Colts owner Jim Irsay says the decision to fire HC Frank Reich midseason was not personal.
“Frank is a treasured friend of my family and all my daughters,” Irsay said. “We go back a long, long way. I’m very, very close to Frank, and I’ve known Frank for many decades. He’s like family.”
Irsay pointed to the decision to give Reich an extension even though he had two years remaining on his contract as reason enough that this wasn’t a personal decision.
“I’ve been doing this for over 50 years, and I’ve never, ever, ever, ever given a coach an extension when there’s two years left on the contract,” Irsay said. “But [I did it] because of the closeness with him and our family, and because I hoped that maybe it would be something that would help strengthen him in his position and his own belief.”
As for hiring Jeff Saturday as interim head coach, Irsay says it was a very unique circumstance.
“You have to understand that Jeff’s a very unusual person that was in a very unusual position to have the type of qualities that would make him able to make a transition like this,” Irsay said. “Most of the time, it is gonna be pretty hard. Could I make a hire like this again? Probably not. I mean, if I was lucky enough to live long enough to do this for 75 years, it’s probably once in 75 years. I mean, it was a rare thing because the circumstances presented themselves that way.”
Jaguars rookie LB Chad Muma is set to make his first start as a pro in Week 12. It’s notable because Muma is getting the start over fellow rookie and first-round pick Devin Lloyd.
“Consistency [in Muma’s play], but I think, too, it helps, sometimes, in Devin’s case, just coming out of the game and seeing it from the sidelines, seeing a little different perspective,” Jaguars HC Doug Pederson said, via ESPN.com. “Allowing Chad to get valuable reps, it’s a lot like Buster [CB Montaric Brown] playing and getting valuable reps at corner and seeing where Chad is with everything.
“Right now, he’s been kind of limited to special teams. He is a good linebacker, and we want to get him on the field.”
Muma says the game is slowing down for him and he thinks he can really be an asset in pass defense.
“Reflecting back on that first preseason game, the Hall of Fame game, it felt really fast compared to the last game against Kansas City,” Muma said. “It really slowed down for me. I was able to see plays quicker, react faster, and so I’m feeling more confident now.
“… I feel much more confident in my coverage skills, whether it’s in the past game, and also just using my hands. When an offensive lineman would come up to me I can engage them better and get off and make a play.”
Texans first-round G Kenyon Green struggled last week, but offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton believes he can bounce back against the Dolphins.
“We expect that he’s going to continue to work to embrace the technique that he’s been taught because he’s extremely talented,” Hamilton said, via TexansWire.com. “It’s just part of the process from week-to-week. It’s understanding that guys are going to watch us on film and the opponent is going to watch us on film and come up with ways to counter the things they see us do. I’m certain we’ll continue to watch Kenyon’s progress as he continues to play.”