The Indianapolis Colts made a somewhat surprising move Monday when they fired their head coach, Frank Reich.
The Colts, who suffered an anemic 36-26 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, made the decision shortly thereafter and announced it Monday morning:
The Indianapolis Colts have parted ways with head coach Frank Reich.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 7, 2022
Reich, 61, has presided over the Colts since 2018. He finished his tenure in Indy with a record of 40-33-1. He has never won more than 11 games in a season, but he has never lost more than nine games either. If aggressive average is a desirable trainer trait, then Reich can be elite in that regard.
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Of course, an NFL team cannot do without a head coach. Given that, it was unsurprising that the Colts quickly moved to replace Reich, and they chose a well-known fan favorite: Jeff Saturday.
We’ve appointed Jeff Saturday as interim head coach.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 7, 2022
Saturday was an undrafted rookie who, after brief training in the squad with the Baltimore Ravens, became a true star offensive lineman for the Colts. He was the starting center for the Indianapolis team that won Super Bowl XLI. Saturday also earned two first-team All-Pro honors as well as two second-team All-Pro honors and was a six-time Pro Bowler.
In 2015 he was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor.
That’s all to say: Saturday was a real player.
However, there are some valid criticisms of the setting.
Saturday has zero experience coaching football at the collegiate or professional level. He coached high school football from 2017-2020, but as anyone who’s ever played football can tell you, high school is a very different animal from college, which is a very different animal from the pros.
He wasn’t promoted internally either, which is very odd for an interim head coach. Typically, when a coach is fired mid-season, the assistant coach or coordinator with the most experience as head coach or time on the team fills the transition role. Familiarity with the team is an obvious benefit.
Saturday was nothing more than a “consultant” for the Colts at the time of his hire.
Those are fair reviews.
Do you know what unfair criticism is? Crying racism because of Saturday rent.
And yet, predictably, the usual talking heads came out to whine about an (and this can’t be overstated) interim coaching hiring.
Here is well-known racist Jemele Hill, chiming in because it is physically impossible for her not to see racism in everyday world events:
I like Jeff Saturday and enjoyed working with him at ESPN. This isn’t a criticism of him, but rather an NFL system that keeps moving the goalposts for white coaches but holds black coaches to stricter standards. A black coach would probably never be in Jeff’s position.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) November 7, 2022
Ian Rapaport, an official NFL reporter, roared that minority coaching candidates “without a doubt” “noticed” Saturday’s hiring:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 7, 2022
Here’s a reporter and alumna from the University of North Carolina (Saturdays alma mater) doing things about race again:
No disrespect to Jeff Saturday, and of course I’m happy when Tar Heels succeed…but really? As? It feels like a “we have nothing to lose” attitude.
And not all about race, but some things are about race. Minorities will NEVER get the “we have nothing to lose” jobs.
— Simone Scott (@Simone_Scott) November 7, 2022
Mike Florio’s ProFootballTalk whined on Twitter that this hiring violated the “Rooney Rule”:
We asked the league whether hiring an interim coach outside of the current staff requires compliance with the Rooney Rule. Eventually it did. There’s no reason to think that’s changed over time.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 7, 2022
Notably, as noted by The Athletic, Florio’s team are simply wrong on that score. Interim coaching appointments do not have to comply with the Rooney Rule.
Here, too, there is certainly justified criticism of the Saturday rental. But to present this as a racially motivated misdeed is irresponsible and absolutely wrong.
Occam’s Razor is the scientific and philosophical rule that (to put it very simply) states that the simplest of the competing theories is often the correct one.
Well, here are the two competing theories on Saturday rent:
Do you think the Colts are a racist organization?
Yes: 8% (3 votes)
No: 92% (37 votes)
1. The Colts are a racist organization with a racist owner who hires Saturdays on purpose so he can later break the Rooney Rule when it comes time to find a permanent head coach. In fact, the Colts are so racist they grit their teeth when they promote some of their top players, like All-Pro linebacker Shaq Leonard and All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor.
2. The Colts wave the white flag over the season and accept that this is not their year. To generate short-term interest in a lost season, they hired a beloved fan-favorite player from yesteryear.
Seems an obvious choice.
https://www.westernjournal.com/nfl-coach-fired-surprise-replacement-mainstream-media-crying-racism/ NFL Coach Fired – Surprise Replacement Has Mainstream Media Crying Racism