Colts owner Jim Irsay responds to critics who blasted his Jeff Saturday hire

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was blasted by critics small and large for his hiring of Jeff Saturday as interim head coach. But, after a win for Saturday and the Colts on Sunday over the Las Vegas Raiders, he made sure to check them on social media.

Irsay went to his Twitter on his “Victory Monday” and rattled off this tweet:

“All you critics…you criticize all of us in the NFL for losing…When we make moves to Win… you act so righteous! “Who You Crappin’..”. Just Win, Baby!!” Irsay wrote.

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Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday greets tight end Nikola Kalinic before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Las Vegas, Nov. 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/David Becker)

After the hire, many, including Hall of Fame head coach Bill Cowher and Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas, ripped Irsay for even considering Saturday for the job. As is customary, coaches under the head coach are the ones to assume the role in the event of a firing.

“I am speaking on behalf of the coaching profession,” Cowher said Sunday. “I know for a fact that Jeff Saturday was offered an opportunity to become an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts multiple times within the past four years. He declined, citing he had a TV job and wanted to spend more time with family. I get “Coaching is about commitment and sacrifice. It’s not just a job. It’s a lifestyle. That being said, Jeff Saturday has taken the position this year as a consultant for the Colts, and he’s talked to them weekly from his home in Atlanta.” .”

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“Now to find out, in a short period of time, that he’s the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, overseeing a staff he chose not to choose because of a lifestyle,” he continued. “Jeff Saturday talked about in his first press conference the fact that he’s going to use this second half to build his resume and to see if he can coach in the future. I say to that, what about the assistants on the staff right now? The guys that were there in training camp, the guys that were there early in the mornings and late at night. … Don’t they deserve the opportunity?”

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday, right, speaks as owner Jim Irsay listens during a news conference at the team's practice facility, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday, right, speaks as owner Jim Irsay listens during a news conference at the team’s practice facility, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Thomas went on to say that Saturday’s hire was the “most egregious thing I can ever remember happening” in the NFL.”

No one understood why Irsay did what he did, yet former Colts punter Pat McAfee defended the move Monday. He believed Irsay wanted someone a bit outside the daily routine that Indy has been through, and despite the lack of coaching experience, Saturday spent 13 seasons in that building.

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“But Bill Cowher, shut the f— up dude,” McAfee said. “He said, ‘Why didn’t John Fox get the job? Why didn’t Gus Bradley get the job?’ It’s their first year in the building, and to be honest, the team has stunk since they got there.”

“I just think the backlash was absurd. I think the win was huge,” he added.

As he went to his private jet back home from Las Vegas, Irsay said Saturday coming in as the interim head coach “was never a gamble.”

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks during Dwight Freeney's induction to the Colts Ring of Honor at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 10, 2019, in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks during Dwight Freeney’s induction to the Colts Ring of Honor at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 10, 2019, in Indianapolis.
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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“I know Jeff has the right stuff, and he’s a very special guy, very special leader. Colts Nation, we couldn’t be more excited,” Irsay said.

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