Interim Indianapolis Colts head coach Jeff Saturday declared he is gunning for the permanent role after getting a taste of coaching at the highest level.
Saturday made headlines when he was hired to take over following the firing of Frank Reich, having never been a head coach at any level previously.
After a stirring win during his first week in charge, the Colts went on to lose the next seven in a row to close the season, including a Week 18 failure against the Houston Texans, who came into the contest with the worst record in the league.
When speaking to reporters on Monday, he pushed back on the notion that the Colts' 1-7 record under his watch was an accurate representation of his ability to lead a successful team.
"When you say 'eight-game audition', it was an eight-game audition with half an offensive staff [and] boundaries," he said.
"It's an eight-game audition with the hand you're dealt, right? How do you deal with that? Hopefully, I've shown my leadership.
"I wish we were better than 1-7. Everybody in that locker room and everybody here, it makes all our jobs a lot easier if you win, right? Unfortunately, that hasn't happened. I'm not dissuaded by that."
He said if he were to land the role for next season, he would take the franchise in "a different direction and a different vision that I'm carrying through – one that's my own that I can implement and move forward with".
When asked how far away he believes the Colts are from being a good football team, he said "Not nearly as far as y'all think".
"I've seen some articles here recently, so I can assure you [there have been] a lot of shots fired," he said. "I don't think we're nearly as far as you guys believe we are."
ESPN is reporting Colts owner Jim Irsay called Saturday "an outstanding candidate", while defensive leader Shaquille Leonard said he felt Saturday did "a phenomenal job" and earned the respect of the locker room.
The Colts have reportedly requested to interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn as well as their offensive coordinator Ben Johnson for the head coaching role, along with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.