NFL: Fritz Pollard Alliance probing Colts hire of Jeff Saturday


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NFL interim coach promotions are not subject to the diversity-driven Rooney Rule, but the Fritz Pollard Alliance formally opened an inquiry into the Indianapolis Colts’ decision to replace Frank Reich with former player Jeff Saturday.

“In light of the recent interim head coaching hire in Indianapolis, the FPA has initiated an inquiry with the NFL into whether this hiring process conformed with NFL Hiring Guidelines for naming an interim Head Coach,” a statement from the organization said.

Hiring guidelines for NFL head coaches demand two minority candidates receive formal interviews for the vacancy. That is not the case for interim coaches, whether promoted from the existing coaching staff or the more uncommon path taken by owner Jim Irsay in pulling Saturday from a studio seat at ESPN.

Irsay said at the press conference to introduce Saturday that the only problem was media “make it a problem or perception.”

Saturday’s only coaching experience was at the high school level. One former Saturday teammate, receivers coach Reggie Wayne, was on Reich’s coaching staff but said he wasn’t considered for the interim post.

Wayne said this week he wouldn’t have accepted Reich’s offer to be an assistant coach after three years of pestering had he known how it all would end. Wayne said if the Colts had offered him the job over Saturday, a teammate for a decade in Indy, he would have taken it.

“(Expletive) yeah,” Wayne said.

Irsay said the commitment between the Colts and Saturday would not change plans to follow a full review and interview process for the permanent position in the offseason.

“At the end of the season, there will be a full process of reviewing permanent head coach, which we will have an interview process for and go from there. This is for eight games and hopefully more,” he said.

–Field Level Media


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