Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts: “I thought we had plenty of time”

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts
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On the Colts’ final offensive drive in Monday night’s loss to the Steelers, Colts coach Jeff Saturday repeatedly let the clock run rather than call timeout, resulting in the Colts ending the game with two unused timeouts. Saturday said afterward that he didn’t see why he should have called any timeouts on the drive.

“I thought we had plenty of time, I wasn’t really concerned,” Saturday said. “We still had timeouts. I wasn’t too concerned.”

On three consecutive plays after the two-minute warning, the Colts were tackled inbounds and did not call timeout, even though they had all three timeouts. The last of those plays was a Matt Ryan 14-yard run up the middle on second-and-17, and Saturday said he didn’t call timeout because he wanted to see if the officials ruled that Ryan had run for a first down.

“When he was going down, I couldn’t tell where they were gonna start him from going down, right? If he was gonna get the first down. And then we got there, I expected us to get on the ball and have another play, a little bit quicker than that. But again, this wasn’t a press for time. We just didn’t make enough plays,” Saturday said.

Pressed by reporters about not using his timeouts, Saturday said he didn’t think the Colts needed them.

“I didn’t feel like time was of the essence at that moment,” Saturday said. “I thought we had a good play, I felt like we would get to it. . . . I felt good about the call before, I felt like we’d have time, we would have timeouts afterwards, we were in striking distance, so I never felt like the pressure of needing the timeout.”

The Colts called timeout only once in the second half, before their final offensive play, an incomplete pass on fourth-and-3. That turned the ball over to the Steelers on downs, and they kneeled down once and ended the game, without the Colts using their final two timeouts.

72 responses to “Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts: “I thought we had plenty of time”

  1. What’s the big deal about using timeouts,
    I’m mean yeah, obviously use them if you need them, but it’s not a make or break thing to not have timeouts at the end of a game.
    Maybe the Colts wanted Pitt on their heels.
    It’s more detrimental to waste timeouts early and need them later

  2. Jeff Saturday went from a feel good story to a hell scape over night . Reality has set in.

  3. I think we all now see another reason why you have an experienced coach as your head coach.

  4. In his defense, it was not lack of time on the clock that stopped them, the defense made their plays the offense did not is what happened. I think I would have kept a little more time on the clock though. I get it you want to run it diwn, but that IMHO was too far down.

  5. Remember last year when they beat the Patriots, and the Colts fans thought that was their coming out party? LMFAO. Now look at them. A team in disarray. Circling the drain. But at least you guys beat the Pats in 2021. Congrats.

  6. That’s the difference between being an actual head coach…and being a retired center playing Madden with a live team

  7. should have at least called a timeout on that third down to make them review that spot. Should have been third and about a half to go instead of three yards.

  8. If your goal was to turn the ball over on downs with about 25 seconds to play, 30 yards short of where you needed to be, while keeping all your time outs, then yes, you did have plenty of time.

  9. This is why you DO NOT hire a head coach without any experience. If he would have taken the time outs , that would have given his offense a little more time without feeling rushed. Good Job Irsay.

  10. I was pulling for Saturday. Maybe he’s in over his head. Nothing more frustrating than watching those seconds tick off when you have timeouts in the bank. Cant get that time back.

  11. Anyone else picturing Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber saying,”So you’re saying there’s a tank?” He’s not NFL ready. Irsay is definitely tanking the season. I just need them to be a little better than the Saints, which that tie helps reinforce.

  12. Saturday not calling a TO was NOT the reason the Colts lost. This team shoots itself in the foot every game. Tiresome to watch them cough up the ball in key moments so often.

  13. Congratulations Jeff Saturday. You just made Mike Tomlin look like a clock management wizard.

  14. everyone watching at home: call timeout, Call Timeout! CALL TIMEOUT!! TIMEOUT!!!

    What on earth is the 15 year veteran QB thinking out there? Ryan looks like a complete shell of himself but to not call TO then? Man, he was out of it

  15. Jeff Saturday doesn’t play QB. If you have a veteran QB who should have retired already, talk to the people that signed him. I don’t think the coach signed him. Don’t blame the coach. Did you guys watch the game? The Colts don’t have a QB that gives them much of a chance to compete and win. I’m expecting a QB change.

  16. Timeouts do not equal points. The offense was hot garbage all night. Ryan looks horrible. The defense let them march down the field for that last drive. Please please don’t win anymore games. Fire this whole staff that Reich brought in. All soft nice guys with no adjustments whatsoever. No fire. No drive.

  17. I didn’t really have an issue with the time outs….the issue was getting stuffed on 3rd down with the run play. That destroyed them

  18. Making a mistake and not recognizing it is worse than the mistake itself. You can’t fix what you don’t see.

  19. They did have plenty of time. I don’t know why people are making a big deal over this. If they had converted that 4th down, they would have had enough time to for several more plays with the 2 remaining timeouts.

