Ryan Clark, Kyle Brandt in heated feud over Jeff Saturday hire

Ryan Clark is not happy Kyle Brandt questioned ESPN employees in his frustrated reaction to the Colts naming Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach after they fired Frank Reich.

Brandt, who serves as a co-host on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” questioned on the show Tuesday if Saturday, who was working as an ESPN analyst, is “embarrassed, or at best, uncomfortable to take the job” since he has never coached in the NFL or at the college level.

“What do you say here? Because he was a high school coach and he was on ESPN and screaming on ‘Get Up?’” he said. “It’s an interesting media thing too, because this is an ESPN employee and I’d be fascinated to hear of anybody in ESPN have something critical to say about Jeff Saturday in this case — or is it, ‘Ah, we’re happy for Jeff.’”

Clark fired back at Brandt on Twitter, writing, “Say @KyleBrandt stick to talking about the people that cover football at your network. We are good over here. Be well.”

Pro Football Talk replied to Clark’s tweet, saying that “It’s fair game for Kyle to point out that Saturday isn’t qualified for the job, but it rings very hollow for direct employees of the NFL who relentlessly and gratuitously hype the product to question ESPN analysts for not criticizing the hire.”

On the same Twitter thread, someone tweeted, “But Kyle was right.. nothing against Saturday and he should certainly not refuse the offer, but Kyle is right.”

Clark replied to that tweet, writing, “No problem with his thoughts on Jeff. That’s his job. What we talk about at our network is not.”

Former Colts Center Jeff Saturday and Colts Ring of Honor member during a game against the Washington Commanders on Oct. 30, 2022 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
Former Colts Center Jeff Saturday and Colts Ring of Honor member during a game against the Washington Commanders on Oct. 30, 2022 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A number of people on Twitter took to the reply section to share a clip of ESPN NFL analyst Marcus Spears critiquing the coaching move.

“[I’m] happy for Jeff to get this opportunity,” Spears said on “Get Up” on Tuesday. “You know he’s a football guy and you know that Jeff wants to take this challenge head on. But G, [Mike Greenberg] we got a responsibility. This is not a good look for the NFL, it’s not a good look for Indianapolis Colts…

“My mind immediately went to, well what about the coaches that are in that organization already that are left there, based on everybody that you’ve fired?”

With the hiring of Saturday, the Colts bypassed two former NFL head coaches on their staff, Gus Bradley and John Fox.

Saturday, 47, was the head coach for the Hebron Christian Academy football team in Dacula, Ga.

In a separate tweet on Tuesday, Clark shared a video of his critique about the Saturday hire, writing, “I believe in Jeff Saturday’s intelligence & character; not his hiring. There are so many layers to this. Is it about Privilege, race, nepotism, relationship, or respect?

“In the end the comfort & familiarity of friendship overwhelmed Irsay… & could overwhelm the locker room.”

In another tweet, Clark talked about why he responded to Brandt, noting he doesn’t “have enough hops for the high road.”

Irsay defended the Saturday hiring in a press conference on Monday, saying that he is “glad” the former player has no prior NFL coaching experience.

In the same press conference, Saturday said the hiring “shocked” him, and that things “escalated quickly” after a conversation with Irsay.

Saturday will make his interim coaching debut against the Raiders on Sunday.

The Colts fired Reich on Monday, the day after an ugly 26-3 loss to the Patriots. The Colts are a disappointing 3-5-1 this season.

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