USA TODAY International Edition

Jeff Saturday thanks Colts fans, sends well wishes to new coach

- Safid Deen

Jeff Saturday seems to be enjoying life after his brief run as the Indianapol­is Colts interim head coach.

Saturday, from a boat in open water, posted a video message to Twitter on Tuesday, thanking the Colts for his coaching opportunit­y, congratula­ting new Colts coach Shane Steichen – whose official hiring was announced Tuesday – and even poked a little fun at himself in the process.

“It was an absolute blessing,” Saturday said. “I look fondly upon it. Wish would have done better. But ultimately that is where it is.”

Rememberin­g Jeff Saturday’s run as Colts’ coach

With no prior coaching experience at the college or NFL level, Saturday was a controvers­ial hire by Colts owner Jim Irsay this season.

Still, Saturday was and still is a respected former Colts player who won a Super Bowl as Peyton Manning’s center and spent 13 seasons with the franchise. He took over for former Colts coach Frank Reich, who coached the Colts five seasons.

Saturday won the first game he coached, helping the Colts beat the Las Vegas Raiders 25- 20 on Nov. 13, 2022. The Raiders were coached by Josh McDaniels, who reneged on the Colts coaching job in 2018.

After the win, Saturday and the Colts lost seven consecutiv­e games to end the season and secured the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

“First, I just wanted to say to the Colts organizati­on and Colts nation, how much I appreciate the opportunit­y. I’m so grateful for the last eight weeks of the season and the opportunit­y to represent you guys,” Saturday said.

“I appreciate the coaches for all your time, energy and effort. To all the players laying it out there each and every week, I can’t tell you how much I respect and appreciate what each and every player, not only for the Colts, but the NFL do and what they put on the line each and every week.”

Jeff Saturday’s message to new Colts coach Shane Steichen

Saturday wished Steichen well and said he looks forward to the Colts being able to win the Super Bowl again.

“I want to wish coach Steichen the best of luck. I’m still a huge Colts fan and pulling for you guys, looking forward to hoisting some Lombardi trophies and excited for your opportunit­y,” Saturday said.

Saturday added: “Coach Steichen, best of luck to you and your family in Indianapol­is. It’s an incredible town. Best fans in the world man. You’ll get the greatest support and look forward to watching your success and the rest of the men in that locker room and the coaching staff that you have with you. So, to all Colts nation, appreciate you guys, love you guys and see you soon.”

Jeff Saturday pokes fun at petition signed by Colts fans

Even Saturday got a little laugh at his own expense.

Instead of Colts fans clamoring for the team to hire him on a full- time basis, they created and signed a Change. org petition titled “Don’t hire Jeff Saturday at head coach.”

More than 4,000 people signed the petition online.

“So for everybody out there, including the however many thousand that signed a petition – which may have included my wife and son, not exactly sure,” Saturday said with a laugh.

“But in all honesty, I’m so grateful for Colts nation and who you are. To represent the horseshoe, it meant the world to me.”

More on Colts’ new coach Shane Steichen

The Colts made it official Tuesday, hiring Steichen to lead the franchise fresh off his Super Bowl run with the Philadelph­ia Eagles.

Steichen was the Eagles offensive coordinato­r for two seasons, coaching quarterbac­k Jalen Hurts. He also coached quarterbac­ks Justin Herbert and Philip Rivers during his time as a coach with the Chargers.

Steichen will be a first- time NFL head coach, tasked with helping the Colts find their next starting quarterbac­k and helping Indianapol­is return to the postseason like they have 14 times since 2002.

 ?? VINCENT CARCHIETTA/ USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Colts head coach Jeff Saturday reacts during the second half against the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 1.
VINCENT CARCHIETTA/ USA TODAY SPORTS Colts head coach Jeff Saturday reacts during the second half against the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 1.

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