Former Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas spent his entire career in Cleveland and played for many coaches along the way.
But Thomas expressed his displeasure with the recent hiring of fellow former NFL offensive lineman Jeff on 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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“It’s one of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life about the commitment, the lifestyle and the experience it takes to be a football coach. NFL – 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 are not innocent of taking the job, could have talked about and decided was the best thing for the Colts to do. ‘Indianapolis at this point in the season.’
From Thomas’ perspective, the hiring of the Colts owner on Saturday served as an insult to other coaches working to become a league head coach.
But Irsay brushed off criticism of the hiring and said he was “happy [Saturday] has no NFL experience.”
Isray added at a news conference after Saturday’s hiring that he was glad the former Colts center wasn’t scared.
“I’m glad he didn’t learn about the fear that is in this league because it’s tough for all of our coaches,” Irsay said via The Score. “They’re scared, they go to scans, and it gets difficult. … He doesn’t have that fear.”
JIM IRSAY ‘GLAD’ JEFF SATURDAY OF THE COLTS HAS NO NFL OR COLLEGE HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE
The Colts’ struggles since the unexpected early retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck have been well documented.
Luck was a four-time Pro-Bowler who helped the Colts reach 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 at quarterback. None of those options worked out, and many began to wonder if the Colts planned to lose in hopes of signing a quarterback in April 2023.
Indianapolis’ record is 3-5-1. But Irsay said appointing interim coach on Saturday does not mean the team will stop playing to win games this season.
“We’re in this thing; 9-7-1 gets us in, there’s no doubt. … We’re not stalling the season. Anyone who says those things, that we’re not playing [quarterback] Mast [Ryan] because [of an effort to tank]… That’s not true. We will do what it takes to win. I don’t know who people think we are. They do not know about us. We don’t tank in Indianapolis,” Irsay said.
COLTS’ JEFF SATURDAY RESPONDS TO PRACTICE EXPERIENCE CONCERNS: ‘YOU DON’T THINK I’VE SEEN GREATNESS?’
The hiring also raised flags regarding a potential loophole in the Rooney Rule. Saturday claimed his tenure would serve as a test before the organization begins looking for a head coach after the season.
“My role here is eight games. When this is over, they will do an exhaustive search and choose their best candidate to be the head coach of the Colts. If I am considered, I would be honored. I have no idea where this thing will be okay. Not even a little,” he told reporters.
“I’m completely comfortable with who I am as a man. I know I can lead men. I know I know football and I’m passionate about it. I’m not afraid to ‘Are you as qualified as anyone else?’ I’ve been in a locker room for 14 years I’ve been to the playoffs 12 times I’ve got five dudes in the Hall of Fame who played with me Don’t you think I’ve seen greatness? don’t think I “I’ve seen how people prepare? How do they train? How are they GM? How do they work? I won a Super Bowl, I was two.”
The Rooney Rule does not apply to interim head coaching positions, but the team must comply with the rule at the end of the season and before a permanent coach is appointed, a doorman said. league floor at the Indianapolis Star.
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Saturday’s first test as an NFL coach comes on Sunday when the Colts travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders.
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