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Jeff Saturday promising changes should he remain Colts head coach: 'It would look different'

Despite struggling to a 1-7 record as Indianapolis' interim coach, Jeff Saturday doesn't want to walk away from the Colts.

The former center and rookie coach told reporters Monday he hopes he'll get the permanent job in Indianapolis. If so, Saturday is promising things will be different -- much different.

"If I get this job, there's going to be significant change," Saturday said, via ESPN's Stephen Holder. "... It would look different."

Saturday spoke reverently of his time with the Colts, while also defending himself and the unique circumstances under which he operated as Indianapolis' head coach. Unlike other interim coaches -- Carolina's Steve Wilks was used for comparison Monday -- Saturday didn't have experience with the remaining staff when he became head coach.

For this reason, Saturday believes their performances aren't comparable, and he shouldn't be held to the same standard of judgment.

"I commend the heck out of what he did," Saturday said Monday, via the Indianapolis Star's Nate Atkins. "I also know (Ben) McAdoo who is their offensive coordinator and (James) Campen who is their offensive line coach. They worked together in Green Bay for a number of years. I would tend to believe a guy coming in after nine weeks, walking into a room with a short offensive staff and a guy who is walking in who has been together for however long they've been together before and after should have a different level of success.

"I do think as you look at things, you can go 'This is how this went.' And I respect the heck out of Steve and what he's done, and I love those two guys in particular. I worked with them in Green Bay (as a player). But not every situation is exactly the same when you get behind closed doors."

Saturday's first foray into NFL coaching began with shock, as owner Jim Irsay bucked convention by looking outside the organization after firing Frank Reich. He found a venerated former player who hadn't coached at a level higher than high school, yet Irsay trusted Saturday enough to hand him the keys to the Colts for the remainder of the season.

Saturday won his first game as Colts coach, then lost seven straight to end the season. The Colts showed minimal signs of improvement and ended the season spinning their wheels with an eye (if not both) toward the draft.

No matter who becomes coach, Indianapolis once again has a massive question to answer under center. The Colts' offseason acquisition of Matt Ryan simply didn't work out, leading to his benching (twice) during the season.

Ryan still carries a significant cap number and doesn't sound as if he's ready to retire, but knows his future is likely not in Indianapolis.

"I still love playing," Ryan said, via The Athletic's Zak Keefer. "I think... obviously I'm not committed to anything, here, wherever. I gotta see how it shakes out (with the coaching search). But I still love playing. Honestly, I still like there's a lot of good football in my body."

Saturday will be one of at least a handful of coaching candidates subjected to the interview process before Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard -- whose job doesn't appear to be in danger -- make a decision on the job. Saturday said Monday his time with the Colts was "a tremendous learning experience," which could benefit him if he manages to convince Irsay to keep him around.

"I have a very clear vision of how I can turn this football team around," he said. "I'm not one that wavers. I'm pretty steadfast."

We'll see if that's enough to land him the full-time position.

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