  20. I almost forgot this guy wasn’t a head coach. Almost. Although not as delusional, there isn’t that much difference between Zach Wilson saying “No.” at the end of his presser and Saturday saying “Time wasn’t an issue”. Completely obtuse.

  21. And the honeymoon is officially over. Clock management is one of the cornerstones of good coaching.

  22. This is what happens when you hire your drinking buddy who has no prior coaching experience at the college or NFL level

  23. He’s a great dude and his energy has made a difference. But an experienced coach knows you have to take a timeout there to really consider your play call. He can’t be saying he expected The Ghost of Matt Ryan to run for 14 yards, and the next play was built on that. No way. It’s not about the clock there, it’s about getting set and really being sure. It’s about what the defense might do.

  24. I’d like to see a replay of the third down play just before the last play of the game.

    I am having a tough time understand how Matt Ryan didn’t get a first down when he dove forward and wasn’t touched. Refs seemed to mark him down where he started to dive.

    But he wasn’t giving himself up, he was diving with the ball in front of him.

    Seemed like MR was a little indecisive on that carry and realized he needed to lunge.

    Maybe I saw it wrong but it appeared to be a first down, can’t find the play online yet but I have it recorded at home.

  25. This is a predictable result of hiring someone who has zero coaching experience.

  26. Somebody needs to tell Saturday that the objective is NOT to end the game with the most time outs in your pocket.

  27. bostonblows says:
    November 29, 2022 at 9:04 am
    I’d like to see a replay of the third down play just before the last play of the game.

    I am having a tough time understand how Matt Ryan didn’t get a first down when he dove forward and wasn’t touched. Refs seemed to mark him down where he started to dive.

    But he wasn’t giving himself up, he was diving with the ball in front of him.

    Seemed like MR was a little indecisive on that carry and realized he needed to lunge.

    Maybe I saw it wrong but it appeared to be a first down, can’t find the play online yet but I have it recorded at home.
    __________

    Irrelevant to the timeout usage issue. It’s not like the clock was going to stop if Ryan achieved a first down. Timeout should have been called immediately when Ryan went down.

  28. bostonblows says:
    November 29, 2022 at 9:04 am
    I’d like to see a replay of the third down play just before the last play of the game.

    I am having a tough time understand how Matt Ryan didn’t get a first down when he dove forward and wasn’t touched. Refs seemed to mark him down where he started to dive.

    But he wasn’t giving himself up, he was diving with the ball in front of him.

    Seemed like MR was a little indecisive on that carry and realized he needed to lunge.

    Maybe I saw it wrong but it appeared to be a first down, can’t find the play online yet but I have it recorded at home.
    ———————————
    I think you are 100% correct. He dove for the first down and no one touched him till he had it. On the same week that Sam Darnold fumbles a snap and rolls 2 yards for a TD.
    Colts got screwed, forget a time out, Saturday should have challenged the spot. He didn’t run out of time, he ran out of plays.

  29. When you have 3 timeouts and your offense is running around like the Keystone Cops with less than a minute and you don’t use them you should be fired ASAP!

  30. Its kind of moot when it wasn’t the clock that ended their final dtive, it was the Pittsburg D that did that with time still on the clock.

  31. Using timeouts also gives the defense a breather. The right question to ask is was there a play that coach should have specifically used a time out on and why wasn’t it used? The timeout should have been used after Matt Ryan’s 14 yard scramble and he blew it.

  32. They way Ryan dove, it certainly looked like he was ducking for cover. Regardless, the NFL has already stated when QB dives forward, it is considered giving himself up. The timeout is a bit of an overblown issue. The Colts did like they were out of sorts, but so was the D, so maybe that was Jeff’s master plan.

  33. He wanted to see if Ryan had the first down? He was 3 yards short! I know you don’t always have the best of angles from the sideline but that’s not even close.

  34. The colts were going to need the TOs if they got a first down; there was still 30 seconds left. Feels like people just want to get mad over something. Does this game even matter? They are both two bad teams.

  35. This game and the Bucs game made me wonder about the protocol for when a QB can call a timeout. It’s obvious the QB has the greenlight if the play clock is running down and he knows he won’t be able to get the play off. Or if he sees something in the defense he can’t deal with by just calling the audible to the alternative play. But what prevented Ryan or Brady calling timeouts in their games when their coaches didn’t? Is it tradition, is it a team-by-team (or player-by-player) thing? I think both Ryan and Brady would have called time themselves if there wasn’t something preventing them. I just don’t know exactly what it is. And if it’s just etiquette, essentially, will either of them blow that off if a similar situation arises this season?

