Ex-Brown Joe Thomas on Jeff Saturday hiring: ‘Most egregious thing I can ever remember happening’ in NFL

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Joe Thomas, a former Browns forward, spent his entire career in Cleveland, playing for many coaches along the way.

But Thomas expressed his dismay at the recent hiring of his fellow former NFL offensive lineman Jeff Saturday.

The Colts named their interim head coach on Saturday after the team fired Frank Reich following the team’s 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Nov. 6.

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Offensive lineman Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns on the field before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 7, 2014 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
(George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

“It’s one of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life regarding the dedication, lifestyle, and experience it takes to be an NFL coach—any coach—let alone ​The head coach of the Indianapolis Football Colts, Thomas said on “Good Morning Football” Friday.

“You must be kidding me that this is something that Jim Irsay and Jeff Saturday, who is not innocent for accepting the job, could have talked and decided it was best for the Indianapolis Colts at this time of the season. .”

From Thomas’s perspective, hiring the owner of the Colts on Saturday was an insult to other coaches working towards becoming head coach in the league.

But Irsay resisted critics of the hire, claiming he was “happy” [Saturday] has no NFL experience.”

Isray added at a news conference after Saturday’s hiring that he was pleased the former Colts center had no fear.

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday, right, speaks as owner Jim Irsay listens at a press conference on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday, right, speaks as owner Jim Irsay listens at a press conference on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

“I’m glad he didn’t learn the fear in this competition because it’s hard for all our coaches,” Irsay said via The Score. “They’re scared, they go to analyzes and it’s going to be difficult. … He doesn’t have that fear.”

COLTS’ JIM IRSAY ‘BLADE’ JEFF SATURDAY HAS NO HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE IN NFL OR COLLEGE

The Colts’ struggles since quarterback Andrew Luck’s unexpected early retirement have been well documented.

Luck was a four-time Pro-Bowler who led the Colts to four playoffs in his first six seasons.

Since then, the team has started Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger as quarterbacks. None of those options worked out, and many began to question whether the Colts intended to lose in hopes of drafting a quarterback in April 2023.

Left tackle Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns kneels during a timeout from a game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Nov. 27, 2016.

Left tackle Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns kneels during a timeout from a game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Nov. 27, 2016.
(Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

The Indianapolis record is 3-5-1. But Irsay claimed the appointment of Saturday’s interim coach does not mean the team will stop playing to win games this season.

“We’re in this thing; 9-7-1 gets us in, no doubt about it. … We’re not fueling the season. Whoever says these things, that we don’t play [quarterback] Mat [Ryan] because [of an effort to tank]… That is not true. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win. I don’t know who people think we are. They don’t know us. We don’t refuel in Indianapolis,” Irsay said.

COLTS’ JEFF SATURDAY ADDRESSES COACHING EXPERIENCE PROVIDES: “DON’T YOU THINK I’VE SEEN GREATNESS?”

The hiring has also raised flags over a potential loophole in the Rooney rule. Saturday claimed his tenure would serve as a test case before the organization started looking for a head coach after the season.

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

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

“My role here is for eight games. When this is over, they will do an exhaustive search and pick who is their best candidate to become the Colts head coach. If I qualify I would be honored. no idea where this thing is going, not even a little bit,” he told reporters.

“I’m totally comfortable with who I am as a man. I know I can lead men. I know I know the game of football and I’m passionate about it. I’m not afraid of ‘Are you as qualified as anyone otherwise?’ I spent 14 years in a locker room I’ve been to the playoffs 12 times I’ve got five guys in the Hall of Fame who played with me Don’t you think I’ve seen greatness You don’t think I’ve “seen how people prepare? How they coach? How they are GM? How they operate? I won a Super Bowl, went to two.”

The Rooney rule does not apply to interim head coach positions, but the team must abide by the rule at the end of the season and before a permanent coach is appointed, a league spokesperson told the Indianapolis Star.

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Saturday’s first test as an NFL coach comes Sunday when the Colts travel to Las Vegas to play against the Raiders.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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