The Colts’ appointment to Jeff Saturday mocks the NFL’s merit doctrine and re-changes goal rules for Lions coaches
There were plenty of head tilt moments during Monday night’s press conference at the Indianapolis Colts headquarters. While it was ostensibly intended as an introduction to coach Jeff Saturday, it was more about team owner Jim Irsay. and General Manager Chris Ballard, who took the opportunity to voice their grievances with the local media.
But one of the things he said on Saturday was funny:
“You have to earn your place here.”
A man with no coaching experience exceeding the record 20-16 at a small high school in Georgia, has just been given one of the 32 most coveted jobs in professional football, by a man who simply inherited one of the most valuable real estate in this country.
And Saturday had the nerve to talk about it earn He. She.
The wealthy handing out big jobs to wholly unqualified friends is nothing new. Past and present are filled with C-suite residents who got there simply because their dad runs the joint or orders it in his favour.
But that deal happened in the NFL, where he tells us, nauseously, that it’s all about merit.
Your draft slot doesn’t matter; If you can play, you can play, and if you can’t, hand your tablet over.
You will only be considered a coordinator or head coach after spending the time climbing the ladder, working hours as a significantly low-paid assistant, earning your goodwill as a site coach, and possibly getting to manage a unit if you take your fortunes to a lucky man and are hired to coach an entire team.
And on Monday, in an embarrassing decision, one he tried to justify with this comically bad press conference, Irsai debunked a merit myth: Experience doesn’t matter if you can hire your friend.
Why should there be grumbling over the remaining Colts crew
Saturday was hard as a player And a good leader as a playerAnd somehow in Irsay’s mind that makes him a better candidate to take on a lukewarm NFL mid-season team as their head coach.
As fellow teammate Charles Robinson pointed out, attending Monday nights with Irsay, Ballard, and Saturday didn’t look like a tentative advertisement — has any team owner in recent years held a press conference like this tentatively? – And more like coronation. Especially when Irsay showed his cards when he said on Saturday he was in charge of the last eight games of the regular season and “hopefully more”.
Saturday, who, according to Ballard and Irsay, rejected their previous offers to join the organization as an assistant coach or in the front office, was suddenly interested in coaching when he had a chance to skip all the usual, purported, required steps. He became the head coach.
Did not win this place.
Great players don’t always make good coaches. Brilliant people don’t always make great teachers. The strength an offensive lineman needs to play a center for 14 years, as he did on Saturday, has no real value when you’re the head coach and trying to lead a team.
It would be understandable if not every player was on board. It would be understandable if not every assistant coach was on board.
Irsay’s seemingly reckless selection is a slap in the face for every Colts coach, and many of them have enough experience to try to put the team together as the current season ends. It’s also a slap in the face for assistants across the league, some of whom have worked for decades for any sort of opportunity to be head coach, interim or otherwise, and prove they have the ability to lead a team.
Same old story of aspiring Black Head coaches in the NFL
And while we talk about the topic of coaching and diversity in the NFL, Saturday’s move is another example of how the league’s ownership class really feels about black men. Just last month, the NFL featured another tired subject of a black assistant coach being asked to clean up the mess of a (usually white) head coach in a temporary role, only to the more than likely he will be bypassed for full-time work.
No amount of interview requirements, lies about the “pipeline,” rhetoric about patience or acceleration programs can change the fact that NFL team owners as a group don’t think black men should be full-time coaches.
In 2020, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank hired Raheem Morris to be interim coach and said Morris would be a “candidate” for the job if he led the team to the 11-0 finish after Dan Quinn was sent off 0-5. . In October, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper said Steve Wilkes would be considered as head coach if he did an “amazing job” during the last 12 games of the season.
Morris and Wilkes have more than 30 years of experience coaching the NFL. Wilkes was head coach for one season with Arizona, then was fired when the Cardinals’ brass thought Cliff Kingsbury and his sub-0.500 record at Texas Tech was a better hire. Morris, currently the Rams’ defensive coordinator, was the head coach of Tampa Bay from 2009-2011 and is still waiting for a second chance to lead the team. Meanwhile, Josh McDaniels, who had his first coaching gig the same year Morris dumped him in the scandal and fired before finishing two seasons in Denver, has his third chance as a head coach. He turned those same colts down in 2018, quitting the job the night before his official presentation, having made others sign up to be part of his staff, and was hired by the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this year.
A week before he was sent off by Indianapolis, offensive coordinator Frank Reich sent off Marcus Brady, although it was Reich, not Brady, who called for plays during games. Brady, you’ll assume correctly, is black. Perhaps it would have been a good choice when he fired the caller with Reich. Instead, it was reported on Saturday that assistant brokers coach Parks Frazier, who is 30 and has never called up any plays at any level.
Jeff Saturday got a temporary job, and according to his boss, there’s clearly little chance of him getting the full-time job in January. No lines, no waiting.
Not earned either.
Who needs merit when you’re white and the owner’s friends?
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