but also about the organization, right? My adulthood was forged here. This is my home. Indianapolis has completely changed the direction of our lives. So how can you say no to this? That’s why I said I’ll do it.”



Source: www.cbssports.com

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