From the moment it was announced that Jeff Saturday would serve as the interim coach of the Colts, everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – in the media has been on his case. “It’s a travesty.” “It makes a mockery of the coaching profession.” “It disrespects all the guys that have worked for decades to rise above and be considered for a head coaching job.” Popycock. What a bunch of whiners and complainers and sore losers. I have two simple questions for you:
- When a billionaire calls you after supper and offers you your dream job, what are you going to say? No thanks, I’m not qualified. Or will you believe in yourself enough to at least want to give this once in a lifetime opportunity a chance?
- Where is the proof that slowly and painstakingly working your way up the coaching ladder qualifies anyone to coach? Because there is a mountain of proof that it doesn’t. Case in point, and I hate to mention him because everyone is also on him like white on rice, but on paper Nathaniel Hackett was the ideal head coaching candidate, and that ain’t going so well. Then there are a plethora of college coaches – very successful college coaches – who just couldn’t hack it in the NFL, like Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier. Now add to those long lists of people with coaching experience that weren’t good NFL head coaches, all the very talented and innovative and successful coordinators who never were very good at the helm, like the great Wade Philips and Norv Turner.
Jeff Saturday played in the NFL at a high level and has been a very good analyst for ESPN. He knows football; better than a lot of coaches, I’d say. More importantly, being a leader is about leading. It is about delegating and overseeing and coordinating and inspiring.
It is not about the nuts and bolts. Jeff Saturday clearly is a standout – not only on the football field, but in the room. He has a presence and an eloquence and an intelligence that raises him above. Simply because one has never been in a leadership position (football is a team sport) does not mean that one is not or cannot be a very good leader.
Those same whiners and complainers are now blaming Saturday for the Colts’ recent losses, ignoring that fact that the team Saturday inherited was losing and not very good, which was why Irsay called! Matt Ryan is a trooper’s trooper, but spent is spent and he is spent. The defense wasn’t good before Saturday got there, and the second half of the Vikings game showed that they still aren’t good. Saturday isn’t a magician and didn’t claim to be. What team whose coach gets replaced in the middle of a season ends up in the playoffs? Can’t think of one? Right.
Maybe hiring Jeff Saturday isn’t so crazy, just because it is unusual. Maybe shaking up the status quo is a good thing once in a while. And maybe in the end Jim Irsay will look like a genius. I’m rooting for Jeff Saturday. I’m rooting for the unstatus unquo. I’m rooting for the whiners and complainers who all wish that Irsay had called them, instead of Saturday, to shut the hell up.
– REENO – A graduate of Portland State University, Steve Kloser is the author of Beginning Band – A Guide to Success. Accomplished teacher, conductor, composer web developer, Packers Fan, and Proud American, Reeno’s usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on old and new. He currently lives on the Portland, OR area.
how to fix voting how to fix voting how to fix votin