In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s loss to the Steelers, Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday said he felt like the offense had plenty of time on its final drive and “wasn’t too concerned” about not utilizing a timeout.
Upon further review, Saturday’s opinion has changed.
“I wish I had that third down back and in all honestly, wish I would have called a timeout,” Saturday said, via Stephen Holder of ESPN. “Looking at the film, you could tell we were in disarray.”
After taking a strip-sack on first down — which Indianapolis recovered — quarterback Matt Ryan scrambled for 14 yards to set up third-and-3. There were 59 seconds on the clock when Ryan got the snap on second down. That ran down to 34 by the time the Colts got their third-down snap off, which was stuffed for no gain.
Finally, the Colts took their first timeout with 30 seconds left before fourth-and-3. Ryan’s pass to Parris Campbell was incomplete, which sealed the Steelers’ victory.
Saturday called the situation a learning experience and said he’s holding himself accountable.
“Listen, all my coaches, whether it was Tony [Dungy], Jim Caldwell, those guys were always very transparent with the team, whether it was public or not. I believe in that,” Saturday said, via Zak Keefer of TheAthletic.com, adding that he’ll tell the players he should’ve done something differently. “Inside, I wanna make sure everybody feels that you own whatever portion is yours.”
Given Saturday’s lack of coaching experience, it’s not entirely a surprise something like this happened in that situation. But in fairness, coaches with a lot more experience also routinely make clock-management mistakes.
We’ll see what happens if another situation like this comes up for Saturday over the rest of the season.