Colts fire head coach Frank Reich after 3-5-1 start, ESPN's Jeff Saturday named interim HC

The Indianapolis Colts fired head coach Frank Reich and named ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach, the team and owner Jim Irsay announced Monday.

It's been a difficult season for Reich and the Colts. They lost their fifth game of the year Sunday, an embarrassing 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots, which dropped them 3-5-1 through nine weeks. Their quarterback position has been a disaster, with starter Matt Ryan getting benched after a loss in Week 7 in favor of backup Sam Ehlinger, who led the team to defeat against the Patriots.

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The Colts announced a few hours after Reich's firing that Saturday, former Colts center and current ESPN analyst, would serve as interim head coach. Saturday is not on Reich's coaching staff, though two former head coaches, Gus Bradley and John Fox, are. Saturday has no coaching experience at the NFL or collegiate level, which appears to be a modern NFL first. (He did coach from 2017-2020 at Hebron Christian Academy in Georgia.)

Quarterback carousel didn't help Reich

Though this season hasn't been great, the wheels of Reich's dismissal may have been set in motion over a year ago. He played a big role in bringing QB Carson Wentz to Indy in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2021 season, a decision that he ended up apologizing for at the end of the season. Wentz was an albatross around the neck of the Colts for the entire season and he prevented them from going to the playoffs when he threw an absolutely comical interception in the final game of the season.

Reich was hired in February 2018, weeks after he won the Super Bowl as offensive coordinator of the Eagles. He took the job thinking that starting quarterback Andrew Luck would lead the offense for years to come, but it turns out it was only for a season. Luck abruptly retired in August 2019, just two weeks before the start of the season, starting a carousel of quarterbacks that would plague the rest of Reich's tenure.

The Colts had to roll with Jacoby Brissett under center for the 2019 season, and then brought in a nearly retired Philip Rivers to run the offense in 2020. Wentz was the starting QB in 2021, and Ryan had the job in 2022. Not one time did Reich start a season with the same quarterback who started the previous season. He ends his time in Indy with a 40-33-1 record.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts walks off the field after losing 17-16 to the Washington Commanders at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
The Colts fired head coach Frank Reich on Monday, less than one day after their fifth defeat of the season, an embarrassing 26-3 loss to the Patriots. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)