Pat McAfee defends Jeff Saturday hire, eviscerates Joe Thomas and others for being TV ‘puppets’

The Indianapolis Colts took a lot of flack for the hiring of Jeff Saturday as interim head coach, but when the dust settled on Sunday, Saturday is 1-0.

Former Colts teammate Pat McAfee took advantage of that opportunity to rip everyone that called Jim Irsay’s hiring of Saturday a terrible decision, including Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas.

Thomas ripped the Saturday hire prior to the team’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders, saying it was the “most egregious thing I can ever remember happening” in the NFL. During his latest “Pat McAfee Show,” McAfee said he has a lot of respect for the future Hall of Famer, but believes him to be a “puppet.”

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

“I don’t think Joe Thomas is a bad guy. I think he’s a puppet. I don’t think he’s a bad guy,” McAfee said in a long diatribe. “I think he felt obligated to say something because somebody told him how disrespected they felt as opposed from looking at it through a realistic point of view. This is an interim head coaching role. The Indianapolis Colts have underwhelmed everybody on Earth including their fan base literally since the jump this season when they tied the f—ing Houston Texans in Houston this seasons, and the Houston Texans are the Houston Texans.”

McAfee also pulled up footage from his show in 2020 when he had Thomas on as a guest. Thomas told the crew that he wanted to throw his name in the hat for the next head coach of the Browns, and like Saturday, he didn’t have any coaching experience.

EX-BROWN JOE THOMAS ON JEFF SATURDAY HIRING: ‘MOST EGREGIOUS THING I CAN EVER REMEMBER HAPPENING’ IN NFL

“Why did Joe Thomas at that point think two years ago, three years ago that he had any f—ing right to be [head coach]?” McAfee questioned. “Is it because he’s the greatest player they’ve had? Is it because they spent years, years and years in that building with the turnover and saw what may be good and saw what they were terrible at doing? Is it because he knew football pretty well? Is it because he thought he knew the NFL pretty well?

“Did Joe Thomas say to us on January 3, 2020 that he would throw his name into the hat to become the next head coach of Cleveland Browns because he was the only one that cared about the Browns enough to turn them around and make them a Good program? Or did he say that because he wanted to spit in the face of every single coach that has had to work and grind and sleep on couches before getting that opportunity of being one of only 32 NFL head coaches? So he’s either disrespectful or he thought he could do something that nobody else could do with the Cleveland Browns.”

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s practice facility Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

McAfee went on to say that Saturday’s 13 years with the Colts and understanding everything that was still going on in the building made him someone that Irsay could trust.

He also ripped Hall of Fame coach Bill Cowher, who questioned the Saturday hire as well.

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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.”

McAfee even believes that this Saturday hire, which doesn’t guarantee him as head coach next year given the interim status, could actually help the minority coaching percentage problem that the NFL currently faces.

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

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

“I believe that this will help with the minority coaching percentages in the NFL if former players are getting fast tracked to more important positions as opposed to having to wait around and do bullshit that you’re supposed to do whenever you’re 22, 23 , 24, 25 years old,” McAfee said. “Instead, they’re in their 30s because they had a very prolific NFL football career. Jeff Saturday couldn’t have gotten hired at 34 to be the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts because Jeff Saturday was playing for the Indianapolis Colts.”

The Colts defeated the Raiders to get back on track with their fourth win of the season, pushing their overall record to 4-5-1. It was a late touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, who was back under center after being benched by then-head coach Frank Reich for Sam Ehlinger, finding Parris Campbell for a 35-yard score that would be the game winner.

Pat McAfee speaks during his show on Media Row for the Super Bowl LVI at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California

Pat McAfee speaks during his show on Media Row for the Super Bowl LVI at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
(Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

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Indianapolis’s defense stopped the Raiders on their last-ditch scoring effort, as Derek Carr threw an incomplete pass to Davante Adams on fourth-and-seven with just 52 seconds left in Colts territory.

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