Ex-NFL star furious after owner hires 'drinking buddy' as shock head coach

Ex-NFL star furious after owner hires ‘drinking buddy’ as shock head coach

A retired NFL star slammed Indianapolis’ ‘insulting’ decision to hire former Pro Bowler Jeff Saturday as its new coach, claiming it was a gifted job for “drinking” owner Jim Irsay.

The NFL world was left in shock when the Colts announced Saturday as their new head coach — despite having no high-profile experience.

Saturday is a former Colts star who made a Super Bowl team before ending his career in Green Bay.

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But he has never worked as an NFL coach, his last venture being at a college in Georgia in 2020.

Former Cleveland star Joe Thomas was scathing in his assessment of Colts owner Irsay’s coach, claiming he originally thought it was an “April Fool’s joke.”

“When you hire your drinking buddy to be the head coach of an NFL football team, that’s one of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in my life, the dedication, lifestyle, and experiences that it takes to be an NFL coach, any coach, let alone head coach of the Indianapolis Football Colts,” Thomas said on Good Morning America.

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“You’ve got to be kidding me that this is something that Jim Irsay and Jeff Saturday, who is not without fault for taking the job, could have talked about and decided it was the best thing for the Indianapolis Colts at this point in the season.”

Thomas described Saturday’s appointment as “disrespectful” to the league’s coaches, who have given up life and time with their families to get where they are.

“If you haven’t already insulted every person who’s been a head coach in the NFL their whole life, then go out there and say, ‘I love that he has no experience because all NFL coaches are scared because you use logic and analytics to make decisions,'” Thomas said.

“When I saw it, I thought it was a joke. I thought maybe I had a bit of Google Translate and suddenly I’m on the wrong calendar and it’s April 1st or something’s going on.’

Saturday will be his coaching debut this weekend against the Raiders after Frank Reich was fired midweek.

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Remarkably, the Colts are second in the AFC South division – but have just three wins from nine games.

They beat rival heavyweights Kansas City in Week 3, before back-to-back wins over the Broncos and Jaguars.

But Reich was given his marching orders as the club slumped to a third straight defeat last weekend.

Reich led the team to two playoff appearances in his five seasons at the helm, in 2018 and 2020, but his inability to lock down the quarterback has been an issue since Andrew Luck retired in 2019.

He went with Jacoby Brissett to look at in 2019, Philip Rivers in 2020, Carson Wentz in 2021 and now Matt Ryan in 2022.

But Ryan has only sat for seven games during his Colts career.

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