Colts owner Jim Irsay made the stunning decision to appoint Jeff from the former Pro Bowl position on Saturday as the team’s interim head coach on the advice of his team’s top executives, who tried to get Irsay out of it, according to sources.
It was the latest strong move by emotional and at times impulsive Irsay, who also captained veteran linebacker Matt Ryan two weeks before Irsay sacked coach Frank Reich on November 7, according to sources.
A member of the Colts’ Ring of Honor and Super Bowl XLI winning team, Saturday never trained above high school level, he was recently hired by ESPN as a television analyst. He has natural leadership traits, which sources say he already showed on Saturday, as he navigated an unprecedented situation with coaches and players in preparing the team for today’s game against the Raiders in Las Vegas.
But the unconventional hiring has been met with intense scrutiny, both inside and outside the building.
Sources say Colts president Pete Ward and general manager Chris Ballard, among others, have spoken with Irsai and expressed their reservations. The Colts had former coaches John Fox and Gus Bradley on the staff, as well as a rising star special team coordinator Bubba Ventroni. But sources say Aersay was very intent on hiring on Saturday, who revealed that Aersay called him during last Sunday’s loss to the Patriots to ask about Indianapolis’ problems in the offensive line.
Within 24 hours, Irsay called Reich—the owner remained in the Boston area after the game—to inform him that he would be abandoned. Ballard addressed the team about the decision. On Saturday, he persuaded Irsai, who said he had prayed for her and decided to call him to Indianapolis for some reason, to take the job.
Among the first tasks on Saturday was figuring out who would call up offensive plays, as Reich had taken over and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady was fired on 1 November. Sources say the quarterback’s coach, Scott Milanovic, has been offered the tasks without any review of his current contract. , and rejected it. So, the Colts turned to passing games/assistant quarterback coach 30-year-old Parks Frazier, who is considered an excellent young coach but has never called any plays in the NFL, and will make his debut Sunday under difficult circumstances.
On Saturday, he said in his initial press conference Monday night that Sam Ellinger will start for the third time in the NFL on Sunday against the Raiders. But Ryan – who was dealing with a shoulder injury when off the bench – will be active for the first time since the change. If things don’t go well, another QB change is out of the question, sources say.
Saturday, 47, he held his first team meeting on Wednesday and repeated a lot of what he said in his press conference: He took the job because he loves the ponies, he relies on the technical staff to help him and is not afraid to jump for the next eight games, maybe more.
“Here’s the deal,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “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 have no fear about whether I’m as qualified as anyone else. Brother, I’ve had 14 years in the locker room. I’ve been to the playoffs 12 times. I have five guys in the Hall of Fame who have played with me. Don’t you think I’ve seen greatness? Don’t you think I’ve seen how people prepare? How are the coaches? How are the GMs? How do they work? I won (one Super Bowl), I was for two.
“Here’s the deal: Neither of us promised a good job. I might be bad at this, and after eight games, I’m going to say, ‘God bless you.'” I’m not good. “I could be really good. I have no idea. But I definitely won’t back down.”
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