Jim Irsay Hiring Jeff Saturday to Coach Colts Is “Suck for Luck” All Over Again

At 3-5-1, the Colts are making a play to head to the bottom of the league

Jim Irsay speaks at NFL league meetings.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is playing the long game.
Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty

With the firing of longtime head coach Frank Reich and the hiring of woefully inexperienced former player Jeff Saturday as his replacement, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay opened himself up to a world of criticism that has been ongoing since the move was announced.

While entirely valid, the criticism over the hiring of Saturday, who was a paid consultant for the Colts and was working as an analyst at ESPN, due to his lack of experience and perceived incapability to win games as a coach in the NFL misses the mark because Saturday wasn’t brought in to stacks victories but instead pile up losses to give Indianapolis a better shot at securing one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft in April.

The Colts, of course, are no strangers to tanking for the purposes of securing a top quarterback as Indianapolis went straight to the bottom of the league in 2011 to draft Andrew Luck when Peyton Manning was lost for the season due to injury. While bringing in Saturday as coach isn’t quite as blatant as the obvious “Suck for Luck” campaign, it’s certainly in the same ballpark as long as Sam Ehlinger, who is 0-2 with an interception, no touchdowns, 11 sacks, a lost fumble and a measly 304 passing yards since taking over as the starting QB for the Colts, is under center for Indy.

Speaking to The Athletic, Irsay called the notion that his team is tanking “the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.”

“That’s bullshit,” he said. “We’re in this thing; 9-7-1 get us in, no question about it. We’re not tanking the season…That’s not true. We’re going to do what it takes to win. I don’t know who people think we are, they don’t know us. We don’t tank in Indianapolis.”

If that’s true, much has changed since Sucking for Luck was all the rage in Indianapolis. If things haven’t changed and Irsay is just playing coy, the Colts (3-5-1) have a long way to go if they want to catch the Houston Texans (1-6-1) for the worst record in the league, but Saturday may be the man to get them there. (At least if he’s Luck-y.)

“I don’t know how to make sausage,” Irsay said at Saturday’s introductory press conference. “I don’t know what goes into sausage. But I do know how to build a football team. Because I’ve been around for 52 years. I understand that Saturday is fully capable of doing this and more than capable. You wanna bet against this guy? Put your money down.”

The Colts are six-point underdogs to the Raiders in Vegas in Week 10. Betting against Saturday on Sunday is a lock.

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