The Indianapolis Colts have a new head coach. After the team decided to fire Frank Reich amid a disappointing 2022 campaign, Indianapolis decided to make a decision that could charitably be described as out-of-the-box, bringing former offensive lineman Jeff Saturday on board in an interim role. Saturday, who was an analyst for ESPN at the time, has never coached in college or the NFL in any capacity.
The decision came under a whole lot of scrutiny, and on Friday morning, former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman and current NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas unloaded on the decision. While citing his time in the league and his understanding of how little time a head coach has to do anything other than devote their lives to their team, Thomas went as far as to say that opting to hire Saturday is “one of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life to the commitment, the lifestyle, and the experience that it takes to be an NFL coach, any coach, much less the head coach of the Indianapolis Football Coach.”
Thomas pointed out, specifically, how infrequently former Browns coach Rob Chudzinski would see his children one or two times a week, and that becoming a head coach is “not something that you can just show up for.”
“When you’re a coach in the NFL, you do not have a life outside of football,” Thomas said. “Why do you think coaches never retire? What’re they gonna do? They haven’t developed any other parts of their life. They don’t have hobbies, they don’t have a lot of other friends outside of their football world, because they live football.”
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Thomas then focused on one specific part of the press conference where Jim Irsay announced Saturday is coming on board, as Irsay said that he is happy that Saturday has no prior experience because “he hasn’t learned the fear that’s in this league because it’s tough for all of our coaches. They’re afraid. They go to analytics and it gets difficult. I mean, he doesn’t have all that. He doesn’t have that fear and there was no other candidate.” Thomas, understandably, found this silly.
“It was the most egregious thing I can ever remember happening in the NFL,” Thomas said. “And I went 1-31 my last two years in the NFL.”