The Indianapolis Colts’ hire of Jeff Saturday this week to be interim head coach raised a lot of eyebrows due to his lack of coaching experience and passing over on assistants currently on the staff.
Perhaps the harshest criticism of the Saturday hire came from former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher during Sunday’s CBS pregame show.
Cowher, who coached the Steelers for 13 years, said he was speaking on “behalf of the coaching profession” when he ripped into Saturday and the Colts, citing the former Colts center passing up multiple offers for an assistant job only to take the head coaching position.
“For an owner to hire a coach who has never been an assistant at the college level or the pro level, and to [have] overseen very much a lot of candidates who qualified for that job — as we’ve seen [in Carolina] with Steve Wilks — an opportunity to build a resume, it’s a disgrace to the coaching profession,” Cowher said. “Regardless how this thing plays out, what happened in Indianapolis is a travesty.
Cowher singled out Colts assistants such as Gus Bradley, Scottie Montgomery and John Fox as coaches on the staff who deserved a shot at being the head coach.
Cowher also said he understood why Saturday would decline the chance at assistant coaching positions because coaching in the NFL is a “commitment and sacrifice.”
“It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle,” Cowher said. “That being said, Jeff Saturday has taken a position this year as a consultant for the Indianapolis Colts and he’s talked to them weekly from his home in Atlanta.
“Now to find out on Monday, in that short period of time, he’s the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts overseeing a staff he chose not to [join] because of the lifestyle. Jeff Saturday talked about in his press conference the fact that he’s going to use the second half as an opportunity to build his resume to see whether or not he can coach in the future. I say what about the assistants on that staff right now?”