  36. Testament as why you shouldn’t start at the top. Pay your dues and acquire the requisite experience. “Thought we had plenty time”? Turns out he was wrong and took 2 TOs home with him.

  37. It’s simple math. How many times has your team scored a TD in under 2 minutes…0

    How many times did the defense either keep you in the middle of the field or drive you backward to keep the clock running… a lot.

    Then clearly you didn’t have “plenty of time”. I think he believes the clock stops after a first down because that’s the only way his response makes sense which should be a giant red flag he doesn’t actually know the NFL rules that well as that’s a HIGH SCHOOL rule, not NFL.

  38. First time or not, you still have to stop the clock. This ain’t college ball where it stops automatically. You’re fight against TIME.

  39. I hear all this tank talk. The Colts currently have the 14th pick. You are not getting a QB with the 14th pick. Imagine how different things would be if you had just shown up against the Jags last January.

  40. Okay, I get that Saturday has no HC experience in the NFL, but the guy PLAYED for 13 years. How is he not aware of the time factor? Same goes for Matt Ryan. Call a time out! The shine has already worn off of Irsay’s move to pluck Saturday from ESPN’s studios to lead the Colts.

  41. Saturday is clueless. There were a couple of plays where a timeout would have given his guys a chance to reset, catch a breath and have time for a good call. THe Indy offense looked confused in that last stretch. Saturday blew it.

  42. “If they had converted that 4th down, they would have had enough time to for several more plays with the 2 remaining timeouts.”

    Would you rather have time for several plays, virtually all of which would have to be successful, or a few more than several plays, allowing for possibility of a few unsuccessful plays?

  43. Well if it’s any consolation to Colts fans, Saturday’s clock management skills are no worse than some of the league’s more experienced head coaches. In fact, Saturday is probably already a better head coach than some of the current crop of NFL head coaches who are waiting to be fired.

  44. Even my Mother knows about how to use time outs in football games. Saturday is becoming a clown. And Matty Ice is showing his effective range in the air is 5 yards or less.

  45. Can’t chalk it up to experience when we just saw the Bucs completely botch clock management at the end of a game because the very experienced Todd Bowles was afraid to use his timeouts. NFL coaches just botch time management constantly.

  46. Question, did they run out of time with possession of the football? If the answer is no, using or not using timeouts is a marginal issue-important for narratives but not much else.

  47. The Colts should have used a timeout after the Ryan run. But a more egregious time mgmt problem was in the Bucs game. With 1:10 left, the Browns had a 4th and 10 at the Tampa 12. Bowles let 30+ seconds expire before Njoku’s TD tied the game. So while trying to avoid OT, the Bucs only had 32 seconds left. Short pass to White tackled inbounds. Bowles did use any of his 3 timeouts so 20 seconds elapses. A 26 yard pass brings them within 15 yards of FG range, but only 8 seconds left. Incomplete to Brate and only 2 seconds remain. Failed Hail Mary and the Bucs end regulation with 2 timeouts unused. Bowles’ failure to manage the clock cost them a legitimate chance to win in regulation.

  48. Saturday wanted to make sure that Pittsburgh would have no time to score, so he didn’t use the time outs. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize that unless Indy scored, it didn’t matter.

    Rookie coach.

  49. Come on. Experienced coaches do this all the time. How many times was Andy Reid called out for this over the years, after a couple decades of being a HC? If you posted an article every time a coach made a questionable decision, it would fill up the entire feed.

    If a first-time coach deserves such scrutiny, then experienced coaches deserve more. If you’re not willing to do that, then this seems arbitrary.

  50. Reader since ‘09, first time commenter!

    So clearly Saturday was brought in as cover for the Colts to tank (again). Anything that looks suspicious will be excused as a new head coach’s incompetence. Bad situation for the NFL given the proliferation of gambling.

  51. Because clock management is a not-uncommon issue with new coaches, I am surprised that the Colts don’t have a separate staff member to manage the clock for Saturday. Maybe they do, but Saturday doesn’t want to throw anyone under the bus. Saturday is too inexperienced to manage all end- game scenarios on his own, snd the front office should have realized that when Saturday was hired.

  52. It’s been a wonderful season because neither the Colts not the Broncos have either a head coach or a quarterback. Happy days.

  53. That isn’t why they lost Matty Ice is a horrible QB and they have zero fight in the whole team. But hes making Mike MCcarthy look good with clock management.

  54. Funny to see all of the geniuses on here, who all have zero NFL coaching experience themselves, trying to act like they are NFL coaching pros with all the answers for Saturday who actually played the game unlike all of the clowns on here throwing criticism.

  55. Saturday looked like a fan that was so excited that he got a sideline pass that he can’t do anything else. Besides yelling at a ref, did Saturday do anything?

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