Jim Irsay spoke about the Indianapolis Colts’ difficult 2022 season and shed some light on the team’s mid-season coaching change.
The Colts fired head coach Frank Reich in November after a 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots and a 3-5-1 start to the season. Reich was 40-33-1 in four years as Colts head coach and recently signed an extension through the 2026 season.
Irsay was unsure about the extension, however, and said he offered it “reluctantly” and sooner than he wanted. Despite the fact that he owed Reich $36 million over the next four years for not coaching the Colts, Irsay fired him.
Irsay replaced Reich with former Colts center Jeff Saturday, who left his analyst position at ESPN to agree to take over the team.
The move was considered shocking and unorthodox, especially for the way it happened.
“The process was a very, very unusual process,” Irsay said on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” ahead of the Chargers-Colts. “Jeff had to be sure. “Have you spoken to Karen, your wife. Are you sure you all agree? »
When asked if Reich would have been fired had Saturday said no, Irsay replied “definitely not that week.”
Whether the decision was right or wrong, Irsay continues to stick with the choice he made and believes Saturday could be the long-term solution for the Colts head coaching job.
“I believe Jeff is an outstanding candidate,” Irsay said. “So obviously he’s competitive for that.”
Saturday may have lost some credit after the Colts’ nightmarish outing against the Vikings, where they squandered a 33-point lead as Minnesota pulled off the biggest comeback in NFL history. The result was more than shocking for Irsay.
“It’s almost impossible what happened,” Irsay said. “It was amazing how they played and how badly we played. We let them steal our lunch money.
There is a lot of instability in the Colts organization right now and until the offseason rolls around, it will continue to be that way. The team will likely have to once again discuss quarterback options and decide if Saturday is the long-term option.
“This journey continues and I’m in,” Irsay said.