Colts quarterback Matt Ryan is a believer in interim head coach Jeff Saturday.
Ryan said after the Colts beat the Raiders that Saturday showed up last week and immediately addressed the awkwardness of his own presence, having not been a part of the team and now leading the team. Saturday then got down to business and got the team working hard at preparing for the Raiders.
“He was the one that brought it up, and I think that really helped,” Ryan said. “I thought he did a great job at the beginning of the week of addressing the situation, understanding it’s completely unprecedented, completely unique, and was very clear about how he was going to try to go about it and very clear about what he expected from the guys.”
Ryan recalled growing up a fan of Peyton Manning and watching Saturday snap the ball to him, and said he has always liked Saturday, going back to their first Pro Bowl together, when Ryan was representing the Atlanta Falcons, the team Saturday grew up cheering for.
“I’ve known Jeff, I think I played with him in the Pro Bowl maybe in 2010, which is funny,” Ryan said. “I always remember, being from Georgia, family from Georgia, he was like, ‘Can I get your helmet?’ And I was like, What? Jeff Saturday? Because I was a Peyton fan.”
It’s been a long time since that Pro Bowl meeting, and no one could have possibly expected Ryan and Saturday together again under these circumstances. But for the first week, at least, it worked.